Clouds. They’re the perfect metaphor for illusion, aren’t they? They morph and we see myriad images, personal illusions, that aren’t really there. They aren’t there but we see them and sometimes we can point them out to other people and they share in the vision that isn’t really there. Often, not, though. Often, our partners can only find the pictures they are projecting in the clouds. The rarity of shared experience makes it feel more magical, more real when it happens. It confirms that we really are seeing an image that’s out there—and objectively so—even though we still know it isn’t real.
Clouds. It’s amazing how they form at various altitudes in the sky—some so high, they seem lightyears away; some so low, it seems as though you could reach out and touch them. They give visual depth to what would otherwise be an open, blue space. And if you were to fly up there, you’d know there was a difference in altitude by the temperature, the pressure, the sound, and the oxygen content. So there is a depth in altitude, but clouds add the illusion of hierarchy to those traits of the one blue sky.
Clouds. When we talk about them as though they are nothing, because they are nothing, we neglect the fact that they’re still there. No amount of our acknowledging their unrealness makes them go away. This is a clue that they are necessary illusions. They must exist, even though they don’t. It’s just how the sky works. It produces clouds and we make images and tell stories about those images. We say those images and stories are unreal because they are subjective, yet they feel more real, more alive, precisely because they are subjective. They come from us; they are us. They are us imagining beyond our limitations. Beyond mere clouds.
Clouds. They are fine with all that.