Proving God w/ Clouds: Reflections in Early August + Cloud Gallery


Is this a common thing to be seeing all the time?

Why am I seeing this stuff? Are other people seeing this stuff?

There are little flashes of the maddening urgency of 2010, the first time she took a deep dive into cloud watching and totally lost her mind, became crazy in the context of a unique set of extraordinary pressures and chaos dynamics that she was utterly unprepared to navigate well.

She hadn’t ever really even thought about God that much, though admitted to herself a quiet, stubborn agnosticism, a belief in something that just wouldn’t go away no matter how hard she tried to believe that there was nothing, no matter how hard she tried to be an atheist. She could say – sitting by the heat exhaust smoking cigarettes outside of Kramer Hall, c. 1997, black tapered pants, nerdy white socks, face accented by silver eyeshadow and uncertainty – that she was an atheist, but she’d always believed there was something, at the very least ghosts.

However, in 2010 she was not thinking about God, and had no desire to think about God, except that her life was falling apart and she didn’t know what to do. Her family was impossible to talk with, and her friendships had atrophied in the years of children, work, and a difficult marriage.



As soon as she dropped her son off at skate camp, both of them determinedly cheerful, she collapsed into sobbing. She didn’t want to go home, didn’t want to go anywhere, didn’t want to be anyway. She felt completely disconnected from the life she’d had just 6 months earlier, a life where she was a mother working at a science museum, going through a divorce, but still on top of her game, feeling confident, good about herself and her ability to move forward in her life as a person who had made difficult choices and come out okay.

How had she become this person who could not stop crying, driving around her block in circles, waiting to know what to do. It was almost like she saw herself stopping the car in the bright sun of a regular summer day where people at the church on the corner were serving food from a folding table, white plastic tablecloth blowing thinly like a flag of surrender laid down.

She saw the way that first one, then two, then slowly a small group of people quieted and stared, plates held between hands, watching as she stumbled up the steps, openly crying as the woman preacher intercepted her and led her inside the empty sanctuary, ceiling vaulted and blessedly dark.

The woman laid hands on her as she cried and called down warrior angels. The thought of warrior angels was initially reassuring, but soon became strange and overwhelming – the clouds and the beliefs, the sensations, worlds inside of her being washed away and new worlds blooming, new bizarre worlds where entities such as warrior angels and dark forces were transacting all around and through her.


Keep it simple, Faith.

Don’t go into the bizarre worlds now. The novelty of your delusions is a good story, but it’s not the story you need to focus on right now, and you only have a 1/2 hour to write before you need to start getting ready for the day, because it is your mom’s birthday, and your parent’s anniversary, and your mom is not dead, even though they said she would be. So, hallelujah.


She is a syncrete, an animist, but even in those identifications, she doesn’t follow or study anything too deeply or for too long. She studies the sky, pays attention to what she notices, what she is pulled to learn and to then let go. She does not want to be consumed into anything that may keep her from believing what she believes, which changes as she develops.

Fixed beliefs and externally devised prescriptive practices of spirituality are not for her. They make her feel as though she is worshipping a false idol or something, ignoring the wind and her own ways of connecting to what she experiences as ‘spirit’ or ‘the holy unity of all things held in brief, glorious pausing resonance in the vastly constant tumbling of time and space and place’ or…she doesn’t know…

Writing assignment (for self):

Free-write how you feel when you feel connected to a sense of God or spirit or the earth itself, or to ancestors, or some combination of all of the above.

What do you notice in your body and mind space? What sensations and thoughts do you observe?

What are you grateful for and hopeful for in those moments?

What do you know in the most simple ways of knowing?

Yesterday, she began two small paintings of a cloud picture – one of the many, many cloud pictures that she has taken over the last two months, which has been a major period of cloud observation.

Twelve years ago, she began the process of drawing everyday for a year. She drew and painted a whelk. A shell.

Yesterday, she saw – and thoroughly documented- what looked to be the outline of a whelk that hung in the sky for a solid – she doesn’t know – 10 minutes a half hour. She can look at her pictures and tell how long a structure lasted, or at least how long she documented it before moving on to some other holy wonder that is sprawled out over her neighborhood and that nobody else seems to notice, which – to her – is so fucking weird.

Is it even real?

She has let herself get consumed and misled by questions before.



