Monday, November 5, 2012

cloud names

We headed back up to Andes, NY a while back for a little fall vacation. It was as restorative as I expected it would be - hiking, campfires, the laziest days.  And the prettiest cloudscapes.  Having lived near the ocean a lot, particularly in Hawaii,  I've been fortunate to see some amazing clouds, but on this trip to the Catskills, the skies rivaled any I've seen before them.  

One morning we awoke to a lake of clouds in the valley below us.  We watched through massive windows, over the tops of warm cups, following along as they spiraled up and out.  Driving home they were so close to our car, I swear I could have touched them if I'd had a long enough stick.  I spent a long time thrust up into the dashboard.  Brian Eno soundtracked our view and lulled the girls to sleep.  Our car has never been so void of voices,  nor found it's passengers so collectively captivated.

As an eleven year old girl, I was nicknamed 'space queen' by a teacher, always staring out the windows.  It stuck, of course, as nicknames of that sort tend to do in a pack of kids.  I eventually embraced it. What else could I do?  It was true, after all - I couldn't take my eyes off the clouds.  Life busied itself well enough that I finally did.   Thankfully, I'm now often brought back by following the gazes of my children, up and out.

For those so inclined and inspired...

Kumo (Japanese)
Pilvi (Finnish)
Wolke (German)
Cloud (our version is the fairest)

Cirrus (seen here, article by)

And simply for their likeness in sound, I will forever be a fan of:


images: taken with iPhone. © Kristen Gregg


  1. How funny; my daughter and I were just looking up types of clouds last night for a story she is writing (National Novel Writing Month). She has decided to write about a group of friends who learn to climb clouds. I will have to show her your post; she's sure to love some of these names!

    1. Sounds like a story I'd like to read! Kids come up with the best stuff, don't they? I hope she enjoys character naming, and dreaming of clouds.

  2. I am new to your blog, but it's an instant favorite for a fellow name LOVER/obsessor/investigator (my husband is continually reminding me that we aren't naming anything right now....I, at any time, just spit out a random name that I've been turning over for a bit, "Isidore" and he knows what it's all about...Right now I just exclaimed, "I've found a fellow name junkie, she has a blog devoted to NAMES!")
    Anyway, a current fave of mine is St. Cloud. Goes with your cloud theme :)

    1. Thank you for beautiful comments - all lovely additions! I love that feeling of finding a new blog I love or a new kindred spirit, and so happy to be on the receiving end of that enthusiasm (the internet can really be wonderful, can't it?) St. Cloud is wonderful!

  3. appreciate your reasoning behind your love of claudia! i havent been sold on it as a baby name due to its traditional meaning being negative, but you've allowed me to look at it with fresh eyes and give it a new connotation! im going to try to do this with other names ive previously couldnt get past due to sound or meaning and find better positive alternatives!