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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. 29th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)
I was going to make the point myself that much good writing -- certainly most of the things I get complimented for -- are unintentional, spontaneous, rather that the sentences over which I've slaved so long.

But apart from that, it was merely an example in an entry that had many things to love. I could have snatched out a dozen other sentences for special mention. But still it's the overall feeling of this entry that makes me like it so much.
Dec. 30th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC)
Many thanks, again. Being able to write that post stemmed from being able to slow down and soak up the scene -- not just visually. And then I came home and wrote it while it was still fresh, and it didn't take long at all -- which is uncommon; most of the time, writing involves sweating out each word, little drops of consonants and vowels.
Dec. 30th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
Most of the time, if something I'm writing isn't fairly effortless, it doesn't end up in my LJ at all. This is less a philosophical belief and more a practical fact: things get in the way and it never gets finished unless it gets finished quickly! But I do find that's the best way to do it. Sometimes there are things important enough to me that I struggle with them for days (I'm doing that now actually) and though I'm often very pleased with myself when those are done, no one else seems to do more than blink and scroll past. :)

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