It is very important to maintain focus and grounding, because – after 12 years – twelve years which have held some seriously alarming mass atrocities and generated disturbing trends in avarice, exploitation, hate, and delusion, and have – alas – foretold of a future, ahem, most grim as far as the health and habitability of the planet we collectively live on, well – she is pretty sure there is something weird going on with the clouds and that it is important that she find someone to talk with – seriously and sensitively and rationally and helpfully – about this.

There is almost a desperation in her and she tells it to quiet down, knowing that she needs to listen, but that to be effective in actually finding the right people to help her make sense of why she sees this and is it real and – if so – is it significant, and – if so – how and why, what does any of it and all of it mean and what should she do?

What should I do? What would you do?

At this point, I have 0 attachments to specific outcomes – though there is a part of me, a part of me that is likely alive in almost every human on the planet that longs for the reality of a glorious greater force to intervene, to help, please help. Lord, please help end this suffering. The people and the animals and the places and the water.

It doesn’t seem crazy to me to think that – in some way – the animals and forests and the ocean itself is crying for help, praying for help.

Fuck my scientific objectivity and all the wishywash mealy-mouth careful step around what I say and how I say it – show them, show the people, let them make of it what they will.

What is an appropriate social media strategy for a project like this, which hardly anyone knows about and that is somewhat loaded in that it deals in themes that people go to war over, deals in themes of God and gods, both of which and all of which I know basically nothing about and am totally okay with that for now, except that I have so many questions that I don’t even begin to know how to answer, and – to be honest – feel like I’m in waaaaay over my head with this project, these questions.



How silly is it to see something not just beautiful but profoundly beautiful – powerfully beautiful – and to see it again and again and again and then – haha – retreat into a study to learn the details of this doctrine or that doctrine, to join some thing and then devote your life to fitting in and being virtuous, respectable, unto the code of that belief system?

Nope. Not for me.

I am open to learning many things, but will devote my entirety to none of them, because ideas can be powerful mediators of experience.



It’s two minutes til I have to get ready for my mom’s birthday. I am going to have a good day.

Getting Amor Fati tattooed on my hands was a fantastic decision, because it is a constant reminder and directive to love and appreciate whatever is happening, to embrace it and keep moving toward a fullness of being, to not be distracted by all the reasons something might be bad or unpleasant, to just love it and learn from it and move on.

I depart from Nietzsche in many ways, at many points, I’m sure, none of which I will elaborate on because I have hardly read anything he has written and don’t necessarily intend to, unless his work and ideas begin to show up in articles and ideas and occasional books that cross my path and strike me as significant or stimulate my curiosity.

One thing I do know is that acceptance and appreciation of whatever is happening is great and all that, but the reality is that I can never ever rest in any kind of peace if I do not do whatever is in my power to do to end avoidable suffering and the exploitation of creation in the world that I live in and that I love deeply.

I will never retreat to the comforts of my own acceptance and appreciation and forget that all over the world mothers are grieving and places are dying and entire worlds are screaming in ways that we can’t even hear.



Proving God w/ Clouds: Triangle(ish) Clouds, Instagram…and More!

There are only 1000+ #trianglecloud on Instagram. Are triangle clouds common? They are for me.

Are they so common as to not even be worthy of note?

Clouds in the shapes of approximate (given that the forms are writ in vapor and dust by the tiny winds that move and hold the substance of clouds) equilateral triangles?

Is it like, a total normal and *duh* thing that I just don’t know about because I don’t consume a lot of media and have a relatively small and not-fully-informed life, like that time I didn’t know what Kpop is and how I still don’t know if I am spelling it right, with capitalization and hyphenation, non-hyphenation.

The photos are all from the past month or so. For more triangular triangle clouds, check out the galleries on this project’s portfolio page: https://imfinethankyou.net/portfolio/proving-god-w-clouds/.

I will be adding additional posts of clouds that feature specific interesting characteristics, or that seem auspiciously similar to symbols or figures.

Thanks for your interest in this project and for your support of this work.


In other news, I set up an Instagram for #clouds and this #project. I don’t think the account will follow anyone, due to my social anxieties and social media anxieties. It is a not a personal account, per say, it’s a project account. This is, it seems, a project that follows no one. I am trying to post at least once a day, but not get pre-occupied with it. Instagram, however, is likely going to be an important tool in this work. Maybe. I dunno. Most social channels are over-saturated with everything. Maybe I’ll move to VSCO? Ugh. None of that matters. I am trying so hard not to get hung up with the minutiae, to focus on what’s important.

