I admit it. Even though I collect pictures of sunrises to glory in the fact that I still have another day of life in this world, I rarely snap a picture of the cloudless sunrise. It is very possible that this has something to do with what ultimately gives life value and makes it worthwhile to live one more day.
If there is no pattern, no color-changes, no contrast, no variation… then why bother? And this doesn’t only apply to living your life. It applies to taking pictures of the sky too. Solid blue or solid yellow are about as interesting as a minimalist painting. (Have you ever seen the big beige squares and red squares that fill entire walls of the Dallas Art Museum? Like a picture of a polar bear in a fierce blizzard or an extreme close-up of the side of a tomato.)
Yes, sunshine and happiness are all well and good… but you don’t get a satisfactory skyscape without some clouds in it. In fact, rain clouds provide the most fascinating patterns and colors. What would the picture be without a little drama splashed here and there to make a center of interest or a counterpoint to the happy ending? They say that variety is the spice of life. And when they say that they probably mean cayenne pepper rather parsley or oregano. If that’s not what they mean, then why the hell did we bring food into the discussion?
So, I am thinking, there have to be clouds. (Notice, I said “clouds”, not “clowns”, because… according to the song, there “ought to be clowns”, not “have to be clowns”.)
It is true that clouds can mean sadness… that the rain is coming, that your vision is obscured, that something has come between you and God’s eye. But without clouds, the sky would be plain and boring. Better to burn bright and explode in a short amount of time than to linger over a plain pale blue.