Both Sides Now


“Look at the one on the right. It looks like a flag about to unfurl,” said Jenny, pointing toward the sky. She and her best friend Liz were taking a much needed break from their hike through the scenic, rocky terrain.

“It reminds me of that whirling Tasmanian devil cartoon character,” said Liz. “The one to its left looks like a firework after it exploded and the breeze has picked up the residual and is starting to blow it away.”

Staring at these clouds brings to mind that old Joni Mitchell song,” said Jenny. “Damn, I can’t think of the name of that song.”

“It’s ‘Both Sides Now’ I think,” Liz responded.

“Oh right,” Jenny said. The lyrics talk about looking at clouds.

Liz said, “Yes, I know.” She then softly sang some of the lyrics from the song.

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

“That’s beautiful,” said.

Both women sat in silence for a while, marveling at the ever-changing, wispy cloud formations as they traversed the skyscape.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “unfurl,” and for this week’s writing challenge from Sue Vincent for #writephoto. It’s a twofer!

And, as a bonus, here’s Joni’s song.

The Big Picture


“Sorry, I don’t see it,” Hank said.

“Oh come on,” Marilyn said. “Look again. Look harder.”

“I’m looking as hard as I can,” Hank responded, his eyes squinting as he stared at the rocky mountainside dark against the setting sun. “I just don’t see it.”

Marilyn was exasperated. “What do you see?” She asked.

“I can’t tell,” Hank answered. “It’s too far away. It’s either a pile of rocks or a tree growing out of a crack. Or maybe it’s someone standing on the summit.”

Marilyn looked toward the huge rocky cliff. “What exactly are you looking at?”

Hank looked at Marilyn. He was confused. “I’m looking at what you asked me to look at,” he responded. He pointed to the outcropping at the top of the mountain. “That thing that is sticking up from the top. You said it looks like a young girl, but I just don’t see it.”

“No!” Marilyn said. “I said that it looks like the silhouette of a young girl’s face has been carved into the side of the mountain. ¬†Look harder. Don’t you see it?”

“Oh yeah!” Hank exclaimed. “She’s sitting down at the top of the mountain and her long hair is blowing in the wind.”

“You know what you’re problem is, Hank?” Marilyn said, shaking her head back and forth. “You can never see the big picture.”

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

If You Can’t Be Good…


“I can do it,” Danny insisted.

Benny looked over at the cliff. “I bet you can’t,” he said to his older brother.

“Do you dare me? Danny asked his 10-year-old sibling.

Benny looked again at the cliff and then looked at his big brother, two years his senior. It looked dangerous, but Benny thought Danny could do just about anything. “I double dog dare you,” he said, tauntingly,

“I’m gonna do it. I’m going to scale that wall and climb out onto that tree,” Danny said with an air of confidence that he didn’t quite feel deep down inside. He handed Benny his iPhone. “Take a picture of me when I get up there.”

“Be careful,” Benny said.

“And if I can’t be careful, be good, right?” Danny quipped.

“No,” Benny corrected Danny. “It’s if you can’t be good, be careful. That’s what Dad always says.”

“Whatever! Stay right here,” Danny instructed Benny, and then set off on the 30 or so yard hike to the base of the cliff.

Danny arrived at the bottom of the cliff, waved back toward Benny, and slowly started to scale the sheer wall, gripping the crevices in the rocks with his fingers, pulling himself up with his outstretched arms, and pushing with his legs. Benny was virtually holding his breath as he watched his big brother ascend the wall.

Once he got close to the top, Danny leaned to his left and carefully reached out for the large branch protruding from the rocky wall. He pulled himself up and out onto the large limb and shimmied as far out as he could.

He waved at his little brother, who cheered for Danny and then snapped a picture of his big brother sitting on the branch. That’s when Benny heard the loud crack that echoed off the canyon walls and saw his brother and the branch fall toward the base of the ravine.

Benny screamed and ran toward the cliff, dreading what he might find when he got there.¬†“Danny! Danny!” Benny yelled as he neared the cliff, tears streaming down his cheeks.

A wave of relief spread over Benny when he saw his older brother, his arms wrapped around the large branch, floating in the deep water of the quarry at the base of the cliff wall.

“Jesus Christ!” Benny yelled at Danny. “I thought you were dead!”

“Nah!” said Danny, waving to, and smiling at, his little brother. “Remember, if you can’t be careful, be good. And I’m damn good!”

This post was written for this week’s Thursday’s Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.


The Windmills of My Mind


I was sitting in the tall grass not far from the old windmill, watching the large, louvered sails moving in a slow circle around the windmill’s tower. It was almost mesmerizing. Then my eyes moved to the clouds overhead, traveling slowly in their journey from west to east, changing shapes as they moved across the sky.

And I wondered if it was the blades of the windmill that caused the breeze that propelled the clouds in the sky or if it was the breeze that propelled the sails of the windmill to unceasingly rotate.

I must have fallen asleep before my tired mind could conjure up an answer.

Written for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto prompt. Photo credit: Sue Vincent. I think.