posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 01:29 AM
The afternoon was quiet... an occasional passenger
now and then. Time between I practiced vaporizing clouds.
I have been a ﬂight instructor, and I know that students always
make easy things hard; I do know better, yet there was I a student
again, frowning ﬁercely at my cumulus targets. I needed more
teaching, for once, than practice. Shimoda was stretched out under
the Fleet’s wing, pretending to be asleep. I kicked him softly on the
arm, and he opened his eyes.
“I can’t do it,” I said.
“Yes you can,” he said, and closed his eyes again.
“Don, I’ve tried! Just when I think something’s happening, the
cloud strikes back and goes pouﬁng up bigger than ever.”
He sighed and sat up. “Pick me a cloud. An easy one, please.”
I chose the biggest meanest cloud in the sky, three thousand
feet tall, bursting up white smoke from hell. “The one over the silo,
yonder,” I said. “The one that’s going black now.”
He looked at me in silence. “Why is it you hate me?”
“It’s because I like you, Don, that I ask these things.” I smiled.
“You need challenge. If you’d rather I picked something smaller
He sighed again and turned back to the sky. “I’ll try. Now,
I looked, and the cloud, the monster with its million tons of
rain, was gone; just an ungainly blue-sky hole where it had been.
“Yike,” I said quietly.
“A job worth doing...” he quoted. “No, much as I would like
to accept the praise which you heap upon me, I must in all honesty
tell you this: it’s easy.”
He pointed to a little puﬀ of a cloud overhead. “There. Your
turn. Ready? Go.”
I looked at the wisp of a thing, and it looked back at me. I
thought it gone, thought an empty place where it was, poured
visions of heat-rays up at it, asked it to reappear somewhere else,
and slowly slowly, in one minute, in ﬁve, in seven, the cloud at last
was gone. Other clouds got bigger, mine went away.
“You’re not very fast, are you?” he said.
“That was my ﬁrst time! I’m just-beginning! Up against the impossible... well, the improbable, and all you can think to say is
I’m not very fast. That was brilliant and you know it!”
“Amazing. You were so attached to it, and still it disappeared
“Attached! I was whocking that cloud with everything I had!
Fireballs, laser beams, vacuum cleaner a block high...”
“Negative attachments, Richard. If you really want to remove
a cloud from your life, you do not make a big production out of it,
you just relax and remove it from your thinking. That’s all there is
Richard Bach ILLUSIONS