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On Clouds

Written in the airplane from Denver to Sacramento to be with my family as my father passes from this life - February 9

Once I was flying across the great expanse of the country in which I was born. I had a comfortable enough seat, which is not easy for a moose. I was staring out the window at the top of the clouds. I have always been fascinated with what would it would feel like to bounce around on clouds. I mean, if they could hold me.

It was a long flight. I fought off fatigue, nodding off constantly and coming to with the wonder of cloud wandering. I got restless. Finally, I politely asked my dear mates if I might get into the aisle to stretch my legs. They kindly moved and used the opportunity to walk around themselves. This left me with only one direction to go - the front of the plane. I knew that was reserved for first class, but maybe they wouldn’t mind.

When I got up there, I was surprised to find first class and the entire front of the cabin empty - no passengers, no attendants. I hoped the cockpit wasn’t empty. Then I heard a cackle...or was it a giggle? It seemed simultaneously taunting and inviting. That’s a recipe for a JoJo adventure.

I looked around and couldn’t find the voice. I opened the overhead compartments, looked under the seats, even got into the supplies cabinets where the attendants stow their hospitality. Nothing. Then, I heard it again. It now sounded gurgly and guttural with a fancifulness that made me laugh and pee my pants a little. It was coming from the coat closet. I opened the curtain and leaned in to look. Suddenly there was a shove at my back and I went tumbling into the closet.

The thing is there was no end to the tumble. I somersaulted right through that closet and out a rainbow slide that was headed right out of the plane. I couldn’t stop myself. Well, I could have but who is going to balk at the chance to ride a rainbow slide onto these fluffy snow clouds. Surely if there are clouds that can hold me, it’s the ones filled with snow. So I went rumbly tumbly right down that slide and landed with the softest landing of my life onto those clouds.

It took me a minute to get my bearings and realize that I hadn’t fallen right through though I could feel a slow sink happening. Maybe these clouds were the best to hold me but they wouldn’t hold me for long. What does one do when one has a few moments to taste the pleasures of a longtime fascination come to fruition? Taste first.

I scooped up some cloud and stuffed it into my mouth. Oh, it melted almost instantly, having the consistency of cotton candy but without the materialized sugar that needs to dissolve. It also wasn’t stickie so I rubbed it all over my hair and splashed it on my face and stuffed some in my pockets. I was overwhelmed with ecstatic joy making my toes and fingers tingle, though that could have been the clouds tickling my smallest parts.

I got up and looked around. I was about thigh-deep in the clouds. I pulled myself up and got as much on top of the clouds as possible. I tried to run but it ended up being more of a bouncy trudge. Like in deep soft snow without snowshoes when each step finds you waist deep. But lighter. Like a giggle. Then I saw them.

“Hello!” I yelled at the figures moving a distance away. I knew my voice wouldn’t carry out here atop the clouds. So I sang “The Rainbow Connection” with my heartiest (intentional) voice. I wondered if the sound couldn’t reach them maybe my desire for connection could. And it worked. They looked my way. I scrambled to regain some height but the cloud was clearing up.

They were coming towards me - big bouncy fluffy marshmallow-like creatures. No distinguishing facial characteristics, though I imagined when they got close I would make it out. They were singing the song back to me. Every phrase I sang came back to me with a soft light airy tone of curiosity and wonder. I was sinking. I couldn’t see them but I could hear them. They were coming to greet me. Or eat me. One never knows.

I finally slipped through the cloud and landed in the plane. I slid right back up that rainbow slide into the coat closet and tumbled out into the aisle. Everyone was asleep save one older woman. She was bejeweled and her head wrapped in a vibrant scarf. Her dark eyes twinkled at me as she let out a giggle. It sounded vaguely familiar.

I made my way back to my seat and fell asleep with exhaustion from my adventure. As the plane was descending, I awoke. What a trip! I felt a wholeness and clarity I had been seeking. I awoke to a vision for the potion show spread over hours and campuses to bring people into knowing their stories, naming their powers, and mapping journeys to make the world a better place.

When I unpacked, I found this scroll bundled up in my suitcase. It had been checked, and I had not had this scroll before I left. It looked like the others. I got a flutter of excitement and nervousness. These scrolls always make me feel more culpable to live a better life. I think they’re meant to pave the way to freedom. Maybe I can shift my relationship and just open myself to this collection of scrolls that is amassing in my closet stash box.


Dance. Sing. Laugh. Adventure.

See. Smell. Taste. Listen. Touch.

Roll around with abandon.

Stretch out with curiosity.

This is your journey.

No one else will be on it.

Others may join you

For periods short and long.

In the beginning as in the end,

You are alone

Surrounded but separated

With space between you.

Let that space be your secret.

There is one inside you.

A great sea with a solitary island

On that island is a temple.

In that temple is an altar.

This altar sits on the spot

Of your unique connection

To the creative force.

Let yourself burn with the flames

Of creative forces that shape worlds

Bring that warmth back to the spaces

Between you and others.

Be true, badass unicorn.


Here is what I know to be true. I have heard voices calling my name. These might be the ones calling the young sailors. I’ve heard them too many times to ignore. They guide me toward something that I’m meant to be. I’m going for it - the rainbow connection - the one that links the lovers, the dreamers, the misfits, the creators, the peace warriors, and me.

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