Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Rorschach Cloud Test


If you played the game of trying to see faces, animals or other objects in the clouds when you were a kid, what you saw may have said more about your thoughts and feelings than you realized. I was never any good at that game. I could seldom see what my sister said she saw no matter how much I looked at it before that certain cloud formation changed. I took these cloud pictures this morning. I can sort of see a couple eyes - maybe a Lone Ranger mask? What do you see, if anything?


Kari was the one of my children that I remember could always see something in the clouds - she still does. Does that mean she has a greater imagination? She probably even knows the words pareidolia and apophenia. 
In an old photo album I had this picture of her taken when she was twelve labeled, "Aw shucks Mom, really!" She will probably think the same thing (or something like it) when she reads today's blog. I was forcing her to pose for me so I could live out my delusion of possessing artistic photography talent.


It isn't what I see when I look at clouds, it's what I hear - like Rod McKuen's #8 from his book Listen to the Warm: "Clouds are not the cheeks of angels, you know. They're only clouds. Friendly sometimes but you can never be sure. If I had longer arms I'd push the clouds away or make them hang above the water somewhere else, but I'm just a man who needs and wants mostly things he'll never have. Looking for that thing that's hardest to find - himself.
I've been going a long time now. Along the way I've learned some things. You have to make the good times yourself. Take the little times and make them into big times and save the times that are all right for the ones that aren't so good. I've never been able to push the clouds away by myself. Help me. Please."

Rod McKuen was a very popular singer, songwriter, poet, composer during the late 60's and early 70's the time I think of as my second 'coming of age'. I owned several of his books of poetry and LP's. Are there cheeks of angels in any of these cloud pictures?


"Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air and feather canyons everywhere - 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's illusions I recall - I really don't know clouds at all."

Joni Mitchell's Both Sides, Now is the other song/poem I hear when I look at clouds. It is also from the late 60's. It is probably Judy Collins' recording of it that hear in my mind, it reached #8 on the pop singles chart in 1968.
Hmm, #8 for Collins Both Sides, Now and McKuen's #8 from Listen to the Warm - now I'm beginning to see a pattern.....

"But something's lost, but something's gained in living every day. I've looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow it's life's illusions I recall. I really don't know life at all."

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