Head in the Clouds

Happy Independence Day to my US readers, happy belated Canada Day to my Canadian friends, and happy Wednesday to everyone else…

I used to really enjoy a good thunderstorm. My parents have a screened-in porch with a swing, and when I was in jr. high (middle school now, I guess) and high school, I’d sit out there and watch the storm as it went through. I was in my own head a lot then (not much has changed there), fantasizing about different situations or lives or things I might see or do. I’ve never liked to be out in the rain, but I like watching it, and feeling the power of thunder as it rolls over the valley, cracking lightening whips here and there as it goes.

Then I had several dogs in a row who were traumatized by thunder (and any loud noises), and I dreaded the storms, because of what they meant for my furry friends. Instead of watching and experiencing the storm, I stayed inside, turned up the TV to drown out the noise and did what I could to make the storm more bearable for my pups. As any good dog owner does.

The two dogs I have now are okay with the storms, and one even likes watching them roll in, over and out. Mica prefers to be inside, while Murphy will stay out in the middle of them until I make him come in, or until it starts raining hard. To monitor the Murph and make sure he comes in before things get too dicey, I’ve been storm-watching with him, and rediscovering my awe of clouds and the way they move and dance across the sky when a big storm is moving in.

Occasionally I try catching a few images on camera or video, but my photography skills aren’t really “all that”, and honestly, I’d rather just watch and savor the moment than try to “collect” it for later. The picture’s never as good as the real thing anyways. It’s not like I could ever really capture what I feel when I’m standing there watching the clouds, listening to the wind, and empathizing with the poor falcon who got pretty much tossed over our house the other night in a big gust. I might try to describe it in books here and there, but there’s something about being there, in the moment, not really thinking about anything other than the texture and scent and raw power that is absolutely, one-hundred percent out of your control at that very moment that is just…surreal and inexplicable.

Which, as so many things do, got me wondering about the phrase “head in the clouds”. We all know that when someone has their “head in the clouds”, it means they’re daydreaming or fantasizing, not focusing on what’s real and in front of them, but rather off in their own world and not paying attention to anything much around them.

I do that too…a lot more than I care to admit. I’ve always had a very rich fantasy life, and often it does take my focus away from what I need to be focusing on, to my detriment (and embarrassment, sometimes, when my “cloud world” and reality collide in non-optimal ways). There’s a whole other life going on in my head, which is pretty weird, when you think about it, but it’s always been a part of who I am. I’d wager it’s part of who a lot of people are, but it’s not something any of us like to admit, because it’s often so personal that we don’t, under any circumstances, want to share (partly because what’s harmless in “cloud space” could be harmful in real life, and partly because sharing anything tends to take away that magic “fantasy-film” over the original idea).

So, I find it kind of ironic that when I’m actually watching clouds, I don’t actually have my head “in the clouds” figuratively (unless I’m driving through one, and then I suppose it’s completely literal).

And when I’m in my own fantasy world with my head figuratively “in the clouds”, I’m not watching actual clouds or anything else, because I’m so wrapped up in my alternate universe.

Speaking of alternate universes, is there one out there where my fantasies are realities, and my realities in this one are fantasies? I need to ask The Flash. Maybe I can work out a time-share situation with my alternate self(selves). Best of both worlds? Or a serious head trip, anyways…

Anyone wanna come with?

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