Monday, June 22, 2009

Joanna's Cloud

Joanna and I were looking at the beach around Castletown in the long twilight recently. She saw this cloud and asked me to photograph it for her. We laughed because I was filling in for her daughter, Adrienne, who had been photographing very nearly everything. I know the feeling. The broad horizons, the shifting patterns of light on water, the dance of clouds and light are all too delicious and the thought of leaving them behind or not being able to share them prompts one to try to catch at least a hint of them in a photo.

The glowering grey of this cloud suggests that it was overcast or that a storm was imminent, but the rest of the sky was clear and the weather was mild. In fact, the shot to the left of this was a fragment of the lovely full-colour rainbows we got up here--you can see all the way to the V of the ROYGBIV (red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet for those of you who did not learn that particular acronym).

I did not ask Joanna why it was this cloud appealed to her. I don't recall why--perhaps because I, too, liked it; perhaps because I cheerfully did something just because she asked; perhaps, and most likely, because we were talking so fast and on so many levels that the moment passed and we were on to something else. We always talk fast; and we talked even faster knowing that our time together was brief.

When Joanna returned to the States, I got an email saying that they were back safely but that her mother was in hospital. The image of the storm cloud landed on me. Was it some sort of sense of impending doom? Serious illness does silly things to our thinking.

So for a few days now I have been under this cloud, so to speak. Worried about Joanna and Adrienne as they face this worry with thier mother and grandmother, and aching for their mother whom I know in her own right. There is a peculiar ache in worrying about friends at a distance: It is both easier to forget and yet harder to let go of because you can do so little about it from a distance.

As I dozed in bed this morning, BBC Four broadcast their "Thought for the Day". These prayers/thoughts/stories are always interesting, especially in a multiculutral society, so I listen and always take something away from them. This morning's was about the useless agitation we cause ourselves worrying along with a reminder of the toll it can take not only on us but also on our friends and loved ones. Along with the advice to put our own concerns into perspective and to give the big ones up to God, came the simpler easier advice to recognize that there is "much sanity in small tasks."

So I will line up all the nagging tasks that have too long needed doing and get on with them today. It may do nothing for Joanna's cloud, but I will reclaim some peace of mind to free me for whatever else comes my way and I will at least get some small order in my own wee corner of the universe.
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At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a beautiful foto of cloud // better than mine ever are // scorrie //

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

The cloud photo is marvelous.


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