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A hundred words for clouds

>> 17 March 2009


I am in a plane to Rome, ten thousand feet above the earth. Above a blanket of sparsely clouds that look like and and old, worn sweater. Every inch of the earth below has been visited by men. The fields are orderly, the roads straight and the houses neatly aligned. It lacks originality as it is the same everywhere.

A few patches of snow start appearing here and there. Bright white against the dull, earthen surrounding. The landscape becomes a bit more bumpy, the roads a bit more bent. A bluish-gray river winds through it. It looks tamed: the same width from beginning to end with few and slight bends.

The picture below turns all white and suddenly manages to inspire awe and feeling. I wonder why and realize that it's lacking human influence. There are no roads here, no houses, no tamed nature. The mountains are rough. They look warningly dangerous yet so warmly affectuous. Wild nature as we rarely see it anymore.

Ten minutes later, the Alps have passed and the flat, brownish landscape looks like a sheet made of thousands of little fabric patches. There are no more clouds and the air is hazy, probably from the industry that starts appearing. There seem to be no trees at all. Which saddens me. How can you live in a place without a tree to hug?

Little sheep clouds seem to be running in the same direction. It is hillier and greener here. A strange winding river cuts through the hills in many different directions. The sheep become a woolen blanket. I have no idea where we are exactly and I wonder what it would be like to live down there.

The snow is back. It must be cold - but not windy, for the clouds are still in place. Or does it only look like that from up here?

A small lake in an enclave of brown, rough looking creases. I wonder whether it was here a million years ago.
A city appears and the wrinkles of the earth are being dug in by machines to extract the treasures that they are hiding.

The plane starts shaking, pumping adrenaline through my veins. I immediately think about my boys and husband. I used to love flying. I don't so much anymore. My ears block and I pinch my nose to blow them open. No, I don't really want to know what it's like to live down there.

The clouds are closing in, taking my view.
Eskimo's have a hundred words for snow. Do pilots have a hundred words for clouds?

***

I am reading 'If you want to write' by Brenda Ueland. While on a plane to Rome, I was looking out the window. The view and the messages in the book spurred me on to just write something.

5 comments:

Hilary 18 March 2009 at 09:12  

Lovely. I have a passion for places that are untainted by human intervention. I like to feel a connection to wilderness. There isn't much of that in Europe although the human footprint is beautiful there too. I am in Australia and I'm glad we still have a lot of wilderness here.

DebMc 20 March 2009 at 15:08  

Lovely post. I'm glad you were inspired to 'look' and 'savor' and write about what you saw and thought. Well done.

Enjoy your time in Italy. Amazing place. Your creative juices will stir!

MindFul MiMi 21 March 2009 at 11:11  

@ Hilary: thanks for visiting. Never been to Australia but would love to see all the wild spaces there.

@ DebMc: thank you. I like being inspired and actually having the time to write it down.

Terri 23 March 2009 at 02:24  

mmmm I love flying, if only for the views. I just read that book!

MindFul MiMi 25 March 2009 at 13:35  

@ Terri: let me know what you think about the book and what writing it inspired :-)

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