The rain is back, sprinkling lightly at first through the soft grey afternoon and then, in the darkening evening, falling faster, soaking the ground, pooling, trickling, rushing, wearing things away. I am aware that I am repeating myself, old images running through my mind, like the same rain falling year after year. The past erodes and comes back changed, but still the same thing, a variation of what has been, like a persistent theme in another key. How many paintings of the cathedral did Monet do? How many water lilies, variations of one another, became further variations under his brush as it moved across the canvas like clouds across the sky, dropping the rain that would reshape the world? All my thoughts are rain, and erosion, and returns that are never quite the same and never new.