Welkin… it sounds so strange, yet so familiar. The vault of heaven. I like it. Then I saw the del.icio.us “Wolken” link, with all these skies from around the world—photographed, labeled with location, date and time, as if the skies were classical architecture captured on a sightseeing tour, snapped by someone fascinated with vaulted ceilings. Imagine the joy of that tourist spotting that cloud over Brussels, Belgium, on October 10, 2005, at 4:30 in the afternoon. A welkin touched by a rainbow, touched as if by a seven-fingered hand frantically hailing the bus that didn’t stop, throwing itself up so high, it discovered the texture of Brussels’ ceiling—dissolving disappointment, discovering welkin.
Lynne and I had a wonderful chat about the artistry of “Wolken” and the word almost being welkin. Wolken is the word for clouds in Dutch, my mother tongue. Welkin and wolken—not quite synonymous, but they must be distant cousins. The next day, I went for a walk at lunchtime, with the podcast of the Writer’s Almanac of March 28th in my ears. Garrison Keillor read Gary Johnson’s “Up in the sky the lovers lay in bed…”
Next time I look up between the skyscrapers of this awesome city, I may just say: “Thank you, welkin. Thank you.”