FIVE CLOUDSCAPES IN THE SASKATCHEWAN SKY
JUNE 19, 2011
Photographs by Reid Dickie
Beauty before me, with it I wander
Beauty behind me, with it I wander
Beauty below me, with it I wander
Beauty above me, with it I wander.
After several days alone and exploring the summer prairie, the hugeness of the sky, the openness of the space and the eternity it suggests conspire to affect me. The vast available quantity of the colour blue above me, around me, inside me has an influence on my body and thoughts. I watch for this. It is the subtlety of the Plains talking to me. I become still and experience its delightful eloquence.
Here’s a sample of the eloquence it inspired in Wallace Stegner from his classic, Wolf Willow: “There was never a country that in its good moments was more beautiful. Even in drought or dust storm or blizzard, it is the reverse of monotonous, once you have submitted to it with all the senses. You don’t get out of the wind, but learn to lean and squint against it. You don’t escape sky and sun but wear them in your eyeballs and on your back. You become acutely aware of yourself. The world is very large, the sky even larger, and you are very small. But also the world is flat, empty, nearly abstract, and in its flatness you are a challenging upright thing, as sudden as an exclamation mark, as enigmatic as a question mark.”