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All that's thought, To rapid clouds

Author: Kelly O'Donnell
Year: Future

Painted wisps on an endless canvas, slipping over the horizon too fast to read. Too impatient to grab them, I let them go so I can see what's next. When I have the time, I'll look at them. I'll carve out a minute, an hour, a whole afternoon. I'll sit in the garden and watch them roll, the constant stream of credits and references and links. One day, when I have the time, I'll catch some. Maybe even write them down.

Not today though, of course not today. Today I have To-Do this, I have To-Do that, of course it can't be today. It'll be one day, maybe soon…probably not. I'm certain that when that day comes, the clouds will still be there. I know that they seem to disappear beyond my sight, but I'm sure that's just a trick of the light. When I need them, they'll roll back in, and I'll reach up and pluck them. They'll be fuller then too, heavy and rounded.

It wouldn't make sense to take that much note of them now, they're nothing, not really. They need time to shape up and merge and become beautiful. Not that they're ugly, of course they're not ugly, they're just not quite perfect: not ready.

These are the excuses I tell myself, to forgive myself for not looking up as often as I should. Even when I give myself that much needed time, all I can think about is how lovely it will be when I have the real time to look. Not the time I'm in, not the looking I'm doing: that future time, that golden time, where the looking will be different and more like doing.

Outside of myself, I can see the way I spin my own inertia, ignoring the emptiness I feel. I gather up imitation threads of cotton and let the bluster of life replace my skies with dust and sand, and I let myself believe that it’s all too high up for me to make any real difference.

I'm looking, I'm looking RIGHT NOW! Why will it be different in a year? In five years? My eyes are getting worse all the time, what makes me think that now isn't good enough? Is the sky at fault? Is it the direction I’m facing? Or is it something else, something that's more difficult to acknowledge. The problem is my fear of what will happen when I finally take a cloud into my hands. To handle something so abstracted and important, surely it will turn to mist in my palms and be ruined forever.

When it comes to capturing a cloud, I have to act fast. I have to be one with the moment, with myself, standing underneath those advancing drifts. I have to pick up my pen, my brush, my lens and grab it while I can. Clouds don’t come back from beyond the horizon and waiting won’t make one bit of difference.

Little by little, my collection grows. The clouds never slow, but my hand gets quicker.