Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's Cloudspotting!

Yesterday's exotic gastronomic rendezvous left my body achy (driving really fast on really bumpy swampy roads to and fro our lunch venue would outdo any rollercoaster rides - really), my appetite stumped (as we turned towards Hulu Tengi, I saw "Jabatan Konservasi Haiwan Liar" - errr, I could have reduced the number of wild life in this part of the world and that makes me queasy) and my eyes sleepy (thanks to both the joyride and organic Ala Banjar and Jawa lunch, said to cost RM70 per person).

So, it is just appropriate that I do some cloudspotting - from my office window. They are beautifully greyish nimbostratus. Sigh! I wish I could do it, lying down, perhaps somewhere near Antares' Sungai Pertak, and throw my gazes at these slowly moving stratus, nimbus, cumulus and cirrus. That would be a perfect quiet time for me.

There's a book by a Brit Designer, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, called "The Cloudspotter's Guide" that I should get my hands on it, in case my curiosity gets the better of my quiet time :D

Here's excerpts from Gavin's interview with The Guardian, on his book, which was rejected by 28 publishers (because they couldn't decide where to place the book if it's published - meteorology? popular science? - Duh! That's the problem with us trying to label everything and everyone), which would compel you and/or children to read this book. If not for appreciation of facts on clouds, perhaps we could appreciate their beauty and see things clearly in life.

"Running throughout the book, he says, is a gentle quest to overturn the malign understanding of clouds that has long informed western thinking. "People do have a slightly derogatory view of them," he says.

"When people say someone's got their head in the clouds, it's about being disengaged from the world. Whereas I say, 'Sod it - what's wrong with having your head in the clouds?' It's a really important thing to do, a reaction to the pressures of modern life. But there are all kinds of negative associations: the idea of someone having a cloud hanging over them, or clouds on the horizon - these very doomy things.

"But there's an Arabic phrase for someone who is lucky or blessed - they say, 'His sky is always filled with clouds.' It's the complete opposite. Clouds provide shade and rain. And rain is life; it's about abundance. Clouds bring beauty to the sunset. And they clear the atmosphere. They're purifiers: cloud droplets form around bits of pollution and bring it back to earth. But one of the main things for me is appreciating their beauty. Every day is like a new page."

As far as Pretor-Pinney's life is concerned, clouds have had one particularly important effect. He met his fiancée, Liz - to whom The Cloudspotter's Guide is dedicated - at his first cloud lecture; their relationship took flight at a second meeting, where her opening gambit was, "You're the cloud guy, aren't you?"

That's so sweet of him and before I sign off, I wish that your sky are filled with clouds ;)

No comments: