My Mind in the Clouds

I took this photograph last summer, which now feels like a decade ago, as the wind whistles through the crack in my window and the rain drums upon my roof. The photograph is simple but it represents escapism to me, something we all need every now and then especially during this grim winter.

Ever since I was young whenever I saw planes soaring above me I’d imagine where the plane was heading. It was usually somewhere warm during England’s never-ending icy winters or somewhere cold during our weeklong tepid summers. Nowadays, however, whenever I see planes painting the sky with a white brush of vapor trails, I envisage myself on it heading to India, a country I left only two months ago but yearn to return to.

This yearning has been brought about because some of my friends are travelling to India in the next few weeks as well as one of my friends still in India announcing her engagement. As I lecture those about to visit incredible India about where to go and what to avoid I brim over with explorers envy, knowing that soon they will be clinging onto a rickshaw as it carves through Delhi or sipping masala chai, high in the Himalayas. So I look at this photograph and pretend, just for a moment, that I am too.

103 thoughts on “My Mind in the Clouds

      • Tim Rueb says:

        James, my work and segmentation has created all of the blogs I update. Some blogs are for clients, some of my blogs are created for specific events or topics, not all are updated as frequently as

        For instance, I’m starting a new on this year. I teach a basic web design class at the local college and the students are only allowed to use notepad when editing html and css. Hundreds of similar problems each semester. I plan to catalog them by creating blog posts so I can just point them to the specific post when students have the same problems in the future.

        Keep up the great output on your work.

  1. elizabeth says:

    Hi, really like the photograph. I’ve been thinking a lot the same recently, sitting indoors listening to the rain and looking at old images, memories, waiting for the sun to break through just for one day so I can take my camera out again. 🙂

  2. jaredblakedicroce says:

    I wish my book would sell,
    A little money would be nice… First to fly across the pond and begin my exploration of Europe in the west, next to work my way toward my heritage in Italy, and eventually find myself in India…
    Ahh dreams…
    Thanks for taking me there

  3. Lakia Gordon says:

    I used to do this when I was younger, but with trains. The train would come by screeching and my brother and I would play the guessing game as to where they were headed… #downmemorylane

  4. Deanna says:

    I share your longing for India, but my life path of having three school aged children is firmly in the way of realizing this dream; so in lieu of visiting I read about it – most recently “Secret Daughter” – and drink my chai and imagine I am there.

  5. LKD says:

    I miss the places I’ve been and have always wondered where the planes above me are going. I sometimes want to be on them, too.

    Thank you for this reminder that dreaming is a wonderful thing!

    Happy Travels,

  6. Jessika Dené Tarr says:

    Beautiful photograph, James! The contrast between the colour of the sky and the colour of the cloud is enchanting.

  7. iamwill216 says:

    India is a dream destination for me too – both for the cultural experience and because it is the birthplace of one of the world’s great religions. I love the composition of your photograph – a brief gap to escape from your world, before misery closes in once again!

  8. lisasub says:

    I understand your predicament all too well! Just back from south east Asia I am filled with explorer’s envy! Oh to be abroad again, such life, such joy. And such good food!!

  9. patridew says:

    Oh how I can relate to this! Twenty years ago I left my home in Canada to live in Bangkok, Thailand. For 4 years I kept my watch set to Toronto time, which wasn’t too bad for half of the year when there was a 12 hour difference. I could not go to the airport without tearing up, wishing desperately to be the one getting on the plane. And everytime I heard or saw a jetplane in the sky I would weep silently and secretly loathe all those people who were lucky enough to be flying out of Bangkok going somewhere, anywhere, that wasn’t here. Now, however, I love this place, and have a healthy emotional attachment to planes and airports.
    Congrats on the freshlypressed!

  10. Nora Weston says:

    Hi! You have a truly interesting blog…and fantastic pics. It’s funny how the airplane pic appears differently to people. To me, it seems like the airplane is trying like crazy to escape being closed in by the clouds. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  11. TheBlackTwig says:

    I also love India. Just came back from there a couple of weeks ago. Your pic made me melancholic and want to go back there asap. 🙂 Keep it up!

  12. SinhaG says:

    One thing is for sure about escapism, a person’s mind is the quickest to escape. Even while working, if the mind isn’t concentrating on work, it escapes away. Our mind is a wonderful escapist.

