The figure 23,001 should be stamped onto my forehead, it being my membership number for the Cloud Appreciation Society. I have only just got around to joining this community of cultured and fluffy folk who celebrate the patron goddesses of idle fellows. This is more than a year after first watching Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s most splendid television documentary, Cloudspotting, which was re-broadcast by the BBC last Saturday.
Manifesto of the Cloud Appreciation Society…
WE BELIEVE that clouds are unjustly maligned
and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them.
We think that they are Nature’s poetry,
and the most egalitarian of her displays, since
everyone can have a fantastic view of them.
We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it.
Life would be dull if we had to look up at
cloudless monotony day after day.
We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the
atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of
a person’s countenance.
Clouds are so commonplace that their beauty is often overlooked.
They are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul.
Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save
on psychoanalysis bills.
And so we say to all who’ll listen:
Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and live life with your head in the clouds!
The Cloud Appreciation Society membership certificate I shall treasure. It is already more valuable to me than my PhD diploma, and is most likely more useful.