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Three Things: Cloud Edition

2011 June 13

On my wordy reference shelf sits The Extended Words: An Imaginary Dictionary, by Sid Gershgoren (Red Wing, MN: Red Dragonfly Press, 2009). It’s full of, yes, imaginary words and their imaginary definitions, complete with imaginary examples of use. Such as:

CHUNG /chung’/ Expletive. A signal for finality of one kind or another.  “[…] I remember clearly that, at the end of a stretched-out good hour of probing questions and answers (and the answers were not only on my father’s side, for I had good ones, too, and wide open they were), he simply said ‘chung‘ and shut off the light, and I lay in the dark with my thoughts and his hovering around me.” How and When to End It, a Manual of Style. Dorothy B. Truce and Gordon Starker Limits. 1931.

It’s a delightfully strange book, which is to say, right up my alley. But although “chung” is wonderful, the word that inspired today’s Three Things is another:

LUWILLAWAY /lōō-wil’-a-wā/ n. The drift of clouds on summer afternoons and the resulting state of languorous identification produced by lying on one’s back and looking up at them for hours.  “He had shorn the sheep of their wool that morning and had finally, after much persuasion within himself, gone out to the long, rolling hills beyond the lake to lie in the grasses waving in the slight and delicate breezes and follow the strong luwillaway beyond himself, drifting bodiless over the immense, image-expanding earth.” Sleeve. Mary Adams Waysit. 1996.

Let’s write something that somehow includes luwillaway, shall we? Here are three properly dreamy cloudscapes to get you started.


Sharon Heiz, Vintage Clouds2, July 9, 2009. Via flickr.


rachelf13, clouds, January 25, 2009. Via flickr.


Jacob Gube, Cloud Texture 04, August 8, 2009. Via flickr.


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