where does the thunder go?

Rainy Day on Folsom Lake


We’re on our boat and it’s Labor Day. No one’s out because it’s stormy, and we like it this way. The lake is ours.

With the wind in my face, and the rain to my back, I pretend I’m alone. I am alone. My thoughts fly with the wind rushing past me — over mountains, hills, and plains; forward, backward, now. And I realize:

I am not alone. Earth is ours.

“Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw?

Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder go when it dies?”

― Ray Bradbury

Image: Folsom Lake, California (by me)

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54 thoughts

  1. I like the quote a lot. It’s very ambiguous, but at the same time it’s very creative, creative in that it uses climatic conditions to describe people and culture. Not too sure if I’m making much sense here…tired from work but your posts perk me up!

  2. Recognizing our ‘size’ — our role on this planet — is a humbling realization, isn’t it? In the framework of our planet’s size and role in this Multiverse, I wonder if we are Earth’s…and Earth is the tiny rock owned by the cosmos? ;)

  3. Wait a minute … you didn’t complain about the weather being “terrible” nor did you blame global warming for “ruining” a good day on the lake. What’s the matter with you?

    Kidding of course, fantastic illustration of embracing the now and enjoying what is in front of you. But I was hoping to find out where thunder goes – or is it where the lightening goes? Thanks for sharing.

    • Aww, well, in Northern California we are too dry to ever complain about rain, and I love rain, anyway, so… Thanks so much! Glad you liked the illustration… And I don’t know where thunder goes! We’ll have to ask Mr. Bradbury. He’s up in heaven now, I believe. Surely he knows. ;)

      Hope you have a wonderful day!

  4. All thunder goes into the handbag of an old lady named, Myrtle. She lives on the southerly side of a small hill just outside the Welsh village of Ruthin. She sings in the local church choir, grows turnips in her garden, and otherwise has no idea that she is, in fact, a thunder god.

    Gorgeous post.

    • Myrtle. Love it! I must visit her… I wonder. Does she know Zeus? I’ve been meaning to talk to him about the paltry amount of rain we get in California –

      So glad you liked it!

  5. Ray Bradbury! where oh Jess do you come up with these wonderful quotes?
    and know that my dad said that thunder is the angels bowling in heaven – and the rain is them crying when God tells em to quiet down…

    • My amazing mind… Kidding! Google ;)

      When I was a kid, when the pastor was praying in church and the air-conditioning would whoosh through the large A-frame building, I would swear it was the Holy Spirit swooping down on us…
      I love what your dad said – will think of it from now on – I love rain…

  6. As much as I know that we’re all connected, it’s difficult to not feel alone. Reminding myself that someone else feels everything I do, be it gentle or destructive wind, is flat out too much to keep in my cognitive space. It’s much easier for nature to dissolve differentiation and see us as a shared organism ignorant of border, language or race.

    Thanks for the reminder that I belong.

    • You’re more than welcome. I think many of us often feel alone — especially artists. We are a different sort… I’m not like anyone I know… And yet I’ve met so many people like me — or who can I can relate to — right here on my blog…

      We all feel the wind and the rain and have both happy and sad times. You do belong. We all do.

      Thanks so much for sharing…

      • thank you doll. it was a great 1. hope the same for you :). honored that you still take the time to reply cuz i know you have a lot of comments and followers.

      • Of course! I always try to respond to everyone’s comments. The interaction with friends is what makes blogging fun!!! Also, just cuz I have a few more followers now doesn’t mean they all take the time to comment…

        I wish I had more time to stop by everyone’s sites. But I’d need like a million hours a day to dot that…

        By the way, where do you live in Florida again? I’m going to be in the Tampa area in a few weeks for a wedding.

      • Yeah I hear you. I do the same too even if it takes me a week to get back to them. Ah yes, very true.

        Ha, I know what you mean and totally agree.

        I live in the Daytona Beach area. It’s like 2 or so hours northeast of Tampa. Hope you have fun and are prepared to be warm :P

      • Well, maybe I’ll have to rent a car! Lol… But thanks. I’m sure it will be a good time. And, yes, I know Florida weather, though it’s been a few years since I was there. I’ll bring shorts!

        Hope you’re having a great week!

  7. I just took out the garbage. It’s a beautiful night out there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write. So, you have just my two stanzas:

    Too serene is the night
    Of the moon and the stars
    But to die in the lights
    Of the streets and the cars.

    In the wake of the storm
    Of the lake in my heart,
    A new world to be born
    Is still here to depart.

    I hope you enjoy!

      • I actually wrote the second stanza first, because of this post. With no idea about what else to say, I thought about the night I had just witnessed outside my home. It’s a bit formulaic with the first stanza, but anyway. Then, I reversed them to get the logic and the flow more or less coherent… Bye now. :)

      • I don’t know why my previous comment was deleted. However, I found your answer to my question in the post, “the thing about poetry,” on Aug 23, 2013. I like the way you write poems. It takes an inspiration, so that you have the content to begin with. Then, you elaborate it into something rhythmic, musical and magical. Very few poets keep the bar this high. It’s a rare find! Well, I must keep a distance lest you remove my comment again. I also like the fact that you keep the stanzas and the verses short, so that they serve more like reusable blocks to help the beginners learn from your creative writing. I like “the butterfly”, too. It’s quite free and full of life, especially with the second stanza alone.

      • Hmm… I guess you are busy. Is it common for English poets to take the approach of having a topic sentence or is that something you do uniquely as a signature? I know in Chinese classic poetry, this had been a convention for about 500 years until almost all Chinese poets finally got tired of it. In the strictest form of Chinese poetry, the second syllable of the first verse is the key note of the entire piece, also known as the eye of the poem, which can also serve as the keyword to express the theme. In any case, I don’t know anyone personally today who can write better than you. I hope you don’t mind answering some of the dumbest questions I may have regarding English poetry.

    • Thanks, Randy. And yes, I love any kind of water, especially when I’m by myself! Water is just so… peaceful. Hope you’ve had a great weekend! You’re heading back to Hong Kong soon, right?

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