Weekly Skylights (Sept. 8): The Tripod Looks to the Clouds

4 min read

Joey Cifelli ’23

A&E Editor

August 20, 2020. Photo courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

There’s something about summer that’s hard to describe. The dislikes come to mind first: the heat, the bugs, the bug bites, sweat, sunscreen, sunburn, bug spray. Everything is sticky all the time. I really do not care for it. And the good things, the things that make me love those months, they’re much less tangible. Walking in a grass field in the evening, for example, when the sun is going down and the breeze is soft. Trees rustling if any happen to be nearby, and the grass cool on your feet. Or, in the middle of the day, when the sun is beating down overhead, sitting on a flat rock on a creekbed. Your shoes and socks lying next to you and your legs dipped in the sparkling water. It’s those moments, whether they appear big or small or frequently or only once, mixed into the terrible things, which are unending, that make summer hard for me to place. 8.8/10.

August 24, 2020. Photo courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

Clothes fashioned from the ripe fibers of cloud possess many unique qualities, vain in a way that today’s sky has its own sky within itself. By which I mean, typically the sky constitutes the ephemeral part of our world, ever forming and reforming, while the land remains static and defined. Today, there’s some acknowledgement of those historic roles, and the clouds have staged themselves in a satirical representation of both spheres. Notice how the bottommost layer of clouds are finely textured. And their shape. Do they not resemble mountains? To find the “sky” of this sky, tradition holds: look up. There’s a wonderful, hazy blanket there. That warmer area on the right is especially touching. The way that light blends cozily with its blue-grey surroundings is just great. I think there may be a little cheekiness at play here, between realms outside our own. What a delight that it looks like this! 7.6/10.

September 3, 2020. Photo courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

There is a bird somewhere that has lost its feather.

A bird who would dare to go out in this weather.

A bird like the birds of which old people speak. 

One with wings stretching miles and miles so deep

that it blots out the sun and the moon and the stars and everything bright on this marble of ours. 

So the children stay hushed cuddled under their covers

while surrounded by terrified fathers and mothers.

Every flap of its wings is a thunderous clap and

each shriek from its lips leaves a cavernous gap

in the ground as it glides as it grows as it looks

till it finds that damn feather and swoops down and

hooks the thing up and away and out at last gone.

Back to its home in the land of no dawn. 9.4/10.

September 4, 2020. Photo courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

As the school year kicks back up again, I get to thinking about possibilities, you know. All is blank. What’s going to be the thing this year. How will I change? Will I improve? I don’t know, it’s always hard to tell with these kinds of things. The endless choices can be paralyzing to everyone sometimes, certainly to me. It’s ironic that total freedom can leave us feeling more trapped than a limited number of choices. I learned in economics a couple years ago that, for determining the opportunity cost of an action, we only consider the next best option. I think there’s something to that. Instead of mourning the infinite loss of possibilities, we should appreciate the solidity of a choice. Who cares how it turns out? Better to fail than do nothing. 6.8/10.


Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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