I remember clouds

Not demanding, but infusing their request to see them through my own lens – to give them form, shape and message they’re unconscious of.

Who are they, what do they look like? What are they becoming? Look! Oh, you missed it.

Whether shape-shifting or stratus, clouds stimulate my mind while protecting my skin from a surfeit of sunlight. We look, we imagine, we dream.

Can creativity exist in clear skies with endless horizons? Sure. But it takes a different form, pointing out contrasts, bright light and dark shadow. We say with words rather than thoughts, action instead of inference. Clear skies and sentences show us sources and tell us where to go. Cloudy skies, textured shade and thought-provoking work point us in a direction. After that, we’re on our own.

Back in my aviation and advertising days – severe clear was good. “Who’s your audience and what do you want them to do?” CAVU and KISS.

But even then there was a wonderful, mystical feeling to look up from the instruments to see light, the something that’s nothing – like driving thru fog. But flying demands unclouded focus. Sometimes I prefer to just absorb clouds as they are, without the distraction of focus. Or, as I moved from advertising to public relations, to see (and sometimes be) the source of people’s changing attitudes and behavior.

Most of life is somewhere in between. But that shaft of sunlight on a cloudy day and shadows chasing across a desert on a sunny day show us.

Show us whatever we’re open to seeing.

Some people are immune to beauty from any source. Myopically wrapped in themselves, they’ll appreciate whatever mirrors their fears and exaggerates the few joys they permit in their wardrobe-sized lives. When I agree with their tunnel-vision focus, I admire their devotion. When I don’t, I’m at a loss. For words. For images. For a way to go back to my old black-and-white bright sunshine and shadow days.

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