This is a great question! I have finally searched for it after witnessing this most amazing of views! The political context is obviously not unnecessary.
Why do I love clouds so much myself? The first answer that crawls into my mind stems from Christian theology – the image of the god of the Jews is routinely depicted as everlasting “heaven”. But to me as a materialist, matter is eternal, and existence is sacred – water vapour (or the flickering of a flame) might symbolise the inchangeability of the ever-changing.
Obviously, rationalising these matters is of little consequence. They are as inherent to my being as my sexuality. The deep-programmed fundamentals – the infusoria are drawn to light.
Just today, I have read an amazing passage in Savitri Devi’s Pilgrimage (1958):
All round me, like in the little church, there was peace, perfect peace. But a peace of a different quality: not the meditative serenity of the house of prayer, away from the turmoil of life; still less, the peace of death; but that of smiling Nature seething with impersonal life, — of Nature that has no memory and no history.
(These lines sting me, as I put value in historical records. But they are likely to be true.)
Adding to the above – the monument is peculiar, and not just by being reminiscent of the Orcish graffitis from Tolkien’s legendarium (LotR – Book IV – Journey to the Cross-Roads).
Standing there for a moment filled with dread Frodo became aware that a light was shining; he saw it glowing on Sam’s face beside him. Turning towards it, he saw, beyond an arch of boughs, the road to Osgiliath running almost as straight as a stretched ribbon down, down, into the West. There, far away, beyond sad Gondor now overwhelmed in shade, the Sun was sinking, finding at last the hem of the great slow-rolling pall of cloud, and falling in an ominous fire towards the yet unsullied Sea. The brief glow fell upon a huge sitting figure, still and solemn as the great stone kings of Argonath. The years had gnawed it, and violent hands had maimed it. Its head was gone, and in its place was set in mockery a round rough-hewn stone, rudely painted by savage hands in the likeness of a grinning face with one large red eye in the midst of its forehead. Upon its knees and mighty chair, and all about the pedestal, were idle scrawls mixed with the foul symbols that the maggot-folk of Mordor used.
Suddenly, caught by the level beams, Frodo saw the old king’s head: it was lying rolled away by the roadside. ‘Look, Sam!’ he cried, startled into speech. ‘Look! The king has got a crown again!’
The eyes were hollow and the carven beard was broken, but about the high stern forehead there was a coronal of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like small white stars had bound itself across the brows as if in reverence for the fallen king, and in the crevices of his stony hair yellow stonecrop gleamed.
‘They cannot conquer for ever!’ said Frodo. And then suddenly the brief glimpse was gone. The Sun dipped and vanished, and as if at the shuttering of a lamp, black night fell.
But it also has this most Christian inscription in stone! The like that could be uttered by the mouth of Brejnev or Lukashenko!
“This is done not in hostility to others, not to injure any section of the country, not even for our own pecuniary benefit; but from the high and solemn motive of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and which it is our sacred duty to transmit unshorn to our children.”
Still, I must not shed tears for that which only bears superficial resemblance to the ineffable sacrifices of Aryandom. The white stars are deathly and glowing with a rotten light, unlike the germinating rays of the Red Star.
One thought on “The attraction of clouds – The inchangeability of the ever-changing”
If you love clouds – I do – try and watch James Benning’s Ten Skies. A masterpiece from one of the few great American visual artists of the last 50 years.
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