Let us begin with the triangle: rays & vertices, 60 degrees, equilateralism, all sides equal, angles equal.

How does wind form water & dust into a triangle?

What force clears the volume between the lines, making such fine edges?

There are many configurations of long lines & overlapping lines that can generate the phenomena of triangles.

Drop dry spaghetti on the floor, you’ll like find triangles.

Aircraft contrails, three of them flying wherever they are flying & crossing the path of another – doesn’t matter at what altitude. Light from a prism. The sky is full of layers, unseen topographies evident only by the clouds held within them.

However, I, for the life of me, cannot figure out how all these #equilateral triangles ended up in the sky, manifesting as full-volume clouds, as negative space, with outlines/without outlines, triangles beside each other at the brink of cloudbank. How does that happen?

This is an earnest #inquiry on the mechanisms of cloud #physics that allow produce such phenomena.

It’s worth stating openly that this project (link in bio) is not about actually proving God – since I don’t know what God is – but, attempting to learn about the patterns & peculiarities in some cloudforms that may have informed our ancestral understanding of what God is & how God (and gods, syncretic, animist, poly, pan, all of them) works/work in the world & how the world works according to the interpretations of what was seen & experienced as divine wonders & impossibilities in the ancient skyscape.

This project documents one individual’s perception & their observation of cloudforms & their experience of meaning in relation to the sky, in broad context of a walking-talking life in an ecosystemic world.

It is worth noting, also, that while I attempt to maintain ‘#scientific #grounding’ (🤣) – this project, at its inception, did make me lose my mind in 2010.

For 11 years I have been watching clouds & thinking about clouds (fairly daily) & documenting cloudforms (on/off) that possess what I have observed to be inexplicably peculiar characteristics which a) repeat, & b) look like other things (like angels and animals and letters).

I need help with this project.


Proving God w/ Clouds: [07/27-07/29] A Small Sampling of Strange Clouds

I am inclined to go through each image and name what I see as ‘strange’ about these clouds – their elements of form, characteristics of edge and uniformity, dis-uniformity, symbol-seeming structures, the unlikely play of layer and chance to form so many eyes and so many animals unless there are physical rules of the morphology of everything alive that extend their even to the shapes that are made by clouds, the beauty and weirdness of it all.

However, given that I have taken, um…

..a lot of pictures of clouds recently.

It is unreasonable – at this point in time – to document my reflections on each cloud I notice and photograph. However, I do spend a lot of time studying the imagines – which are often multiple shots of the same slowly transforming structure, the process of a congregate dispersing, gathering, concentrating, briefly becoming a bird, a shocked face, and then disappearing.

Right now, I am focusing on finding some sort of practice that helps me to be more efficient in sharing this work so that I may find assistance with understanding why – in the simplest terms possible – the clouds look so weird.

As I have said, if nothing else, I need to know that what I am seeing is just a matter of a raging case of pareidolia, and that I can engage with this distinct way of seeing if I choose to, but can disregard any phenomena of clouds looking like people and gods and trees and war and all these sad-eyed solemn animals and so many fish that my heart breaks for the ocean despite all my gestures toward a scientific grounding.

While I am currently documenting a lot, I am not studying, organizing, or synthesizing experience into shareable media as much as is likely needed in order to address my primary goal of finding people who can help me to understand why I see so much in the clouds and who can tell me – and who I can trust to believe – that I can stop paying attention now, stop taking pictures because the shapes and forms in the sky look like they might be important to someone, like they might mean something to someone.



I would like develop consistent methodology of observation and reporting, as well as a means by which to track outcomes of this project – which is driven by the dual inquiries of:

A) “Why do I see these things in the clouds, and why does that seem important to me?”

B) “What will happen if I try to find out?”

Some of these big galleries of similar seeming clouds are the result of it being somewhat difficult to upload 250+ photos to WordPress at one time and so many photos being lost/timed out in the upload process. I am learning that some of my practices are not producing effective, efficient results. It takes a considerable amount of time to identify select images from hundreds, 1000+ images, and then to select them again to upload, and then to have the small fraction of images that did manage to make it to the media library be all jumbled up and out of the sequence they were selected in, not to mention the sluggishness of the media library load and the inability to organize images or access images beyond scrolling through a chronological record of uploads. I am sure there is a plug-in media file tool that is much, much better – but, like many people, it is easy for me to get comfortable with inefficient processes.

This work very much asks me to get over my hang-ups, tendencies, habits – to, in general, get over myself – and do what I need to do to learn how to present this project and frame this inquiry with consistent integrity, sincerity, and reverence for, if nothing else, the human capacity for curiosity and our longing to find meaning and purpose within our small lives.

It’s not a hoax, or a shock-media scam, or a bid for attention…it really is, and has always been, a very simple set of questions:

“Why do the clouds look weird?”

“Why do I feel/believe like I do about the clouds?”

“Is this important?”

“If so, can you help me to understand why and help me to know what to do?”

“If not, can you please tell me so that I can shift my energies away from semi-vigilant cloudwatching fueled by both focused curiosity, awe, wonder, and the persistent, possibly-erroneous sense that I need to watch the sky as much as I can bear to, and that I need to document as much as possible, because I do not know enough about many things to be able to tell if any of this is important, or why or how this important, but I do know enough about a few things to at least have a wondering about whether or not what I am noticing might be important, and if it is important then it is likely important to somebody, for some reason, and I want them to know, if they do not already?”

I am sure there are people who have done work in the ways that things look like other things – tree faces e-books, etc. – but, I am super curious about the physical (as in the physics of material and form) phenomena underlying these formations that possess general attributes of proportion in feature, recognizable compositions of elements (e.g. a well-spaced arc of small cloudforms), repeating rudiments of form – not even necessarily because the phenomena of how clouds shape up has (at least for me, experientially) spiritual implications, but within a concrete atmospheric/environmental sciences frame of inquiry.

I am sure there are people who have already studied and published extensively on cloud formation, patterns in nature, the physics of common rudiments of form appearing in nature that may be interpreted as symbol – prisms, meanders, branches, lattices, etc. – and ways that elements of the morphology of all living things may be identified both in other living things, but also in the material formations of our physical world?

I want to know who they are, the people who might be able to help me to answer my questions.


5,978 – at least 5,900 of them are probably clouds. It is part of my process of observation, study, and reflection to go through my camera roll at some point in the day, often in the early morning or late at night, and look closely at what I saw, or what I didn’t see, but captured nonetheless. Sometimes, I can’t look at what I am photographing because the light is too bright and my eyes water and close, burn so that I have to look away. I will probably have terrible cataracts at some point, and not be able to really see much at all. When I am not wearing my glasses everything is a blur of tiny circles, pointillism divine to the point of abstraction. I have, ironically, very poor vision if am not wearing corrective lenses. I didn’t get glasses until I was 8, and did not – until that day – recognize that the indistinct darkish greenish blueish line – all the way across the river over miles of unseen marsh – was trees at the very edge of Florida, where fresh water springs flow out of the gold sandy sides of Rose’s Bluff toward the blackish brackish currents of the St. Mary’s River, which itself originates at Trail Ridge in the Okefenokee Swamp at a stream called – I kid you not – the River Styx.


Cloud Inquiry & Reflection Posts



Proving God With Clouds: Introduction


PROVING GOD W/ CLOUDS: I Was a Big Loser [Backstory and Context, Spring 2010]


“OH, MY GOD! IT’S GOD!”


PROVING GOD W/ CLOUDS: JULY 14-17, 2021 [NOTES]


PROVING GOD W/ CLOUDS: INQUIRY AND REFLECTIONS 07/24/21


PROVING GOD W/ CLOUDS: BIBLICAL MENTIONS OF GOD AND THE CLOUDS


PROVING GOD W/ CLOUDS: POSSIBILITY #1 [THERE IS NOTHING WEIRD ABOUT THE CLOUDS]


PROVING GOD W/ CLOUDS: POSSIBILITY #2 [THERE IS SOMETHING WEIRD ABOUT THE CLOUDS]


Proving God w/ Clouds: Triangle(ish) Clouds, Instagram…and More!


