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Not a picture

Posted Nov 22 2012 5:00am

Driving home yesterday afternoon, just as the sun was edging towards the exit and the sky was a warm grey-blue, Alan said, “I will never get sick of Northumbrian skies.”

His words reminded me of Tuesday afternoon. I was home alone and the light was starting to go, so I went to draw the curtains and, looking out of the window, saw a sky so beautiful that I went outside to have a proper look.

The clouds were gymnasts’ ribbons across the sky. They were school-uniform-grey above and party-hat-orange below. The sky itself was on the cusp of sapphire and navy.

My first impulse was to go and grab my camera.

But something – maybe the bit of me that is finding five minutes in the morning to close my eyes, and breathe, and just be – stopped me. I didn’t try to record the moment. I just stood there and let the moment be. And the moment let me be in it.

If I’d been taking photos I’d have been on the outside instead.

Next time I reach for my camera, I’m going to remember that sky.

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