Wind Bag

by John Olson

Last night I decided to go through my bag of wind and sort things out. I'm a hoarder, and wind is no exception. I collect winds.

I found two siroccos, five simooms, three foehns, eight Chinooks, ninety gales, thirty zephyrs, two nor'westers, a monsoon, a harmattan, one hundred flurries, two tornados, a Kabibonokka, a Wabun, a Shawndasee and three Mudjekeewis's, a packet of eight hundred squalls (they were on sale), a pair of gusts, a used but mint condition sirocco, and a mistral still soughing in the reeds of the Camargue (but without the actual Camargue). I got them all out on the floor where they growled and whistled and sighed and roared, puffed and huffed and bellowed and blew. It was hard keeping them separate. I wouldn't put it in a category with herding cats, but close. In the ballpark. Definitely in the ballpark.

I've never seen so many wafts. What was I doing with all these wafts? When I was I going to use a waft? Or a suspiration? Or a bluster? I do all my blustering myself. Was there an organization to which I could donate some of these puffs and whiffets?

Too bad the days of the clipper are gone. I still have some yachtsmen for clients, but mostly I keep the collection for my own enjoyment. My own private afflatus, as it were.

I attend conventions occasionally. Have you ever tried to pack a white squall with your T-shirts and underwear? It's not easy. I envy the bubble and foam crowd. But then, everything is always wet. You never find a nice dry pair of pants.

People call us wayward. We are. I freely admit it. We're a wayward bunch. It's the nature of the medium. If it doesn't blow your mind, it will blow you away. And if it doesn't do either, you're just not a wind person. Not a wind bag.

The Hindu say that Vayu, the Lord of the Winds and Deity of Life, is a deity of exceptional beauty and moves loudly and lordly in his shining coach, which is driven by two or forty-nine or one-thousand white and purple horses, and carries a white banner.

This wind is not in my collection. You cannot possess Vayu. You can only breathe Vayu. Inhale and exhale Vayu. It is not a collection. It is a rhythm.