PROVING GOD W/ CLOUDS: REFLECTIONS IN EARLY AUGUST + CLOUD GALLERY


Proving God w/ Clouds: Possibility #2 [There IS Something Weird About the Clouds]

Possibility #2: 

There is something weird about the clouds, in that there are what I perceive to be atypically formed patterns which are structurally similar to iconic symbols relating to myth, religion, and/or diverse human language. There may be scientific (meteorology/atmospheric sciences, physics, anthropology, linguistics, psychology, theology) value in my observation of micro-patterns in cloudforms, not to mention a potentially significant social and cultural impact.

Potential Outcomes: 

Well, that would be very interesting.

Factors: 

  • All of the factors that impact my potential as an artist also impact my potential to connect with scientists and other experts who might be able to help me to determine if there actually is something strange about the cloudforms I have documented and to help me to figure out how such cloudforms might come to be, given the known variables of wind, water, air debris, light, atmospheric pressure and electromagnetic fields, gravity, other physical and elemental factors. 
  • I am not a trained in any discipline other than psychology and sociology. My research experience is limited, as is my existing knowledge of work and theory in most scientific fields.
  • I am not a physicist. 
  • See above re: disorganization of work. Lack of scientific process in documentation undermines the validity of the work as a scientific endeavor. 
  • Mental health stigma may possibly invalidate my voice and perspectives. 
  • The culture I live in may be deeply critical of some of the things I have publicly expressed about structures and systems of profit and power as they relate to human rights and human potential, as well as the rights of the planet and non-human living things.

Mitigations: 

Again, help. Please. There may be scientists and theorists who know a lot about clouds and the anthropology of cloud-watching who might be really excited by the fact that a person who is not a trained scientist noticed something, became curious, and stayed curious. 

There are patterns in nature, right? Is anyone studying patterns in cloud formation – both macropatterns and micropatterns? Are there reaction-diffusion mechanics at work in the atmosphere? Are there tesselations and cracks in the sky?

Is anyone studying patterns in clouds as they may relate to religious iconography and symbology across cultures and time?

There are many, many people all over the world that may strongly agree with my perspectives on the multidimensional costs of exploitative capitalism and our economies’ impact on the quality of life on this planet.


If you have ideas about this project, information you think I ought to be aware of, or would like to offer sincere and non-exploitative, not-shady assistance, please email: faithrr@pm.me

Thank you for your time and attention in considering Possibility #2.

Proving God w/ Clouds: Possibility #1 [There is Nothing Weird About the Clouds]

Possibilities, Potential Outcomes, Factors, and Mitigations to Perceived Barriers

Possibility #1:

There is nothing weird at all about the clouds I see and my perception of them being peculiar is simply that – my perception. There may be value in my inquiry as an art project exploring the way the natural world is seen and experienced in the context of being a person with neurodiversity and experiential factors that impact perspective and meaning-making. 

Potential Outcomes: 

Recognition as an artist, ability to support oneself as an artist through platforms such as Patreon, direct contributions, individual or group consultation relating to perceptual experiences, creativity, and neurodiversity?

Factors: 

  • Variable social energies and neurodiversity factors that impact attention, executive function, communication and connection are a big barrier to my being successful in ‘the art world.’ Lifestyle and community participation preferences err toward semi-near-reclusive/almost-hermitic, only engaging in select purposeful and/or inspired social endeavors, or things I absolutely have to show up for per requirement or consideration to other’s needs. I don’t like to indulge in most typical entertainments, and am genuinely socially vulnerable in that it does not occur to me that someone could be predatory or dangerous. It blows my mind when I think about all the fucked up things people do to one another. Seems dis-real. I don’t get it.
  • I hold valid [read: non-delusional] concerns and fears as a human being who has watched the world change in alarming ways at an alarming rate over the course of a relatively short life time. I consider myself rational in wanting to address and contemplate what I understand to be the core drivers of avoidable suffering the world. I acknowledge that my ideas are flawed, and I continue to make efforts to refine them, to take into account the context within which ideas arise. I am not afraid to be wrong, or to look dumb. I tried to prove God on the internet with pictures of clouds, remember? I personally, professionally, and politically understand and believe the norms and institutions that define societies, economies, and life outcomes for human beings and everything that is alive and ancient on this planet to be constructions – intentional and incidental, circumstantial, reactive. I believe that current economic constructions are disadvantageous for life on planet earth, and that many of these constructions may undermine and ultimately corrode – under the pressures of living in transactional, commodity-oriented economies – the best of what it is to be human and alive.
  • I have an enormous amount of cloudform documentation and experiential reflection work that may be worthy of sharing and that could – with help – potentially be shared through multiple dynamic media projects (books across several genre’s/disciplines, digital content, brief how-to guides, endless photo collections to play with, recordings of readings, artwork spin-offs, research papers, etc.)
  • As a person who is not trained in archiving and cataloging artwork, writing, and photographs, my work is not organized and is currently stored across several digital repositories. 

