And what if the sky, one miserable and weepy day, went up in a puff of smoke?

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And what if the sky, one miserable and weepy day, went up in a puff of smoke, and the azure or lapis lazuli it was accustomed to produce was no more? Because if there was one thing I could always count on, it was the sheer size, hue, and predictability of the firmament. Alas, no more. It was now, apparently, the site of a great battle. The last battle? Who knows.

We are, you and I, sitting on a dewy carpet. Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Do you feel the slight tingly breeze? Do you notice how disarming the pallor of your skin can be when sunshiny flecks deposit themselves athwart your bare arms? And I want to tell you that as a means of connecting more deeply with the world (and it’s unfathomable mysteries), I force myself to re-learn something everyday. Though this exercise may seem wistful to you, I can stake my reputation on its illimitable effectiveness. Today I re-learned the meaning of clouds.

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18 Comments

  1. I think that it’s both a creative and thoughtful pursuit to isolate and treasure what we take for granted one wonderful thing at a time. And then to write about it-beautiful. Kudos, Prospero!

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  2. Wow!

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  3. Such a beautiful musing!

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    • Thank you, Emily. I acknowledge your contribution further down in the comments…

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      • Ah yes! Thank you 🙂 I love your comments about re-invention too. So true! Although I do often re-visit my images again and again to revise and reinvent them, there is a certain point, I feel where you need to ‘commit’ to something. The same it is with words; at some point you will need abandon your grass and move on – no?

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      • Abandoning grass, such a heresy! And now I’m becoming fully aware that grass is a euphemistic expression for a particularly well known stimulant–not what I meant, but it does demonstrate the depth and reach of words, while concomitantly explaining why language is such a fantabulous playground; heck, even made-up words are allowed on the seesaws and, looking over there, the monkey bars!

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  4. How propitious—or prosperopitious……I have been lately working on a poem about the sky, and here is this lovely meditation. Not only that, you’ve reminded me that I am a card-carrying member of The Cloud Appreciation Society (out of the UK) and have been abominably lax about keeping current with the wonders to be seen on their website……thank you!

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    • Cynthia, once you have renewed your membership at the Cloud Appreciation Society, which I highly recommend, you may want to look into doing the same at the Guild of Word Coiners, whose bi-weekly meetings take place in the treacly atmosphere of the International House of Pancakes nearest you, and while not wanting to seem like an advocate for the group, I must tell you that the membership is free, which is quite sensible (since that is the sum total of its worth, if one is in a generous frame of mind), as it is of little practical use to anyone, with the possible exception of wayward souls and those that have had the misfortune of being indoctrinated in the journalistic profession for more than a fortnight.

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  5. ‘Sniffles’ you mean no more cotton candy wisps to dream about? No more a walk-in-the-clouds?

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  6. I changed ‘sitting on a comfortable green carpet’ to ‘sitting on a dew-dampened, viridescent carpet’ because all compositions are or should be, in my mind, volatile. The problem with a painting is that it is static. We frame it and leave it untouched for days, years, decades, centuries, and except for the ravages of humidity and such things (and I must point out that the detritus of humidity is a comment in itself and should not be so easily dismissed), it is always the same. I’m dismissing the effect of morning light, as opposed to late afternoon light, on the viewer as it does not support my hypothesis. The cinema isn’t any better. Have you noticed that a film is always played at the same speed and that the scenes are always in the same order? Thank goodness for the dvd player, where one may alter the position of scenes or fast-forward through others (particularly useful in the Batman series).

    But why make this change? Because the obvious conclusion to this musing (thank you, Emily) is that grass (dewy carpet for those paying attention) will be tomorrow’s re-invention.

    Dang, is dewy better than dew-dampened? Another re-write… Another re-invention.

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    • Dew-dampened……it takes longer to absorb

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      • The polemicist (first the subversive intent, then the sound) versus the poet! Still, you are right– dewy carpet…

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  7. Ha, the dewy-carpet that you refer to can now be bought at the big box stores here in the States as “astro turf” for your lawn. No more mowing, watering or brown lawn – all green plastic, oh and did I tell you that some varieties even have brown little flecks to look like the real deal. Embarrassing rubbish ~

    What a sad day you paint Prospero with no sky or wandering clouds, or beautiful plantings especially your Lapis Lazuli with no sweet fragrance to grace the air, or sunrise/sunsets colors to punctuate our visions of natures own exclamation point. Ah no, I would rather sit on the dewy carpet and take a deep breath of fresh air and exhale as a full sigh of contentment.

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    • Naturally, artificial grass is not within my purview; however, painting sad days and plumes of smoke–now emanating worryingly from the Middle East–is my prerogative. For those unfortunate people, the smoke is real–for me it’s a cloud. Some day, the tables may be reversed, and that tacit acknowledgment has, I think, something to do with empathy–and that is the truest intent of the scribblings on this page.

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      • A better understanding and for me now this vision represents not a dark cloud, but a black steel cloud that will take something extraordinary to break it apart. A very sad moment in our history, because the price that humanity is paying may never be recovered – I’m nervous for today and the unseen, the unknown. I fear there is some truth in your words. I’m sure our conversation would be more substantial as we gazed up at the sky.

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      • But I’m an optimist, Mary.

        It goes something like this: it’s smoke (first paragraph); no it’s clouds (second paragraph). No, it is smoke (reality, think Middle East and a decade of war). No, it’s clouds (all battles eventually end).

        But, kicking and screaming, I’m an optimist at heart. Is there such a thing as a cynical optimist? That would be me—a living, breathing (oxy)moron!

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  8. i am closed to tears this morning, reading this. today i re-learned the meaning of beauty.
    and something like a little bird flutters in me, such unbearable tenderness for the world…

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    • Writing is like being in a wilderness, and, with tall grasses hither and thither poking you in the eye, it is difficult to know the lay of the land, until, that is, someone, a soft-spoken and kindred soul, validates your efforts. Thank you, dearest.

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