The sky is something I ignored during the early years of my life, too focused on what was in front, or on the ground, or what I was leaving behind…
But somewhere along the line I began to find wonder and beauty in the sky, and I try to remember to look up daily. It isn’t hard to get a good view where I live–rural areas offer us an extraordinary accessibility. Here, the sky spreads itself out for the viewer, an expected gift that in its constancy becomes routine, ordinary–except that it isn’t.
The sky lives in a state of fugue–a sort of amnesia as it relates to its previous state–not caring or considering what it was before or what it is moving toward.
Maybe the poet Louis Jenkins got it right–it really would be great to be a cloud, to have aspirations to be nothing more than a precipitous mass floating over people’s heads and amassing colorful infusion in coordination with the sun. There is something that makes you feel good looking at clouds…something that diminishes the detailed bits of jabberwocky that sometimes fill our minds.
One of the good things about getting older is that no one asks anymore “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Or later on, “What do you do?” Questions for which I never had a good answer. Nowadays everyone assumes I’m retired, and that I have no ambition whatsoever. It isn’t true. It is true that it’s too late for me to become an Olympic champion swimmer or a lumberjack, but my ambitions are on higher things. I want to be a cloud. I’ m taking some classes and have a really good instructor. I don’t want to be a threatening storm cloud, just one of those sunny summer clouds. Not that I won’t have a dark side, of course. I’d like to be one of those big fat cumulus clouds that pass silently overhead on a beautiful day. A day so fine, in fact, that you might not even notice me, as I sailed over your town on my way somewhere else, but you’d feel good about it.