The thought of self-promotion and marketing of my work and myself as an artist creates a squeamish, anxious feeling that I do not like. I do not want to do any of that. I do not want to be an influencer in order to share my art and be taken seriously and, yet, do not want to continue to just drift along out in the ethers as some unrefined weirdo. I, personally, am not desirous of attention. I mostly want to be left alone. However, I do believe that the work I do is important, and that it matters. Therefore, as a steward of this work, I must bring attention to the work. However, there are many different forms of attention and it is important to me to work with integrity, and with respect to the work. I am not going to seek to engage people’s attention with gimmicks, schticks, novelty hooks, charismatic manipulation, or other forms of popular hustle promotion involving gratuitous use of my face and an orchestrated outward personality that makes the value of my work secondary to my physical attributes or participation on social media.

THIS WORK MAY BE RELEVANT/INTERESTING TO:

  1. People with neurodiversity (giftedness, twice exceptionality, learning and processing differences, sensory integration differences, stress vulnerability due to adverse experiences) factors that impact mental health and community inclusion
  2. People who have struggled with serious mental health challenges
  3. People who are interested in art and artistic process
  4. People who are curious about spiritual experiences that occur in connection with the natural world
  5. People who study or practice in mental health disciplines
  6. People who are curious about God and enjoy narratives about God-experiences
  7. People who are not down with exploitative capitalism and who want to save oceans and the rest of the planet while addressing grievous violations of human rights throughout history and around the world.
  8. People who want to kill themselves
  9. People who have big visionary ideas that might be crazy and yet are persistent
  10. People who believe that something like God manifests in clouds

Please note that I have a wariness of people who believe things strongly and, thus, feel very cautious about saying anything about God anywhere, because some (very confused) people will sometimes want to kill a person over stuff like that.

Mitigations

Help.

(No. Really. Help.)

  • The possible existence of people who have connections in the art world and who may appreciate the opportunity to assist a differently-abled artist whose disabilities have created disadvantageous social and economic impact and who has demonstrated a commitment to their work as an artist despite having encountered constraints and discouragements. 
  • There may be value in that I don’t approach my work as an artist in the way that a trained and identified artist might. Perhaps my eccentricities and differences/disabilities may create interest in my work. I am undiscovered and, thus, the person/people who gets/get to discover me and help me to find my niche in the art world may value the chance to work with someone who is not typical in their experience, visibility, trajectory and goals, not to mention in their approach to art practice and creative process.
  • My work may have value in fields of psychology and theology as it pertains to profound spiritual experiences and human consciousness. My work may have value in ecopsychology, as well, as it relates to learning how to see the natural world in new ways and exploring potential pathways for everyday people to consider our collective human relationship with the planet we live on.
  • My work could, at the very least, create interdisciplinary dialogue and maybe help me to connect (as a mental health professional and CPSS) with people who might be losing their minds about God, purpose, and perceived signs so that they might have access to information, skills, and practices that can help them to a) not wreck their lives plummeting into delusion, and b) not create harm by acting from a state of confusion, desperation, and distorted understanding of what is real and what is not.

If you have ideas about this project, information you think I ought to be aware of, or would like to offer sincere and non-exploitative, not-shady assistance, please email: faithrr@pm.me

Thank you for your time and attention in considering Possibility #1.

Proving God with Clouds: Biblical Mentions of God and the Clouds

This is a sample of the Biblical cloud mentions noted at: https://www.openbible.info/topics/clouds. There are many more mentions of clouds in the Bible, and modern interpretation of these passages err toward clouds as symbols, metaphors.



Matthew 24:30 ESV 

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 26:40 ESV

Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 14:62 ESV 

And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 13:26 ESV 

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

Acts 1:11 ESV

And said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Daniel 7:13 ESV 

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.”

Psalm 104:3 ESV 

“He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind…”

Job 38:37 ESV


Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,

Job 36:29 ESV


Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, the thunderings of his pavilion?

