“I like the clouds… the clouds that pass… there… there… the wonderful clouds!”
Charles Baudelaire, the stranger
“As a cloud crosses the sun, silence falls on London; and falls on the mind. Effort ceases. Time flaps on the mast. There we stop; there we stand. Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame. Where there is nothing, Peter Walsh said to himself; feeling hollowed out, utterly empty within. Clarissa refused me, he thought. He stood there thinking, Clarissa refused me.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Sliding in stealthily off the coast is a fat slab of cumulus, its belly warmed by the sun’s passing. Deep, dense and dark it is; the result of a northern cyclone. Ribs of waves usher it forward with frothy lips. It creeps low and bulges with volition. Gorging on stars and moonlight. It belches cool air.
Craig Silvey, Rhubarb
A typical European film opens with golden, sunlit clouds. Cut to even more splendid bouffant clouds. Cut again to yet more magnificent, rubescent clouds. A Hollywood film opens with golden, billowing clouds. In the second shot a 747 jumbo jet comes out of the clouds. In the third, it explodes.
favourite joke among film distributors, from Robert McKee in Story
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer talked about the romantic notion of the general cosmic power. This cosmic power clashes with human existence. The clash frequently leads to personal tragedy.
Clouds and sky a Ladybird illustration by Robert Ayton
What if you could befriend a cloud? What weather would you choose? What if the weather matched your mood, whether you want it to or not?
NOTABLE PICTURE BOOK CLOUDS
In the dead of winter of 1968 a newborn baby boy lay alone in a crib in an English Orphanage waiting for fate to decide what was to become of him. Who could have imagined that 12 months later he would be learning to walk through the bright red dirt of one of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth; the Australian Outback. But this was just the beginning of his magical, gut wrenching and joyous journey to find himself and his place in the world. That little boy was me and this is my story.
Header painting: René Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967), daily bread, oil on canvas, 91.6 x 69.8 cm