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Laughing clouds' bellies

I stopped at the drug store at about 4:50 this afternoon and asked for my pills. They weren’t ready. Thirty minutes more.

Run another errand.

I drove south, then west and saw the singing sky, an opera of light. The sun had hidden behind horizon hills, but fat sunbeam fingers tickled the bottoms of the clouds. The laughing clouds’ bellies glowed pink. No, gold. Orange? Over there, violet. Purple? Shining spangles against a backdrop of gray. No, silver.

Silhouetted, tall maples’ branches stretched skyward. At the treetops, swarming starlings, perched or flocking in flight. Branches, birds, all black. Behind, the insistent sunset.

I stopped at the store and parked, closed the car door and stood, head tilted, drinking in the sky. How to describe? How to describe the brook trout, finned delicate technicolor treasure? How to describe the filament of the Milky Way? How to describe crocus, blue jay, breeze, joy, life?

Passerby jolts my reverie: “You looking at the sky?”


“It’s something. I just told my wife a camera couldn’t capture it.”

“I was just standing here trying to figure out how I could describe it,” I said. “And I can’t.”

I stepped into the store. I needed calendars. One a little book, 365 days, hours divided into quarters, appointment slots. The other big, flat, a tablecloth of time for the desk. Days. To-do lists. Structure. Schedule. Order.

I walked outside again. No laughing clouds. No unnameable colors. Sun. Set. Sullen. Dark. December.


Dec. 27th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
And thank God the solstice is behind us.

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Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”


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