Cloudy Images

I saw big, white, billowy clouds in the June blue sky today. They were like giant soft stones, hovering above me, still and silent.

I wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t think I could do them justice. A picture can’t capture the essence of a cloud. A picture doesn’t really capture anything does it?  It lasts longer than a memory, but it’s false. If I’ve ever been moved by the sight of a beautiful flower, and I mean moved almost to tears, if I took a picture of that flower, all of the emotion I felt for it was absent in the resulting photographic image.

I want to talk about beauty, because sometimes I think it is what matters most in life.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”  Now, I’m not a practicing member of any religious sect, but I do believe that the universe didn’t just come into existence for no reason. I see God and the universe (as we know it) as being one and the same. Every cloud, every flower, every tree, every animal, every natural thing spills from God’s pen and fills our minds and souls (if souls exist) with what I think of as God.

I’m not sure if I put that as eloquently as I wanted, but words are like photos. They aren’t enough to capture the essence of what we want to express. I’m compelled to keep trying, because I’ve read beautiful poetry and prose. I’ve been moved to tears by the words of skillful writers. When that happens to us, we become more than what we were before.

I don’t think that human beings can create beauty. We are not God. We can’t bring things into existence out of nothing. What we can do is illuminate beauty. We can describe it to others so that they might appreciate what we have experienced. When we do this we get a little closer to each other, and we perhaps find our own way to God, or to the universe if you like.

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