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The thing about clouds is that they float.

by spinelli


And at risk of sounding repetitive, they float because that's what clouds do.

They look pretty on occasion when the sun sets or rises as the rays hug the little white fluffs while they hover in that Big Blue Expanse, and sometimes they shift into a variety of interesting shapes which, to the entertainment of the smaller humans, is quite often perceived a spectacle. Some like to argue what they consist of or imagine them to function like the soft interior stuffing of a throw pillow. But regardless, they float along the sky every day, and all their stories end in the same way in that they drift from one side of the sky into the other for as long as they do until they fade away. And after so many years of looking up towards the little white fluffs does begin to realize how ordinary a cloud is. We see a pretty, drifting thing and a peaceful thing, most effortlessly going along on its little way without concern because the thing about clouds is that they float.

But clouds cannot change their course. They cannot predict or control the direction in which they float. They cannot direct themselves towards other clouds or choose the clouds they might intercept. A cloud is as alone and helpless as any one thing could be as it drifts along that Big Blue Expanse. But that's never a matter as that's simply what clouds do despite their helpless circumstance. They float.

But I learned one day that clouds, being composed of a bunch of tiny water particles are actually falling, just very slowly. They float so ordinarily, or so it appears when we look to them for some amusement. But those drifting, shifting things, as they make their way from point A to wherever, in their most basic state, are falling from the sky and towards the Earth because as science often goes, everything falls.

As is the truth in life that everything falls, and though a bleak disposition it is, it is one not cause for alarm as we can see that if a thing like a cloud, a most lonesome and ordinary thing in such a perpetual state of falling, can persist in catching onto the wind then most certainly could a thing like you and me in our own perpetual states of falling persist in carrying on, in observing the clouds. Because the thing about clouds is that they float even when they cannot perceive their destination. They cannot willingly change their shape. They cannot predict the day in which they will fade away or make sure a person will be lying along the grass upon their backs to gaze up at them as they do. And on some days there will be no clouds at all, but there will be more, there will always be more, and when there is, they will float as they so often do.

And to that I remain in happiness.


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Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:21 am
Hannah wrote a review...



Hehe, because I can't resist using this word now that I realized it's a cloud pun, this needs to be condensed and then expanded. You've come to the heart of the idea that you want to explore, now. You've found the important message, and then you've stopped, as if that's all you had to do.

No, no, no, that is not what will serve this writing. Now that YOU, in pre-writing have discovered the point you want to write to, you can take out all of the writing before it: the fluff about clouds being blue and white that no one wants to hear because we know what clouds are. We want to feel the difference between floating and falling, and how if we perceive clouds as just floating, awesome beings that can never be roped and pulled down, but then realize they're always falling, we realize something about ourselves. This is what we want to hear from you, and then we want to go further with you.

Start again. Start with a brief image of clouds hanging in the sky, floating and directionless except for the nudges from wind, and then tell us they're falling. These are powerful images, especially as all of this is taking place above our heads. But what's next? Write further and find what's next. You'll know when you find the real end. That there will always be more clouds is not what gives you happiness. It's something else.



Okay, and please excuse me if any of this is dead wrong, but I'm challenging you. Do your very best. Good luck and let me know if you have questions.




spinelli says...


I'm not sure if I understand exactly. You suggest I exchange the beginning about the clouds being what they are, at least in the manner I've done it, and begin with a description of the clouds as they literally exist. Is that right? Forgive me if I've misinterpreted, but I should say that I've distinctly underestimated the clouds in the beginning on purpose. I mean, "the thing about clouds is that they float" has an obvious and apparent lack of insight. I WANT the clouds to be perceived as ordinary as possible. More importantly, I want the readers to reflect on their own perception of the clouds because that's the point. Though I think you're onto something because this is taken from a bigger story with clouds and happiness recurring throughout [and it's a first person narrative, if that influences at all]. Perhaps that fact has muddled my process of writing this anecdote compared to the larger story, but I tried to make this one stand alone as much as possible. It's meant to be short and to the point. I'm not sure what you mean by finding the real end though. The observation about happiness is not about clouds but about people and how we float. And I made that ending pretty abrupt because I didn't want to elaborate. Some ideas just elaborate on themselves. Anyway, thanks for the review though! It's got me thinking, and I like to do that.



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Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:07 am
creativityrules wrote a review...



Hello, Spinelli. I'm Rose, and I'm here to review this piece. :D

Overall, I liked this piece. When I'm reading anything, I'm constantly searching for interesting words used in interesting ways. You didn't disappoint me.

"Some like to argue what they consist of or imagine them to function like the soft interior stuffing of a throw pillow."

I love this sentence. Who hasn't dreamed of using a cloud as a pillow? Quite a few readers will be able to identify with this portion of your work. Nice.

As much as I like this piece, I do have a couple of criticisms. Keep in mind that my suggestions are just those: suggestions. They are my opinions. If you disagree with them, disregard them. At the end of the day, your opinion concerning your work is paramount.

At times, I found portions of this piece to be a bit wordy. Here's an example:

"As is the truth in life that everything falls, and though a bleak disposition it is, it is one not cause for alarm as we can see that if a thing like a cloud, a most lonesome and ordinary thing in such a perpetual state of falling, can persist in catching onto the wind then most certainly could a thing like you and me in our own perpetual states of falling persist in carrying on, in observing the clouds."

That's quite a sentence. In my opinion, it's a bit too long. I feel like it loses some of its impact because of how long it is. Sometimes, it's better to scale down a sentence, to allow simplicity to accentuate the meaning behind your writing.

"And to that I remain in happiness."

I'm not a big fan of this ending. I feel like it's unneccessary. If I were you, I'd delete it. Your work will be just as if not more powerful without it.

Overall, nice work. If you ever need anything else reviewed, feel free to ask, okay? Always keep writing.

-Rose




spinelli says...


You're absolutely right. I'll admit I didn't give this piece much time on editing, and there are definitely a few jumbled places. Often times I do, however, give deliberate length to a sentence despite the anticipated reaction from reviewers. But I should look over the piece a bit more. Thanks! And regarding the final line, I can see how in this case it seems a little out of place, but this is simply a little anecdote from a longer story I've got floating around in which happiness is a recurring subject. I figured that theme of the cloud observation was reflected in happiness, but perhaps I should clarify it more. Thank you for your review!



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Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:16 am
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RCampbell wrote a review...



I am relieved to have found a well formatted piece of work, first and foremost. All the writing on this site lacking breaks and punctuation are nothing less than a pain in the neck.

This is a wonderfully airy and contemplative piece of prose and I give it my accolades. I had never seen a cloud as being in a perpetual state of falling before. Very interesting. your language is poetic and almost sing-song in nature. You seem like a very careful and meticulous observer.

You have a few sticky sentences in here (a sentence that might trip a reader up) but they are few and far between and so acceptable. Very good job, I say.

Good luck in your writing endeavors,

R. Campbell




spinelli says...


Thank you so much for the time and the review! :D




A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
— Paul Simon