You don’t believe in God? And I said,
No. I believe in this connection we all have
to nature, to each other, to the universe.
And she said, Yeah, God. And how we stood there,
low beasts among the white oaks, Spanish moss,
and spider webs, obsidian shards stuck in our pockets,
woodpecker flurry, and I refused to call it so.
So instead, we looked up at the unruly sky,
its clouds in simple animal shapes we could name
though we knew they were really just clouds
disorderly, and marvelous, and ours.
Through her poetry, Ida Limon expresses what Albert Einstein called in his 1930 Religion and Science paper, “the cosmic religious feeling.” I would add to his famous quote from that paper that the most important function of “art, science, poetry and clouds (my addition), is to awaken this cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.”
A fellow Kabbalah teacher sent me the photo above to remind me of an encounter we had of a cloud many years ago. Yehudis Fishman and I were descending into Santa Fe when she began to talk about the unique milky quality of the clouds she knew well from her time living in New Mexico. We then both gazed up to see a vision of man, a watercolor painted in the sky above. It was sunset and behold, the sun was nestled in his clasped hands.
k s b
s p l
on the stretched canvas sky
Forming in my mind’s eye.
Swirls of grey, variations in hue
the shading and shadowing skies
An ancient, prescient, meditative man
the flame of a setting sun
melting in his clasped hands
A fusion of charcoal strokes and orange rays
Eyes transfixed at 80 miles per hour
On this sketch of divine proportions
On a Kabbalah journey.
If you have marveled at the images sent back to us from space of Jupiter’s clouds you may also find
mystery in seeing closer clouds take form to reveal images that stir our cosmic religious feeling.
What do you see in the photo of the clouds above or the clouds above Jupiter?