Rows and Floes Of Angel Hair


If I were a painter I would paint only clouds. I would rig my canvas on the washing line so I could lie underneath like a mechanic, capturing the clouds in their race to the horizon. I would infuriate the lady at the art shop by buying her white paint in bulk and sometimes her blue. Other artists would come in and point and whisper, muttering underneath their breath at my singular subject matter and how their skin tones remained dark because of my white paint stockpile.

‘ You can’t stop me,’ I’d say. ‘ I’m on a mission.’

On days when sunlight suffused my eyes and my pupils swelled, I would grab the ladder and climb the stringybark tree, conversing briefly with the wood pigeons before surveying the clouds. One of my famous paintings would be Clouds Thru The Branches. People would clamour like housewives at a shoe sale to buy it, offering me exorbitant sums. I would give it free to a person with a brim on his hat as blue as the sky.

A poet I had never met would win a literary prize based on my series in oils – Cumulus is next to Godliness. He would be witty and profound at the same time. I would go to his book launch and sit in cognito up the back, too shy to meet him, even though I had fallen in love with him a little bit.

I would get a cat. Fluffy and white. I would call him Cirrhus. He would lie in the sun looking like his fur was made of clouds caught by hunters in the sky.

I would listen to music with woodwind and strings, invoking the spirits of the air, asking them to fill the skies with angel’s hair.

I would imagine castles, flowers, entire magical worlds in the air.  The wind touching them with awe, reverence. I would come to believe that clouds were evidence other worlds exist.

Sadly, I cannot paint. My ability to catalogue clouds is limited. But I can sleep on  downy pillows, counting clouds like sheep.

{Image by Rattattart at Deviant Art.}

23 thoughts on “Rows and Floes Of Angel Hair

  1. I can’t paint clouds … they come out looking like lumps of marshmallow. But, photography! Since the cloud formation will never be the same again, they put a stamp on your photograph that identifies it as YOURS as clearly as if you’d put your signature on it.


    I do love photographs of clouds. You’re right – they will never be the same again, like snowflakes. Such a wonder of nature!

    I would love a big, fluffy white cat. How cool would that be?


  3. I am a cloud lover too, and this delightful ode to clouds left me smiling as I head out to work this morning!


  4. Before I moved back home, before this January, and we had our pool put up, my favourite thing after a day of writing was to go and float in the pool and watch clouds. If I squeezed my eyes hard enough I could spot small specks of vultures high in the sky and I wondered if they were waiting for me to croak. But I’m a cloud lover too- actually I think I’m really a sky lover, the bigger the better, the clouds are part of the deal.

    Can’t wait for this cold weather to pass and I can get back to floating.


  5. to watch clouds and create them on canvases, to show off their beauty, such a fantasy this is, and oh, what a lovely dream!


  6. You had me hooked with the title. Both Sides Now is MY FAV SONG of all time. I am a huge Judy Collins fan (actually saw her in concert at Stratford years ago). The story that followed was pure and sweet. Wonderful words to savor here, as usual.

    Hugs, G


  7. You may not be able to paint with brushes, but you do know how to paint pictures with words.


  8. JOSIE:
    There’s something about clouds that always cheers me. I don’t know what it is. Just something magical about them!

    There is something glorious about floating in a pool watching the clouds roll by – even if there are vultures. Yikes. An image infused with your usual humour. LOL.

    It would be incredible to be able to do it, wouldn’t it? Maybe in my next life I’ll be able to paint….

    Judy Collins does do a FAB version of ‘Both Sides Now’ but I also like Joni Mitchell’s version. You won’t believe who also does an amazing version – Frank Sinatra. My Dad has a copy of it. It has harpsichord in it and sounds brilliant!

    What a lovely thing to say. That has made me feel really good!

    Thanks, hon. But I am also good at potato prints. It was Nick’s favourite thing to do when he was about four. We did it day after day. Drove me mad. Do you know how long it takes to carve a bunny shape into a potato? Too long! Aaaah, those were the days!

    I remember you posting not long ago about wishing you could paint. You can definitely paint with words. I’d hang one of your poems on my wall. No question!

    I do like my whimsy. What would life be without it?

    It’s definitely up there. Hahaha. My dream is to go on a road trip through the US because there are such wide open spaces there and I could just look up at the sky all day long!

    Can’t beat a good cloud formation. I am not joking when I say this but I saw one that looked like a heart the other day. I was with a couple of friends and they saw it too. We have spent days trying to figure out if it was a sign of some sort!


  9. Hi there. You’re gorgeous, inside and out, Selma.
    Be sure to click on Lisa Allender Writes–there’s a surprise waiting for you. Just scroll down, you’ll see something that directly affects YOU!!Peace, woman.


  10. Ah, one of Joni Mitchell’s timeless tunes ~ you’d love my neighbour. She has a room filled with her cloud paintings ~ I love when she goes on a holiday and I look after her house. I could stare at her clouds forever.


  11. MELEAH:
    I didn’t know you could paint. You just have so many skills. I hope I can see some of your art one day. I can imagine clouds must be extremely difficult to paint. So beautiful, though. *sigh*


  12. What a lovely descriptive piece….clouds formations are always intriguing to me as well and have tried on many occasions to capture them with my camera. I especially love to watch them turn colour during twilight from my back deck. The river runs below and up above and ever changing canvas of light and colour.


  13. DANA:
    You sound like you are in an absolutely gorgeous spot with the river and everything. Oh, I would love that. I would be out on that deck all the time. Thanks for the Joni clip. The woman was (and is) a genius IMO!


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