7:30 BELLS: A Jouissance of Clouds

The wonderful French word jouissance combines the ideas of playfulness and joy. I love that. The word perfectly describes both Friday’s sunset of pink powder-puffs (cirrocumulus) and the way the bells rang as I watched it. We have terms for groups of animals—a pride of lions, a glory of unicorns, a murder of crows—so why not for groups of clouds? This sunset was a jouissance of clouds. How about a brooding of clouds for brooding stratus? Or a dragon of clouds for nimbus?

Clouds can carry any emotion, probably because they don’t have to carry them long before they change. In minutes, a dragon turns from a swallow to a rose to a glowing Botticelli angel. If only we could be like this too, instead of endlessly plodding under the weight of emotions we’ve strapped to our own backs. As I watched this sunset, this jouissance of clouds, I realized that the greatest jouissance comes from watching the clouds morph on unseen currents of air. And from wondering what will they become next.

If only I could remember that I am blue canvas of sky and the clouds only passing emotions. We all have currents, most blowing unseen from our unconscious, that shape our emotional lives. As I watched the powder-puff sunset fade, I wanted to hold on to the jouissance fiercely. But who can hold a cloud? Who would want to? And so I let it go, and waited for the next experience of life to take shape. 

Jouissance makes the bells ring

7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.

7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday
 of every month. Join me on August 12 for a guest post with 
Crystal Kite winning author Kim Baker.