29/ Sky

Blue skies scenario?  Bah!

In my opinion cloudy skies quite unfairly have a very poor press. Blue skies are beautiful only in the drawings of children with a smiling emoji, dandelion crayoned into a top corner.  Nothing but mononous blue skies from now on is the barmiest of well wishes you could blithely sing for our planet and the populations it supports.

Clouds nurture life, energy, our imagination.  Without the wondrous, never-ending cycle of evaporating ocean water, clouds, precipitation, evaporation... we would all just shrivel up and blow away.

After living for a while under the perennial blue, harsh and empty, sky of  the Arabian peninsular, I longed for the ever-changing, cloudy skies of these temperate Atlantic islands.   
I am in awe of artists (Turner, even Magritte...) whose imaginative visions impel them to paint the firmament in all its splendour.

I am forever grateful to writers who have acclaimed the beauty of cloudy skies.

Sometimes I see a cloud that’s dragonish/ A vapour sometimes like a bear or lion.

I am indebted to psychologists who explain this phemenon, pareidolia. The visualisation of a familiar form or object from random shapes.  I read somewhere that this atavistic trick (or is it tic?) is a flight or fight mechanism.  When you need to judge if that’s a face in the bushes, and whether it has bared fangs, or a grin, your life may depend on an ability to make nano second decisions.  The power of the smiley also comes from this; our facility to link together the lines and dots into the pattern of an expressive,  fully fleshed-out face.

The beauty of it is that once you’ve noticed a face, for example, in the cracks of a wall, or knots and worls of a wooden board, or the craters on the surface of the moon, it’s virtually impossible to un-notice it ever again. When you blink and look next time depite enormous mental effort on you part it’s probably still there.   But the shape in a cloud shifts as it drifts away.  Forming new illusions.  Look up, my friends.  Enjoy!

P.S. Since writing the above I’ve come across:


Well, now, nothing is original.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22686500 Pareidolia: Why we see faces in hills, the Moon and toasties.

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