Michael Ubaldi, July 24, 2003.
Sordid news, however welcome, is never to be dwelt upon. For lunch today I walked to beloved Westgate Mall. A series of adjacent parking lots separates my office building from the closest mall fašade. An urban veldt, the yellow-stroked asphalt plain extends in a few directions for several hundred meters, punctuated by cars, moving or stationary; and curbed-in, trimmed oases with a single tree glittering green in the summer. It's a good five minutes in either direction. On a snowy, wintry day or a beautifully sunny one like today, the stroll is magnificent - just be sure to bring the heavy jacket or sunglasses, respectively.
Today was a meteorological reprieve, with only a fraction of the kneading humidity Cleveland has endured for nearly a week. The blue sky was a purer blue, undiluted by haze, and allowed for the most wonderful sight off to the southern horizon as I drew towards the mall: sixty to one hundred miles away, cumulus clouds had begun vaulting upwards without the pacification of cooler, Lake Erie air. They all stood in a line, west to east, some further developed or more vertically brazen than others; a few shaped like overgrown bushes, most like geysers caught in a freeze-frame. All of them glowing yellowish-white against a deep cerulean. I looked straight up and saw an infinite clearing, counting my momentary blessings to observe a skyborne tumult from a distant perspective.
After eating, I exited the mall and began my return to the office. Lake air had begun to condense, finally; winds aloft had begun draping cirrus and altocirrus across the sky above me - again, west to east. Though I observed that blue sky and gold sun had become scarcer in supply - I detest a flatly cloudy, grey canopy - I couldn't deny the timeless allure of the spotty, aggregate streaks. Against that same cerulean from an hour before were broken lines like scumbled, impasto zinc white from a Post-Impressionist's palette knife. A stoic and a dreamer in one, I intended to breathe in deeply and relish the moment.
I settled with writing about it afterward. I'll enjoy this more.