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Storms are not usually cheerful events. A storm outside is a dark blanket of clouds, a tornado whipping through the night, the power cutting out and leaving the house in darkness. And a storm inside speaks to me of anger, of confusion, of emotions growing too heavy and intense to continue carrying.

But storms can be laced with beauty, too.

I am a music girl. The perfect song can cut straight through to my soul, and the perfect concert is something that I don’t know how to put into words. One of my favorite memories in life, one of those crystal snapshots that you hold onto as tightly as you can, happened more than a decade ago when a storm and music collided. As I wrote about it at the time,

The show is delayed from a storm that rises up out of nowhere and whips through the venue, blowing straight through and taking the stagnant, 106 degree heat index with it as it leaves. The rain stops falling sideways and the winds die down and the crew removes the plastic covers from the instruments and the set. But even as the crowd cheers and the band takes the stage, the lightning stays in the distance, stubborn and indignant and here for the show.

I’ve never seen such a lightning storm until now. The voices and the guitars and the drums are singing together and the whole place is immersed in one loud song, in one loud dance, in one loud moment. As the music hits me straight through the middle, I turn to the left, to the right, and the lightning flashes silently across the sky. One flash after another, an endless parade of jagged knives cutting through the blackness and flashing through my peripheral, hour after hour. In a place that I love so much precisely because of the sound, the silence of it knocks me over. Somehow, here, it’s nothing but quiet.

I had found a beautiful storm. 

At Halfway Down the Stairs this quarter, we see inner turmoil, we see rainstorms and snowstorms, but we see a lot of beauty, too. I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all of our authors, each of whom has written a complex and beautiful contribution to our Storm theme. We hope that you all enjoy.

Carrie Bachler is a fiction editor at Halfway Down the Stairs.

© 2021, Carrie Bachler

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