Tuesday 16th June ’20, 19:52.
When I was a kid, my grandmother had a strange habit- more of a ritual- of turning off and unplugging all the electricals, and drawing closed the curtains in the house during a thunderstorm. In the rooms with naked windows, she would turn the standing mirrors face-down and cover those with glass exposed.
It made sense to me that she would do this with the appliances- tv, video recorder, satellite box- but I wondered about the purpose of the mirrors. It was never said explicitly; I came to piece together my own reasons for it. My grandfather had been struck by lightning once, so I was told, and perhaps once more, or it was a near miss. Was the process behind the mirror-veiling rooted in subduing the flashes, stopping them before they had a chance to crack off the panes? My mind sometimes wandered to fire and electrocution. I couldn’t imagine lightning bolts would be so afraid of their own reflections that they would recoil at the sight of themselves.
We’ve had two storms so far this meteorological Summer, one on Saturday and one earlier this evening. I often remark how my body responds to thunder: the sharp-hot tingle from my fingertips, through my hands, up my arms and to my shoulders, the wisdom tooth that pulses with the sensation of a smacked face swell, numb and effervescent over my left cheek. Being affected as I am by the weather makes me feel special: I am a conductor, I am being charged up. We are all natural beings, so why wouldn’t we be nature-responsive?