01 June 2010

Cloud Watching

First, you should take some time and read Sherry's post about "Looking up and finding clouds." That's what put me in the mood to respond here. As I make the adjustment to having LOTS of time on my hands between jobs, I'm hungry for some good cloud-watching time. (Unfortunately, the weather as it is in Tacoma these days, if I turn my face up, I'm likely to get a bucket of rain in it. It's JUNE already. Knock it off!)

There was a day, some time back, when I had a string of guys in my office at the prison. All of them were struggling with being in prison, the length of their sentences, the time they hadn’t heard from family, the sameness of the routine. By the time the seventh one had come in, I was ready to suggest a support group.

Instead, I made the same suggestion to each: When it’s time for yard, go out and lay down in the grass and look up.

The clouds were particularly wonderful that day, scudding across the sky and turning themselves into shapes begging to be named.

At prison, when you’re walking around, the concrete and the fences are always part of the picture. The trees, although there are many, are far beyond the fences. (“I haven’t hugged a tree in six years,” one of the men wailed.) There’s always a reminder that you’re locked up and that fact isn’t going to change any time soon.

Flat on your back, looking at the clouds, there is no concertina wire to be seen. The sky can look like the ocean and you can sail away on the clouds.

I wondered later if I might have caused some trouble, if a group of guys had taken my advice and just laid down in the expanse of grass and looked up–would someone take that as behavior needing discipline?

I noticed as the weather got warmer there were more guys basking in the sun during yard. Some of them were watching the clouds.

What do you do when your soul needs a stretch?


1 comment:

claire said...

When my soul needs a stretch, I go and walk in the streets of viejo San Juan when I am there because the colors of the houses are stupendous and I do believe in color therapy.

When I am back in France, I weed the garden (enormous job), I plant nasturtiums or I walk in the woods.

As I live in two beautiful places, I find that they uplift me by taking me by surprise with their beauty.

And then I'm always surrounded by clouds. I am lucky.

Enjoy your free time.