|"I've looked at clouds from both sides now / |
From up and down, and still somehow"
Bows and flows of angel hair,
And ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere,
I've looked at clouds that way.
But now they only block the sun,
They rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done,
But clouds got in my way.
I've looked at clouds from both sides now.
From up and down, and still somehow,
It's clouds illusions I recall.
I really don't know clouds at all.
~ From "Both Sides, Now" by Joni Mitchell, Clouds (1969).
|Clouds / thinking Joni Mitchell|
Clouds and their formations are fascinating to observe. They are grouped into three physical categories: cirri form, cumuli form or convective, and strati form. However, I'm not here to give a science lecture. Instead, to me, clouds are democratic ~ they come in all shapes and sizes ~ and while some appear puffy like huge expansive cotton balls, others look pretty darn threatening and ready to burst at any moment.
|Clouds / puffy, democratic|
Like an artist applying a paintbrush to a canvas, the clouds overhead create an atmospheric illusion, a chimera in the sky. Never content with staying in one place too long, they glide effortlessly across the Bay Area sky, usually from my left to right ~ north to south ~ as I look up at them while facing eastward. Of course, it's best when the clouds overhead don't appear too threatening.
There's a simple reward in observing clouds. For me, it's found in making the time ~ and having the patience ~ to appreciate their beauty. And, if I have my camera at the ready, all the better.
|"It's clouds illusions I recall / I really don't know clouds at all."|
Photographs by Michael Dickens, copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Video of Joni Mitchell singing "Both Sides, Now" courtesy of YouTube.