Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Of Clouds, and Not Falling

"Wouldn't it be cool to live on a cloud?"

"You can't live up there."

"It would be cool. Like living in someone's stomach. A snowman's stomach."

"That's water vapor. It's not solid."

"It looks solid."

"It's water vapor and something else. Particles of something. I forget. Dad said it. Go ask him."

"I know. But still.... You can--"

"It's not solid."

"Look! Can you see through it? No. If you can't see through it, it's solid."

"You'd fall to your death. It would be horrible."

"We see it, because light is bouncing off of it. If it bounces, it's solid."

"You're going to need a parachute."

"I won't need a parachute!"

"You'll fall like this. Arms and legs like this. AHHHHhhhhh....."

"Stop it!"


"Stop it!"


"Be quiet! Now Dad's mad."

"You be quiet!"


"No, you!"


"Well, I'm going to live on my cloud, and you can't come with me. So there."

[Dedicated to our two munchkins, aged 9 and 7.]


Shadow said...

mmmm, i'm also in the clouds today... and i agree with the little one, you CAN live on a cloud.

Michele said...

Makes perfect sense to me.

Vesper said...

Lovely, Jason! :-) How well two different personalities come out of this great dialogue.

I'd love to live on a cloud... :-)

Anonymous said...

This was awesome. I love it!

I don't think I'd want to live in the clouds. Cloud City seemed like a bad place.

Aniket Thakkar said...

I so wish I had written this for my Nick & Jenny series.

But it wouldn't have been nearly this good. :P

A superb dedication to your two munchkins. I have a feeling they got the personalities from their parents. Am sure Aine believes she can live in the clouds. Not sure about you though. You can surely describe the life up there such that we all would believe, but I can totaly picture you saying "GIRLS!" in a similar conversation. :D :D

PS: Oh, I believe we can live on the clouds too. :P

Siddhesh Kabe said...

Simply marvelous...loved it to the core...

Adisha said...

That is sooooooooooooooooo very cute !!! :)

Aimee Laine said...

I think I've heard that exact conversation between my kids ... including the "GIRLS!" :). Now as for living on a cloud ... my stomach knots itself up at the thought. :)

Tara said...

Very sweet. Lot's of awwww factor from me :)

Aine said...

:D Thank you for capturing such a precious moment, Jason! This is one for our memory scrapbook, for sure.

I've always dreamed of walking on clouds, wished with all my soul that it were possible. But, I would've been the scientific voice in the vignette. Always looking to science for the "real" possibilities. It's the mysteries of science that enrapture me.

Sarah Hina said...

Very sweetly captured. :) Maybe your readers would be surprised to know which girl is which here (just guessing, that is ;))? Such a great conversation to draw the distinctions in perspectives.

I'll be diplomatic and say that they're both right (as for myself, I'd still like to build a summer home up there). But who can really argue with "So there"? ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

If you've ever walked in a fog you've lived on a cloud.

Margaret said...

Thank you Jason for sharing this sweet conversation between your two munchkins with us. :)

I enjoyed it so much. Brought back memories of my girls when they were small.

I think we all live in clouds sometimes. :) And why not?

Mona said...

I hope they will be on cloud nine sometime in their life :)

Milly said...

This reminds me of me and my sister when we were young. Thanks I’m sitting in a hospital room watching her sleep as we start fighting cancer.i needed a smile.

Meghan said...

Adorable. I also thought of "Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!"

Karen said...

You write this with such strong voice -- creating the children's personalities and perspectives with great skill. I felt like an eavesdropper.

the walking man said...

I'll take my chances without the parachute. I will stand on the vaporous cloud and proclaim for all to hear; "This is my land, and only them who can stand here with me may enter."

Lisa Jordan said...

Oh, yes, there are days when I'd love to live on the clouds. So tranquil...until a storm hit.

Anonymous said...

Shadow, it would be soft there. A wonderful place to nap. :)

Michele! Great to see you. :) Yeah, we're on clouds today.

Vesper, although this conversation wasn't real, it's my impression on how the conversation would play out. I'm happy to have recorded how I see them at this particular moment. :)

StrugglingWriter, yeah, that Lando.... He needs to cut Han Solo some slack already. ;)

Aniket, it's so very fascinating to watch their personalities develop. In a way, our older child is very like us emotionally. Our younger child is very like us intellectually, but much more of a scrapper.

Sid, thank you!

Adisha, the conversations are great. :) The arguments, not so much....

Aimee, so we're not alone! ;) Sounds like you may be afraid of heights. I guess the key would be not to look over the side.

thtkndofgrl, we really need to record them more. No matter how vivid it seems now, time will make it fade.

Aine, yes, I was thinking of this as kind of a scrapbook too. Of course, it's more of recording of how I see them. It's how I could hear them talking. As for the clouds, I don't mind visiting. :)

Sarah, yes, I do think people would be surprised, because actually, I played a kind of trick. The key to the identities is how they approach the argument. The rational is taking the fanciful idea (as all kids have) and fighting for it with rational arguments (even though they're ultimately wrong). The idealist is harmonizing with expectation and relationships around her. Dad would point out it's impossible, so it's impossible. Plus, as we know, idealists can have their own firm rational skills.

Charles, I did that recently.

Margaret, I'm glad I could take you back. :) It must be so amazing to see them as adults now.

Mona, all in all, it's a pretty nice place to be, isn't it? :)

Milly, I physically pulled back from the computer when I read your comment, then teared up. Thank you for telling me. I'm humbled to have given that smile when you needed it. My thoughts are with you and your sister. I wish her well. :)

Meghan, Mick Jagger would make good company for her up there! I could image some funky chicken dances going on.

Karen, thank you! I think it's essential to create a false reality in dialogue. A touchy thing, for sure. You have to forget that you're reading words on a page.

Walking Man, I like that. :) A true test if I ever heard one. I think you'd have companions.

Lisa, great to see you! You're right about storms. That would be a heck of a ride....

Catherine Vibert said...

Makes me think of that movie Mindwalk, filmed at Mont St. Michele. It involves a deep discussion about quantum and particle physics and the theory that nothing is solid at all. It's about how close the particles are that gives the illusion of solidity. Perhaps your daughters will be interested in that movie in about 10 years. For now, it's great for NTs and quantum thinking. Plus it's shot at Mont St. Michele, so its wonderful to just watch it for that.

Catherine Vibert said...

Love the shot by the way. Great definition.

Kurt Hendricks said...

Ever time I'm in an airplane looking down on the clouds, I imagine myself leaping effortlessly from plume to plume. I fantasize that it would be like a great big moon bounce - like they kind they have at kid's birthday parties.

Pallav said...

Watching clouds is a great way to get inspired to write. Works somehow...

I also second/third whoever said we can live on clouds. It's just too fantastic a thought to deny unless we try it :D


Milly said...

Thank you.

My sister and I shared a room for several years and became roommates until I married. She is one of the most loving giving person that I know. It’s big and bad and is going to be a hard fight.

Precie said...

Jason---How wonderful! So vividly captures these two distinct world views.

And, Milly, hugs and prayers go out to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Catvibe, that sounds like a movie I would like! When these late day, huge clouds formed, I just had to get a picture or two.

Kurt, I think it is like that. Seriously. ;)

Milly, she's lucky to have you there with her.

Precie, I'm sure those hugs are very much appeciated. :)

Milly said...

jason and Precie,
Thank you

Anonymous said...

So you're trying to convince me that clouds are just an illusion?
Quite often, my head is in those clouds.