Have you noticed the story the sky tries to tell? Skies paint the mood for the day, skies are maps for days. If there were a picture for every day, they’d all look different thanks to the sky. The sky speaks a language, loudly but nobody listens or understands. Every once in a while it comes alive forcing you to take notice. The backdrop of life we take for granted is the sky we look up to, happy or sad. It’s a hierarchy we can never bridge. So close yet so far.
Under the grand skies that scientists reduce to gases, condensation and unchartered territory for faster modes of travel beyond it which lies a universe that man can only hope to conquer. If you think humans have a vibrant personality, you have not taken enough notice of the skies, have you? The skies don’t speak too much, every once in a while the sky too has its days when it sounds the thunder and reveals its temper with lightning. On those days we’re humbled into submission, the sky we forever make the mistake of underestimating shows us our place inside tiny homes that if the sky were to unleash itself could rip it apart and us too.
The sky today was beautiful, the tame sky was kind in the morning, shining and stark blue bestowing the city with joy and light, in the afternoon though it awoke from the daze, it’s brows furrowing, morphing into grey madness fuming with low growls before completely letting go washing the city green with uncontrollable anger that could silence the Gods. It took a break in the evening with a yellow uncertain afterglow, biding its time for the matinee show ending with the fireworks display. Purple, black, and gold exploded, flashing before emitting loud bursts intimidating nature proving its lordship.
There’s a story the sky tries to tell, weaving years out of days, changing colour ensuring our life proceeds and along with life us too. We wake up in the lap of the sky and sleep cocooned within its glittering blanket. Yet we seem to think we are the ones in control. Funny don’t you think? We can only make umbrellas and hats and with one wind the sky can blow those away too. We build skyscrapers that don’t live up to their name. What we take for granted controls our lives. What really makes the seasons is the change in the sky.
The sky owes nobody anything but we owe the sky everything. The sky is time’s very own hourglass. Time, therefore, owes the sky too. A happy day and a happy sky have more correlation in the world more than we give the sky any credit. The sky’s rage though is short-lived. As soon as it gets angry it stops, some days not so much and it deserves that much leeway. Our plans change when the skies change and there’s nothing to it. It’s a law of nature we must all abide by and it’s when we start to think we’re above it that things fall into disarray.
I find the sky the most interesting part of nature, the most dynamic and intriguing part because we think we know everything about it. On first glance, it seems simple and fairly understandable until we start looking at layers and then we can get lost. The sky isn’t simply described in poems and literature because poets and authors have nothing to write about, it’s the other way around. On any day the sky can inspire, in its plainness, in its rage and even tranquil. The sky symbolises in a way everything and nothing. It fills the gaps in the landscape but creates a sense of space too, huge stretches of vastness which cluttered human minds can barely understand.
The urban human can’t stand space, some people see a vision of a cluttered sky, we don’t like gaps and space. They talk about space colonies and I feel the sky and the universe is best kept when it’s out of reach of humans. We have a tendency to ruin everything we touch, a twisted version of Midas’ tale. The unsatiated human urge to paint everything with concrete has still not reached the sky and the sky waits for the human challenge. Rest assured one day we’ll get there because there’ll be nowhere left to go. The sky is a land untouched so far but strewn with human remnants as the human skyline grows taller and taller.
The sky is the last pillar standing and perhaps the last weapon nature has in its arsenal. I like to think one day there’ll be chaotic landscapes that artists will paint, “modern art” if you will. But to see the sky the way it was will be a display hung in the Louvre, something we’ll have to pay thousands of dollars to see, and my generation will sit in front of gaping children reminiscing the days when the sky was vast, that we saw the blue sky, spotted Venus, wished upon shooting stars and used telescopes to peer into space.
We’ll tell stories of skies that were spread over the horizon, over the concrete cities that now stand on seas. Once upon a time, the sky was undefeated we’ll tell them. When the young ones ask for proof, we’ll pull out the old, ricketty smartphone, a historic piece of technology itself and show them the tiny picture that fit in their small palms to give them a glimpse of a minuscule portion of what was the magnificent sky.
We’ll show them the shades in the sky, in the hope that their imaginative minds might break a few concrete walls to make peepholes to bring back the lost sky and create a new cycle of rebuilding a world perhaps a neo-technological approach with the 21st century as a retro theme, paint a few concrete walls blue to explain what we have seen. We will be the veterans of our generation testament to a fairytale the last of our kind custodians of the glorious story of the shades in the sky. Picture that.