Can I ask you something? When was the last time that you looked up at the clouds? I am not talking about a quick glance upwards to check the rain status. No, I mean the last time that you really just looked up to appreciate the beauty of the clouds. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society, thinks that clouds are unfairly used for a doom and gloom metaphor and has decided to uses his Ted talk to show us some pictures to change the perception.
Are clouds really used as a metaphor for doom?
When someone is depressed “they’re under a cloud” when bad news is approaching “there’s a cloud on the horizon.” Until I watched Gavin’s Ted talk I had never really thought about clouds as being seen as a bad thing. Then again until I watched Rives talk a few days ago I never thought that 4 a.m. was such a historical shorthand for bad things. A cloudy night at 4 a.m. must be really bad news then!
Gavin says that people are just not stopping to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of clouds and the only time anyone pays attention to clouds is if it’s blocking the sun. He refers to clouds as the modern inkblot images that psychologists used on patients in the 60s. How true is that? I bet two people could be standing side by side and looking up at the same cloud and see a totally different thing depending on their mood and experiences. That’s one way to check in on what’s going on inside of you, look up at the clouds and see what they represent to you.
Why this matters?
Clouds are this omnipresent natural occurrence that are kind of awesome (am I using the word right, Jill Shargaa?) and we just become too wrapped up in the everyday moments and all the different things competing for our attention that we never really stop to appreciate what is right in front (or above) us.
Many of us when we were kids would spend hours drawing pictures in our imaginations with the clouds. We were living in the moment and not around it. What else are we missing out on because we are too busy to take a moment to appreciate what’s around us? Nature is obviously a big one, it’s beauty often gets lost in a busy world, but what about each other? I recently published a post about how our antisocial phone tricks are making us neglect the people all around us.
I think that it’s important to find time each day to disconnect from the busyness and take a mindful 10 minutes to just be in the moment and appreciate what is right in front or above you. You might just be surprised at what you see.
Have you done any cloud spotting lately? What did you see? Let me know in the comments below.