Revelation 1:7 ESV


Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

Exodus 16:10 ESV 

And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

Exodus 34:5 ESV

The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.

Revelation 14:14 ESV 

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.

Numbers 11:25 ESV 

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

Leviticus 16:2 ESV 

And the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.

Revelation 10:1 ESV 

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.

Revelation 7:1-17 ESV / 

“After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God…”

Psalm 57:10 ESV

For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds


Psalm 57 King James Version

57 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

Proving God w/ Clouds: Inquiry and Reflections 07/24/21


Today, I felt a shade of doubt.

Then the sky opened up and I was certain that, yes, I probably should continue to think about this, spend time on this.

I don’t think I really have a choice.

This is not the sort of curiosity that one puts on the shelf. “Hmmm, am I witnessing some supranational phenomena that maybe ancient humans saw and felt and understood as God? I dunno. I guess I’m gonna go take a nap.”

I’ve been studying the clouds for 11 years. I lost my mind trying to prove God on the Internet with cloud pictures in 2010, though there was a lot of other stuff going on that year, too. I lost legal custody of my children in part because of my wacky ideas and experiences about clouds and strangers and angels and things like that.

I’m definitely not crazy now. For real. There is something strange with the clouds.

I’m an artist and if I saw clouds painted like some of the clouds I observe, it would be easy to see that they look all wrong – not like clouds at all. They look like pictures and symbols and parts of words.

I reminded myself, again, that I am not trying to prove God with pictures of clouds.

I am observing and documenting cloudforms that I find interestingly reminiscent of various other forms – symbols, animals, trees or atomic mushroom clouds.

This is an observational and contemplative practice. I have to acknowledge, for the sake of noting researcher bias and the potential impact on perception and meaning-making, that when I see some of these things in the sky, it is kind of hard not to believe that the clouds are – at times – manifesting the shapes of the Holy Spirit, or some immanent presence such as that.

I don’t hold to a Christian interpretation, or any specific interpretation at all. I might use the language of Holy Spirit or God, but – really – I should come up with other words, because those words (among many, many other words) mean very different things to people.

Even in the absence of numinous interpretation, it’s the most beautiful and wondrous thing I’ve ever seen. As I write this I notice a rising in my mind, a retort of sorts, reminding me of the miracle of leaves, and of spiderwebs, and of basically everything that has come into life over the past 4.5 billion years. It’s like nothing is more beautiful than anything else, somehow, because it is all connected and even piles of mud and rotting carcasses are a small facet of this infinitely and gloriously expansive entity we are a part of.

I can remember when the world was full of separate things, back when nothing meant much but living because you had to and eventual death – a clean drop of a sharp cliff at the edge of space, the age of the universe or how anything was connected to anything else was impossible to imagine.

There is something in me that is simply stunned by anciently sacred all life is, and concurrent with that stunned feeling is the sensation of wanting to cry, a stifled desire to cry, tho’ I’ve cried quite a bit.

I wept on my porch for the oceans in 2010, felt the floor of the sea (the Gulf of Mexico in particular) violated by drills, the waters that gave life to all becoming toxic, billions helplessly swimming and dying, dying, dying…because of some dumb stuff that humans have decided they like to buy and own and then throw away, some convenience to our modern lifestyles, our ever-so-brief world.

I am angry. Outraged, actually. Outraged like the kid I was when I first began to realize how utterly disgusting it was that sea turtles were dying so people in Omaha can eat seafood, so we could drink our six packs, so we can drive our cars.

I literally makes me feel sick.

I can hear an echo of adult voices in my head. “I know. It’s so sad. What are you going to do about it…?”

“Want to go to the movies?”

🤢🤮




So, I just took about who-knows-how-many-pictures of mind-blowing heart wrenching seriously intense clouds. Stood calmly, watched. Took pictures for about hour, then another hour. The sunset hours.

I can totally understand how I lost my mind over this stuff in 2010.

I don’t lose my mind over anything anymore.

I can stand with one foot in the calm and rational while I pan up to see what appears to be a giant ritual skull mask, or skeletal cat face, and I can drop the camera – just for a moment – and look right at the eye-shapes and feel how small I am and say, out loud: “I see you.”

