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—Eh! Qu’aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire étranger?

—J’aime les nuages qui passent … là-bas … là-bas … les merveilleux nuages!

—Eh! What do you love, extraordinary stranger?

—I love the clouds . . . the clouds that pass . . over there . . . . over there . . . the marvelous clouds! Charles Baudelaire


—Have you ever, looking up, seen a cloud like a centaur, a leopard, a wolf, or a bull? Aristophanes

I became a photographer after many dreams of strange clouds. Those complex, cinematic scenes in the sky astonished me. They were clearly impossible, I told myself. I also dreamed of an elaborate sunset on the New York Times building (referring to the New York City period of my life, which I wrote about in my book series Love in Transition). Earlier still, I had a single lucid dream, in which at a certain point in my life, instead of more pages to write on, there would be a museum of previously unknown beautiful self-portraits of old masters.

This preconditioned me when one day I casually shot the end of a roll of film (for an unrelated event) off a balcony in front of my apartment in Belgium. The shots caught my attention. I began to experiment with sunlight on clouds. I wondered about the energy fields represented by the clouds. Eventually my artbook, Toward a Philosophy of Perception: The Magnitude of Human Potential—Cloud Optics, was published, I had a solo exhibit in Romania, and was in Marquis Who’s Who in American Art. As invitations began to pour in, I found world-class, master scanners and printers—to digitalize the film.


Bio: Born in North Carolina, Margaret A. Harrell has lived in Europe and North Africa. She graduated from Duke University and Columbia University and studied three years at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. A three-time fellow of the prestigious MacDowell Colony for artists, she briefly attended Tobias School of Art in England.

From 1996 through 2001 she was international editing coordinator for the book Life Page One as part of the het Toreke museum retrospective on Jan Mensaert in Tienen, Belgium. Since 1992 she has researched consciousness and human energy, and studied or taught the light body. In 2005 she had a solo photography exhibit in Sibiu, Romania, while also presenting a William Faulkner paper at the Faulkner-Fulbright Conference. The author of eight books in the Love in Transition series, Harrell was published by a professor/publisher in a university in Romania. Working for Random House, she assistant-edited Hunter S. Thompson’s first book, Hell’s Angels, for which he acknowledged her in Gonzo Letters II. She has currently completed a book, Keep This Quiet! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert, which includes the never-before-published letters of Hunter to her. To go to the book website, click here. Or to go to Amazon.com, click here.

—The human potential is infinite and (oddly enough) limited by our perception. Margaret Harrell’s pictures bring in elements *beyond* perception, thus opening a window to divine experience. Naomie Poran. PhD, Aroma Therapy

—The Thames was all gold. God it was beautiful, so fine that I began working a frenzy, following the sun and its reflections on the water. Claude Monet

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