Rows and flows of angel hair ... And ice cream castles in the air ... And feather canyons ev'rywhere ... I've looked at clouds that way ... as is the first stanza of Joni Mitchell's classic "Both Sides Now." Last Sunday, August 11, 2013, the fantastic rearrangement of God's celestial "deck chairs" was a sight to behold, and more than worth the 40 minutes to take these photos, and the far longer time it took to "right" the images and create this post ... and yes, while I clicked, and stroked the appropriate spots of my computer, I heard the strains of Joni Mitchell, and fainter strains of Judy Collins.
"Both Sides Now," released way back in 1969, is Joni's iconic reflection of one's reflective truth within ones's individual purposeful existence, while growing older in America, then and now.
Whether it was Joni Mitchell's version in 1969, or Judy Collins's Grammy winning cover in that same year, or the Randy Scruggs's (Earl Scruggs's boy) arrangement in collaboration with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's album, Will the Circle be Unbroken, or Joni's more Jazz oriented version as she grew older; no longer able to hit those piercing high notes but with far greater control over the phrasing of these poetic words, I have always loved "Both Sides Now."
Take a moment to absorb the esoteric words of this lovely song, and please enjoy the video if you are unfamiliar with this melodic work of art or just wish to refresh your memory of your youth, and this good music.
Both Sides Now
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons ev'rywhere
I've looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
Not unlike the Joni Mitchell's "ice cream castles in the air" and "feather canyons ev'rywhere" these clouds were like a natural, but most beautiful phenomenon - billowing higher, outrageous, yet familiar shapes erupting from the nimbus, the cumulus, back-curtained by the illuminating cirrus clouds behind and above.
Quickly the evening darkens, the dying colors growricher in somber tone, and then the multi textural clouds gain what color that is brought forward from the sun drifting lower below that bank of thick nimbus clouds, stretching across the western horizon, and I realize my best choice is to click away, and observe the magnificence all around at a later appointed time.
Those observations would occur at appointed times again and again, as I expended the time consuming process of putting these images, and the images of many other shots from that evening, to right, preparing them to be used here and others at some other occasion.
Remarkable, majestic, odd are just a few of the adjectives one might use to describe the visual drama all about me this evening. In my final analysis, I would concur that, "I really don't know clouds at all".
As one might ascertain, should one visit this publication on a regular basis, I take pictures quite often - many of Washington at sunset. And often as I witness, in complete awe and often an all consuming wonder of God's natural splendor, the changing skies, the visual beauty, I hear old and new songs in my head. This time the credit goes to Joni Mitchell, and you too can enjoy her jazzy more recent version of her classic "Both Sides Now" here below.
This post appears courtesy of our sister site, Beaufort County NOW, with their expressed permission.