My friend and colleague Jenna Nigro alerted me to the fact (reported in The New York Times Magazine, July 23, 2017) that Elvis Presley, while driving some associates through Arizona, saw the face of Joseph Stalin in a cloud. That troubled him but “as he watched the cloud transformed into the smiling face of Christ.” He stopped the bus and “ran out into the desert weeping, in a state of profound spiritual exaltation.”

Tonight’s clouds have been varied. This one looks to me like the huge Trump Chicken that someone put on the White House lawn this week:


That troubles me.

This one might lead to a state of profound spiritual exaltation in someone who sees a whirling Dervish in the center of more straightforward clouds:


I’ll settle for profound awe at the forces of nature.

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at
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