In the watercolour wash blue of the midafternoon sky, clouds block the sun.
They hurl shifting shadows on to the ground below. I throw my jumper off, tip my head and spread my arms wide to wallow in the warmth. Almost immediately, I have to drag my jumper on again, as I’m plunged into shade. A chill runs the length of my body.
I want the clouds to clear, immediately.
Closing my eyes, I notice clumped areas of fogginess inside me. My right hip, and my left little finger are indistinct entities. Many small phantoms flit across my forehead. What are they? What is kept there?
I want these too to clear, immediately, and leave my internal world a bright, limitless sky.
To distract myself, I decide to get interested in looking at the sky above, and remember that The Cloud Appreciation Society have been responsible for changing my opinion of clouds. External, and internal.
Gareth Pretor-Pinney speaks of clouds as ‘Nature’s poetry’. The Society pledges to fight ‘blue-sky thinking wherever we find it… Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day’. They’re right, aren’t they?
Clouds are indeed wonderful and varied.
From the wisps that are the high cirrus clouds, to the vertically rising, bubbling cumulonimbus. From the little puff cakes of the middle layer of Altocumulus, to their companions the stretched, stringy altostratus.
Today’s clouds are cirrus- I would guess. They are a fine spreading mist, observed by a half moon, perching steady above them. I watch their slow motion, as they widen and spread to veil the sky. Like a skin, too thin. Or as if the sky wanted privacy.
Watching their forms bend and turn, with the smooth running of a yacht cutting through a calm sea, I’m re-inspired. I find the courage to look at those internal clouds.
As I touch their qualities in my body and mind, each frustrating, annoying, blocking little patch of absence of clarity starts to shift and shape change. And my forehead clears.
Writing Prompt – Watching clouds...
Write a piece of prose using the following prompt:
“Clouds suit my mood just fine.”
Can your words form shapes as endlessly varied as the clouds?