Someone recently wrote to me and it was pretty clear that they had spent a fair amount of time reading these archives, which is greatly appreciated. They did, however, have some questions about what exactly I mean by “cloudcalling” and how all of that works in my mind.
The other day, during a mid-afternoon moment of wondering where I should put my energy, what I should do with my time, I decided to accept whatever is willed for me, that what I needed to do would make itself apparent to me.
Reflexively, I looked up at the sky and I saw clouds.
Because I am a longtime observer of nature, I have noticed that there are a number of characteristic patterns that determine the growth and form of elements and the living things that arise from them. In my mind, based on the work of folks like D’Arcy Thompson and Buckminster Fuller, as well as common sense, growth and form are impacted by forces at work in our natural world.
What does this have to do with clouds and what does this have to do with the pictures they make?
My thinking about what shapes the clouds is rooted in a few basic assumptions about the physical workings of the world. I know, for example, that wind exists, and that gravity exerts a pull on all material. I know that light is reflected differently at different angles and I know, also, that within our atmosphere is a great and unseen swirling sea of electricity and magnetism.
I know that electricity and magnetism exist as forces within our natural world and that different frequencies and different wave patterns impact how matter is distributed under their influence.
In regard to clouds, it occurred to me, upon witnessing a tendency for certain shapes to repeat themselves, that perhaps geoelectrical and magnetic forces, in addition to wind and heat, light and moisture, may affect how clouds form, what shapes they take. To a meteorologist, this is probably a well-known fact, but I am not a meteorologist and recognizing that sky is in a constant state of turning and pulling, dispersion and vapor was a little bit of a revelation for me. Somewhere in these archives, I have written about how different the world seems when you realize that the sky is not a flat, dead, plane of fluff and air, when you realize that air itself is alive.
Around the time I really began to lose my mind, I had started to notice that the forms assumed by the clouds seemed to look a lot like letters, or parts of letters. They also looked, at times, like faces, holding something of a universally recognized composition, a ratio between negative space and positive space, a relation between forms and structures. I saw, also, that the edges of the condensed cloudforms were sometimes sharp, as if being held back or cut cleanly by something I could not see.
Because of my state of mind during the time I was making these initial observations, I immediately concluded that maybe something like what we think of as God was at work. I wondered why it seemed like the clouds were responsive to my attention and my focus, why the more I looked at them and the more I allowed myself to be amazed by what I saw and what it told me of how the universe works that the more fantastic and telling the shapes became, shifting into vaguely familiar symbol and what looked to be stories, of animals and wars and great waves and howling faces and shards of light upon birds with wings outstretched.
I am not sure if the feeling I have, at times, when I study the sky is a feeling that is given to me by the sky or if it is a feeling that I create in my response to the sky.
My thinking about this involves some conjecture about our individual electrical and magnetic fields, our capacity to be sensitive to and connected with the natural world. So, it is possible that our individual frequencies can attune to some force in the collective workings of the multiverse and that we can feel it and it, somehow, can feel us – though perhaps not in the way that we think, consciously, about feeling.
I have wondered if maybe, a long time ago, before televisions and work schedules and days spent indoors, if people looked to the sky as something directly related to God and if they noticed different patterns, different light plays. I know that they did.
I wonder if, at certain turnings in the earth’s evolution, certain forces were at work, and if – when these forces were at work, when these forces are at work – the natural world responds in certain ways, certain angles, certain rare formations. A long time ago, there were probably people who watched the skies and people who could feel when the shapes may indicate certain forces at work.
I imagine that some people wrote down the shapes that they saw, or some aspect of them, because these shapes felt important, like messages.
In my observations, I have witnessed scraps of every written language in the world.
I don’t know if I can really call the clouds. It seems far more reasonable to believe that I can only watch them and that what they do is done utterly independent of me and my attentions, my headspace and heart space.
Maybe it’s not so much calling clouds as seeing them, pulling forth the forms they carry and feeling the weight of some imagined significance.
One day, I’d like to do an experiment, with other people who like clouds and are interested in curious human phenomena. I’d like to sit in a field with friends and watch the clouds like I do here and I’d like to see what arises in the forms held by the sky. I’d like to look at the sky with other people who might see it the way I do.
Thanks for reading…