Flight from Reality

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, in a quest for joy, photoshops a lone girl with her head in a pink cloud.“I love being home with you,” I told the dog, when everyone I knew was out somewhere having fun, and I was feeling antsy with nowhere to go. “But now let’s find something beautiful and joyful to photograph. Something besides you,” I said, and followed her flickering tail around the pond, stopping to take pictures of the water and wildflowers. A colossal pink cloud floated overhead. I snapped a dozen shots of it, awed by its rosiness.

The cloud would be a perfect illustration of joy, I thought. After weeks of watching the garden dry up in the drought, after howling my grief songs and driving people mad trying to move boulders, I desperately wanted to blog about something joyful. So that night I stayed up late, turned on the TV, made popcorn, poured a glass of sherry, pulled over a cozy chair for the dog, and began playing with the image of the pink cloud. And over the weekend, I missed a picnic and passed on a dinner invitation, as I Photo-shopped the cloud in the water, in my face, around a lone girl. I Photo-shopped the heck out of that cloud.

Then, I Googled “pink cloud” to get an idea of why I was so taken with the cloud, and what I might write about it. But there was no joy in any of the articles listed. It was a term used in alcohol and addiction recovery programs to refer to “unrealistic feelings of well-being and happiness experienced during times of despair.” It represented “ignoring life’s problems in a dangerous euphoria,” … “flight from reality.”

I looked at the picture I’d spent hours composing. I looked at the dog. And then I had to consider that maybe I’m the one walking around with my head in a pink cloud, convinced I’m solidly planted on a sure path to healing.


Where is joy?


Please Share on your Social Media

7 thoughts on “Flight from Reality

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Please don’t judge yourself harshly, Robin. I love your pink cloud and everything about the image. I feel her tentative step into the great watery unconscious where we’ve been swimming for years. I need pink clouds to balance the dark gray looming gloomy clouds in live. For me, the trick of living with grief is finding a still point between the two poles. I think you’re doing just fine. And grief is a hard unending ride.

  2. Monica

    Might we also consider that sometimes convincing ourselves is our survival instinct keeping us moving forward or alongside the grief until, hopefully, at some point, more joy becomes our reality?

    I love this photo, Robin. It immediately drew me in and held me there.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I agree, Monica. Actually I think it’s all about convincing ourselves. Isn’t that what faith is after all? And “joy becoming our reality” – well, that’s the best religion I can think of.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thanks, Lynne. Actually, I need to take a more adventurous flight from reality one of these days. I’m not quite at your level of abstraction but must try. Soon. Need to.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *