Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Skyscape as a metaphor for Impermanence

The only thing preditable about weather, as revealed by changes in the sky, especially the cloud formation, is its unpreditability. Whimsical, capricious, thy name is weather. In a way, these are all manifestations of impermanence, the Buddhist worldview of the material world. Somewhat paradoxically, recognizing this phenomenon is essential to attaining mindfulness, a state of mind that does not revolve with the external environments.

Let's then see the following images of vagarious sky taken from my personal image library for what that are, just observe and let them pass.

Looks like fire in the sky, exuding smoke from a location just about the street light and forming an expanding blanket that rolls across the sky toward the left.

A mushroom-top cloud formation, but with much less ill-portent than one that heralds a pending nuclear winter, sitting on top a billboard that warns of, of all things, when the weather turns bad.

A two-in-one collage of the same piece of sky as viewed from the Keys Hall at UF, but at different times that truly exemplifies the whimsical sky.

A big blob of cloud now overshadows the same grandstand as the image above.

A prototypical silver lining, with beams of light struggling to break through the tenacious dark clouds.

Sky in the water, reflection that is.

We often see these pinkish clouds in the evening near our place.

A cotton field in the sky.

A dragon on land, rather than up in the sky, twisting its serpentine form and chasing after the proverbial pearl seen at Fo Guang Shan Temple, Orlando at the occasion of this year's Buddha's Birthday celebration.

Birds scurrying away in disarray from the tree canopy, perhaps sensing something amiss. Animal instincts fare better than human instincts in warning of impending danger.

A rare treat of a double rainbow arching across our piece of sky seen from our apartment.

A hind view of a airplane seemingly flying into the cloud ahead as seen from the ground of Fo Guang Shan Temple, Orlando, the green tent roofs being part of the setup in commemoration of Buddha's Birthday held on 11 May, 2009.


Lee Wei Joo said...

The vast open sky has always given inspiration for us humans to dream and wonder. Great photos! They certainly are majestic and grand.

c.y. lee said...

I like the silver lining and cotton field pictures. I think the cloud in the second photo looks more like an anvil...

Say Lee said...

Yeah, we know that's stretching our imagination a bit; but it fits the caption better than an anvil then.

Yang-May said...

Thanks for reminding us to look up! It's so easy to get caught up in our daily rush and forget to take a moment to just be. Gazing up at clouds is the perfect way to pause - and it's free. Mind you, here in the UK, the clouds can be a bit depressing - grey, grey, grey!