Thursday, October 30, 2014

Clouds get in your way?

The World Series has been won (and lost). It's time for the boys of Summer to take their toys and put them away until next Spring. This morning I caught a glimpse of blue sky that cheered me mightily. Most of the time, though, the clouds look more like they're threatening snow than rain. I'm trying to sort out if it's the quality of the light, the clouds, both, other that seems to transform Summer skies that look like rain to Autumn or Winter skies that look like they're full of flakes. And sometimes, in fact often, threatening clouds do nothing but.

rain clouds? snow clouds? mixed?
rain clouds? snow clouds? mixed?
Photo by J. Harrington

When was the last time you lay on your back and decided what the clouds looked like? Don't you think it's time to try that again? After all, if it weren't for clouds, we wouldn't have sunrises like this one.

a cloud-enhanced sunrise
a cloud-enhanced sunrise
Photo by J. Harrington

Joni Mitchell sings about so many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way. That's probably true for many of us, including me all too often, but I'm slowly beginning to realize how insubstantial clouds really are. In fact, I've heard that sometimes they even have a silver lining, even if only to provide an opportunity to take a nap or to remember to listen to Simon and Garfunkle's version of Cloudy. And, I have it on very good authority that, no matter how cloudy the outlook after next Tuesday's elections, the world is unlikely to end no matter who wins or loses. Ralph Salisbury's Six Prayers should cover us.

Six Prayers

By Ralph Salisbury 

Thunderer     God of the turbulent sky     may
my turbulent mind shape
for my people
rain clouds
beans
pumpkins
and yams.

East Spirit
Dawn Spirit     may
birds awaken in
the forest of teeth
whose river     your color     must say
frozen mountains’
prayer that you
will loosen them.

Spirit of the North
whose star is our
white mark
like the blaze we chop in the black bark
where the trail home
divides
even in
our homes
we need
you to guide.

Spirit of the Sunset West
may gray clouds
hiding friends from me
glow
like yours
that we grope
toward each other through
a vivid rose.

Spirit of the South
direction of
warm wind
warm rain
and the winter sun
like a pale painting of a morning glory
help me     Spirit     that in my mind humble things
a man may give to his child may grow
the blue of berry
orange of squash
crimson of radish
yellow of corn
when the green of even the tallest pine
is wolf tooth white.

Spirit of the Earth
keeper of Mother Father
Sister Brother
loved ones all
once praying
as I pray
or in some other way
Spirit     the black dirt
is like the black cover of
a book whose words
are black ink I can
not read
but I place my brown hand
on snow
and pray that more than snow
may melt.


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