Heat and Cold

“Between the melting and the freezing, the soul sap quivers.”  T. S. Elliot, as quoted in Macauley on p. 207.

Heat and cold, while relative experiences of molecular movements and atmospheric states, are an intimate part of our every moment.  We all know how cold some of the  classrooms can be here. And perhaps a scant three months ago you might have been complaining in the sweltering heat.  We people who live in temperate climes love the middle states: spring with its welcome warming and autumn with its cooling breezes and crisp clear nights.  But what of our fellow humans and mammals that live in extremes?  What is life like in the tropics?  In the far northern (or southern?) extremes of the planet?

Gretel Erhlich, a writer and novelist, has explored living in northern Greenland.

How many associations can you think of or find for the terms of heat and cold?  Consider the following links as suggestions:

yoga,  Heraclitus,  Innuit world,  technology,  foods,  McCluhan,  Emerson,  Greek physicians,  colors, moods.  Others?

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Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight

The style of Interstice: Cloud mirrors that of a cloud itself. Perhaps that is why I admire this section the most. I found the passage to be very poetic, as Macauley incorporates ethereal diction and complex structure.  The interstice is complicated, similar to how we try to explain clouds and the purpose they serve, and its ideas are sometimes presented in subtle ways that are more profound when given a second read, much like the beauty and presence of clouds, as a passive sky landscape that deserve to be admired, not simply glanced at. “… [T]he eye is forever drawn to the drama of the sky (p. 173),” eloquently demonstrates human obsession with the sky or heavens, as we have associated the height of the atmosphere with godly domains. Another idea as to why we are drawn to the sky is that maybe it is because it is the only landscape we cannot manipulate. I tend to be drawn toward things I don’t quite fully understand, and with the sky and clouds, it is especially fascinating because I can’t explore it myself. Clouds are part of the horizon that I will never grasp, and if my curiosity cannot be quelled by my sense of touch, resorting to my sense of sight will have to suffice in my pursuit of understanding clouds.



Another part of the reading that I appreciated was the inclusion of the interpretation of the clouds from a weather standpoint. I am always looking for more tips on ‘reading the land’, and, in this case, ‘reading the sky’. Just as moss grows on the north-facing side of a tree (can anyone confirm this?), or how constantly chirping birds alludes to upcoming rain, clouds can indicate weather patterns as well, assisting “…farmers, military leaders and ship captains in many ages (p. 177).” Rapidly moving, thickening clouds could mean bad weather, and wispy, scattered clouds could mean strong winds ahead. The natural signs of the land and sky is a great language that I hope to one day be able to fully interpret.

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Clouds: part II

Under our header of Air you will find  a  page which invites you to think about Clouds.  This post will invite you to explore cloud imagery as suggested by David Macauley and by myself.  Can you identify the images that connect to the text?  The reference images are followed by some images from me.  What feeling tone does each picture give you?



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