  13. NourishU says:

    Amazing photo – makes me want to follow the trail beyond the clouds! Masala chai and Chitra Baerjee Divakaruni are as close as I’ve been to India, but hope to go one day. Riding a richshaw must certainly be more pleasant than a Tap Tap full of 30+ people, w/baggage, through Haiti!
    Uplifting post, thanks.

  14. Shivam says:

    Hey that’s a really nice photograph as well as the post…..and yea one has to visit India, well I stay in India, and it is a great place to explore… ^_^

  15. Tooty Nolan says:

    People who don’t travel seem to loathe the whole idea of air transportation. How they adored that period of volcanic ash that emptied the skyof aircraft. Me – I hated it. Vapour trails hold so much potential for adventure.

  16. Deboshree says:

    Beau-tiful photograph. It’s going to be on my desktop for a while.
    *clinging to Delhi’s autorickshaws* that makes me homesick. I came back to Pune from Delhi just a few days ago… 😦

    I can so relate to the reverse craving you talk about: the mystery and romance of winter on a too-hot summer afternoon and the charm of a pleasant summer evening on a misty and dull winter dusk. So much for the human mind’s power to cook up just the right escape route.

    Good luck with your posting and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  17. ichahassan says:

    I love this post. I like the idea of the dreamy picture and the story behind it, it suits with my brand new to do list: find a way to India. Can you give a comment about this post It would be really great because I’m a beginner, I’m not a photographer though, but I like to write and I hope I can have many readers that can enjoy my masterpieces as much as I can have. Thank You.

  18. indobrad says:

    I sometimes watch the airplanes flying above my house in Jakarta around midnight at the same time every night. Looking at the direction and checking the schedule with the airport, I’d imagine the plane is heading for Sydney.

    Congratulations for being on the freshly pressed. Greetings from Indonesia 🙂

  19. Seuhle says:

    Your photograph is wonderful! I often have my mind in the clouds too 🙂 catching a glimpse of an airplane in the sky never fails to brighten my day! Have faith, you will return to India one day!

  20. CommentatorandPoet says:

    I love the plane photo. Would make a great large wall hanging piece framed or unframed. Simplicity is always the best. In my poetry writing the same rule applies. The poems of four to five lines carry the greatest power and message. Could the message of our eternity be as simple? Thank you for sharing.

  21. mdutiel says:

    i share many of those memories of dreaming what far off destination that these planes were headed too.
    the photograph is lovely too. the composition is fantastic and i really love the golden hue.

    awesome post!

  22. Riax says:

    This post is depressingly on the nail. I lurrrve taking pictures and on my trip to India took well over 1000. One thing i have learned when looking at these types of pictures is do not get sad letting them remind you of where you have been, they should encourage you to think about the paces you are about to go. Happy travelling. 🙂

  23. Ankita says:

    Hey! Wonderful post. It is ironic I randomly ended up at your blog, but it is quite fitting because I am going to India next week! I share your thoughts about looking at the clouds, and experiencing the eagerness to fly away to another land. Sometimes it makes me a little sad, but then I realize that my imagination is not restricted, only my physical spirit. 🙂 As Rabindranath Tagore once said, “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” Hope you find your way back to India soon! I am sure she will welcome you with open arms.

  24. ldsrr91 says:

    I live in a “fly over” state (Oklahoma) and in my youth, I did the very same thing. I would lie on the ground, my back to the earth, look up at the sky and wonder the same thing you wondered.

    Where are they going?

    Later on I found out … Tulsa.

    Nice read, thanks.


  25. Naomi says:

    Ahhh, your comment about seeing the planes made me think about one of my favorite phrases “happiness is hearing the jets take off in the morning”. I grew up near an airport (we could set our watches to the 10pm arrival from Miami that flew straight over our house) and was in the Air Force for many, many years. When we had dead air after 9/11 it was just eerie to drive by the airport and not see/hear the planes. May we never experience that again. Thanks for the smile your post brought to me. And congrats for being “freshly pressed”.

  26. Paul Shepherd says:

    “Wow. Impressive.” And “Thank You.” are the four words I would like to say to you. I enjoyed reading this because now I feel o.k. about dreaming and imagining where I want to be right now. And the picture is also very good.

  27. jimmorrisondreamdiaries says:

    Market that photo and I’ll be your first customer. I’ve some very similar but yours is more close-up pulling us all in there to relax. . Please know that not many can capture the sky like this. I had a photo chosen as ‘picture of the week’ on 18th April this year in a reasonably large newspaper by simply submitting it. PLEASE do something with this one. It;s magnificent!!!

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