Clouds are bigger in Texas. The sky is bigger in Texas. Should my dreams not be bigger as well? You bet ‘cha!
I’ve been thinking a lot about clouds lately, and I really don’t know clouds at all. Wait a minute. I think I’ve heard that before.
Yes, back in the late 60s Joni Mitchell penned her famous song Both Sides, Now, a melancholy interpretation of maturing from innocent optimism to the pessimistic perspective of maturity feed by disappointment and emotional pain. While her studio version is inspiring, I’m most moved by the orchestral version, with a chorus of strings and woodwinds giving her an ethereal backdrop on which to lay her husky words of hope, loss, and questioning of life altogether.
In spite of the sadness the song evokes of growing up and realizing that clouds aren’t ice cream castles in the sky, I like clouds. I remain inspired by clouds. And all those idioms that douse clouds (okay, pun intended) with the prejudice of immaturity — think head in the clouds or pie in the sky — I say that no matter how wise and experienced one is, the childhood pleasure in cloud-dreaming can inspire inspiration if only we allow it.
To Joni’s point, yes, life is complicated. How can it be any other way? Life is the never-ending weaving, unraveling, reweaving of a universal tapestry, as we meet new faces, walk away from others. It’s not something we will ever fully get our head around.
One of the elements of Both Sides, Now that I love is that Joni touches on topics that are evergreen, the courage to be vulnerable (to say I love you right out loud) and to walk your path in spite of what your friends may think or say (my friends shake their heads and say I’ve changed). The subjects of self-empowerment and authenticity are cornerstones of my writing and coaching practices.
We all walk through life not knowing what the next minute will bring, much less the next day, or decade if we are lucky enough to live so long. We must have courage. We must believe in ourselves and in the grander scale of what is becoming.
We may never understand it all, but what would it take to believe that good intentions beget good outcomes; that our inner reality is reflected in our outer reality; that love begets love. Respect begets respect. And that clouds beget the hope of life so grand that we can’t even begin to imagine.
Clouds are bigger in Texas. The sky is bigger in Texas. Y’all come on out, and I’ll show you.
I really don’t know clouds…
I really don’t know love…
I really don’t know life at all…
It’s okay, Joni. Who among us does?
What will you allow yourself to dream into reality?
Sheila Callaham is a best-selling author and inspirational coach. She listened to “Both Sides, Now” about thirty times in a row while writing this post. She encourages you to listen to Joni’s beautiful music; more importantly, she encourages you to watch the clouds and dream. Dream big.