Nothing that is happening in the sky scares me, save for the belief that in some act of divine desperation, all the ancient forces of the earth and waters and sky that have witnessed and absorbed all life and death for – like I said, 4.5 BILLION years – mustered all their molecules together to shape a warning of what we stand to lose if we humans do not immediately cease and desist with the destruction of sacred creation and the splitting of atoms and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, messing around with DNA like we are some kind of genius God when – obviously – we are total idiots because we have destroyed our habitat in like 300 years and have actually managed to erase other living creatures from existence like they didn’t matter at all.

At this point, we deserve whatever scorching mutated soulless and hungry hell of a future we will get.

Oh, don’t worry, I’m not talking about Hell-Hell. I’m talking about Earth, only we won’t get what we deserve – our children’s children will.

😵‍💫

*Note momentary loss of scientific objectivity. *

NOW WE ARE LEARNING THIS 

In whispers it came, hush and slow-spread

shaped as the voiceless sphere 

of a dandelion,

cities lit at night under planes.

It did not come wriggling, slithering, 

or crashing.

It came drifting, hanging like air,

caught in pearls of breath 

sparkling over everything we sigh about, settling.

Replicated in dark creases 

inside our heads and chests, 

the fibers of our hearts,

winter cold.

Silent streets, 

jagged line graphs, rising numbers,

hospitals afloat in the harbors,

bright white bundles, rolls and rolls, 

biohazard, poppy red, 

mouthless grimace, 

no toilet paper. 

“Close down the schools,” the order came.

“Now we are learning this.”

Tears of God and all Gods

fold the mountain, exhale fog,

as ghosts of the girdled  

echo their fallings in the forest, 

being morning breezes. 

No more coffin wood, only bleak sunlight,

no tooth-leaved shade. 

Scurry squirrels,

dig and dig and dig.

“Forget the fallen,” old hunger says. 

“Now we are learning this.”

Redbud procession, same as before, 

only difference in details:

new branches, new blooms.

Creeks surge and wither, slightly

frogs begin chorusing 

their one-season world. 

Up through the parking lots

empty elementary school, 

empty pool    –

uncautious shoots of new green rise

through soil made of dust,

bones, bark, rock worn to sand

under asphalt.

Once a giant, stubborn roots hold tight.

Unnoticed on ridgelines,

small striving trees, 

not yet choked out by blight, 

grow, seeking the light

because – really –

what else is there to do?

“Now we are learning this.”

[Note misspelling of last name]

Now we are learning this. 

Hi, thank you all for creating encouragement to make poetry during National Poetry Month. 
I have attached a poem entitled Now We Are LearningThis as a .docx. Please let me know if you have any trouble accessing the file or if a different format is preferable.  
Have a great afternoon!

Thank you for your poem. I am forwarding to the judges. 
Since I am not a judge, I can say in my humble opinion, 
 this is an amazing poem. Although amazing is an overused phrase; this time it fits.
  I have read it twice. It is gorgeous read aloud.
This made my day. 

Thank you so much for forwarding the poem!
It meant a lot to me to write it. My mom picked up the notice of the contest at the library and gave it to me, so she was on my mind a lot as I wrote. 
Thank you so much for reading and enjoying the poem. That made my day.

I am delighted to report that you are one of the two winners in the adult category  of the Library Poetry Contest.   There was a tie. 
  As you know, I loved your poem! Amazing is a word often overused.  It describes your poem perfectly.
  Because we only had 4 entries at the time where we had to commit to the Zoom Event, we could not do it. 
 I have your prize. I can mail it or we can meet somewhere in Fairview. Please let me know what works.
 Are you published anywhere? I would like to read more of your work.
 Thank you for entering.

Oh, that’s great news! How exciting!
This is the first time I’ve ever won anything for writing. I’m not published anywhere – but, hope to be someday! 
I am working on putting together a little website for my artwork and writing. I’ve spent most of my energies over the past couple decades on family and working in nonprofits. I am in the process of learning how to better follow my passion for doing good in the world through arts. 

I hate to ask, but do you know if the poem will be printed in the Fairview Town Crier? 
I’d love for my mom to see a poem I wrote in print. 
As many of her ‘library friends’ know, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year and she knows I have always wanted to be a poet. 
It would make her so happy to see the poem printed! 
I understand if there isn’t space in the layout, but just wanted to ask. 
Thanks so much for liking the poem! 💜