Having found lists of obscure/obsolete color names and rounded out the alphabet with a few simply-charming-to-me colors, each day, I’ll introduce a color and a swatch I’ve painted and then write about whatever comes to mind as I muse about the day’s color. Fair warning, my mind is a non-linear traveler, so who knows where my contemplations will take us.
C is for…
Celeste – a light bright blue inspired by the color of the sky and based on the Italian word, which means heavenly.
Oh, the glorious sky – I can muse about it forever. I always smile when I think about this Mark Twain quote: “The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be – it is the same the angels breathe.”
There’s something about the sky that always makes me think about mythology and creation stories. I see clouds and imagine the Nephelai, who were considered by the Greeks to be the cloud nymphs who arose from the Earth, encompassing River Okeanos, bearing water to the heavens in cloudy pitchers.
I think about the charming tale that suggests elephants once had wings and flew amidst the clouds. One elephant, tired after a long flight, decided to rest a bit by landing on a large, very old banyan tree. But, alas, the tree couldn’t support his hefty weight, and the branch he landed on cracked and fell upon a meditating yogi sitting under the tree. The man lost his temper and cursed away the wings of all elephants, who henceforth had to resort to walking.
I love thinking of clouds as cosmic travelers moving hither and yon, allowing us sometimes to catch glimpses of their journeys and yet, really just going about their own business. Delivering rain sometimes, providing a bit of shade sometimes, shape-shifting at whim. Even with storm clouds hustling and bustling wildly, I imagine cloudland to be an inherently spacious place of peace.
While today’s color suggests a daytime sky, I love the night sky equally. I like thinking about the Egyptian goddess Nut. She was the daughter of Shu, god of vital breath, and his wife, Tefnut, goddess of heat. Nut’s body is depicted as the star-strewn sky arching over the world, usually with her head in the West and her feet in the East. She is said to lie with the Earth each night, first swallowing the sun, which then moves through her body overnight, at which time she gives birth to it once again.
I couldn’t resist making a little bit of cloud art. Years ago, when I was quite actively involved in papermaking, I made a batch of the most fabulous, softest paper – truly as soft as clouds. I saved every little scrap of it left over from the original project and have joyfully used small bits of it here and there. It’s made me very happy to use a bit to depict a cloud.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” What’s not to agree with that?
What about you? Like to keep your eyes on the skies? Are you a card-carrying member of the Cloud Appreciation Society? Feel like you’re walking on clouds and want to share with us so we can celebrate with you? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.
I like skies too–from the bright to the pale blue and usually with clouds, which I find interesting and decorative. If the sky is the canvas, the clouds are the painting.
A lovely way to think about it. At this moment, my canvas is painted a very dark gray and spitting out hail.
Such a pretty name for blue.
Nice post – really got me thinking!
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DB McNicol – Small Delights, Simple Pleasures, and Significant Memories
My Snap Memories – My Life in Black & White
Great – and thanks for stopping by.
I have to love clouds as that is nearly all I see. If the blue breaks through, it’s a champagne moment! YAM xx
Can’t get more gorgeous than that!
I think that is why I like camping and boating. When you are outdoors experiencing all the elements the clouds take on greater significance. My ideal home would be looking out to sea where I could watch the change in colour of the sky, sea and clouds.
I would love that very much too! Just as a note, Linda, I’m having difficulty accessing your posts – your blog header is somehow covering the post, so I can only see a line or two at a time. I’ll be trying another computer or device at some point, and hope to access you that way.
I am a card carrying member, and this was a truly lovely post…
Thanks, Andrew. And somehow, I knew you were a kindred cloud appreciator.
I love the flying elephants story, I have encountered it in several versions and kids always enjoy it when I tell it. 🙂
The Multicolored Diary
It always delights me, so I certainly understand.
Visiting your space and reading your posts is akin to entering an old book shop (I see one in a cottage with low beams and thick walls spilling over with books). You don’t know what you’re looking for when you enter but you leave with a bag full of books from all around the world. You skip all the way back home because you can’t wait to dive into the many stories.
Loved all the skies your words painted here.
Also, I’d recommend Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman, if you haven’t read it yet. It’s a wonderful read.
You are the most beautiful of wordsmiths, Arti – you paint such lovely pictures. Thank you! I’ve looked up the book, saw it was written in verse, and am making immediate room on my TBR list.
I had never thought of clouds in that way, as Emerson said–“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” I will have to lie on my back on the lawn and see if I agree (probably will).
It sounds like a wonderful thing to task yourself with!
I love clouds and have photographed many clouds… just wish I could paint them well… Will have to keep trying…!
I’m inclined to believe that only those with the DNA of a cloud nymph can paint clouds well. Alas, I clearly don’t have any.