The Smallness of Clouds

When the world is what we see.– Clouds dominate our horizon, block our view, obscure the light, and cast doubt on all our plans. In truth, however, the sky is immeasurably wider than the clouds — the clouds merely appear vast because they are so much closer to us than the sky. All one needs to correct this problem of perspective is to catch a faint glimpse of one distant star through a small opening in the clouds. Or even just to remember that such a star was once seen there, in spite of tonight’s unbroken grey. That faint star, so apparently tiny in our sight or in our memory, would be enough to completely shatter our estimate of the size of the clouds above us, if we were thinking clearly.

Life, lived purposefully, is nothing but a continual process of perceptual self-correction, a psychic transposition of the seeming enormity of the proximate dullness for the pinhole light of the glimmering star. This transposition entails devaluing the heavy moisture that rots daily life in favor of the ethereal dryness of eternity, the transient in favor of the permanent, the all-too-tangible in favor of the seemingly unreachable, the comfortingly or suffocatingly near in favor of the disquietingly distant.

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