Welcome to Thoughts Above Clouds, a portal to the body of writing by my wife, Jules Storey-Taylor.
The title for this website comes from that much of this has been written from our home, set in the hills and forests of Umbria, ‘The Green Heart’ of Italy. Either directly from the house or during the drive down to the village, we often find ourselves looking down across the mists and clouds that settle in the valleys below. After more than a decade here, the sight never fails to move us with its ethereal beauty.
In the creation of this website, however, is a history of some twenty years and one far from the stillness and peacefulness that can rest beneath our gaze. The template chosen for this site – a sky in tumult, with light at the centre – is entirely appropriate for what’s been a long-term battle in bringing Jules’ writings to a larger readership.
It’s a battle that’s been fought on three fronts. One will be recognised by many ‘creative people’: breaking into the commercial market. It’s been a tale of cold indifference that’s at odds with the warmth and interest some of her work has generated in almost all of those allowed to access it. Another is closer to home. Those who know us also know that I’m my wife’s biggest fan. Of course I’m biased but the quantity, quality and content of the encouragement and support of strangers isn’t.
If I wasn’t aware of the many sincere and heart-warming compliments her work has received over the years, I wouldn’t have pushed her to try to find a ‘bigger audience’. I wouldn’t have, sometimes, taken it on myself to try to find that for her – without her knowledge and temporarily ignoring that it would really piss her off!
The biggest battlefront has been fought in Jules herself. I still find it hard to believe that she finally agreed to my re-posting of a blog about her work (when first learning about it she made me take down!) and now this website, which offers the opportunity for others to read much of what she’s written. I don’t know if its existence is something she’ll ever be comfortable with but I do know and admire the courage it’s taken for her to allow it to exist. Although in ‘public’ forms and she has, at times, made the effort to find ‘public’ avenues for that written, she doesn’t see herself as an author, a writer, a poet, a lyricist – ‘public’ labels – whether on a professional or amateur basis. She writes for an audience of one: herself.
That I now have the chance to invite others to enter the (mostly) intensely private and personal world of my wife is thanks to the tale of an American ex-soldier (name unknown) – perhaps a story for another time and place. Of all the reasons she’s been given to ‘go public’, it’s only his words that managed to reach behind her barriers for her to find some acceptance and agreement that maybe her writings have a place in the world at large.
I’m grateful to this soldier for this opportunity – but Jules is still fighting reluctance and resistance. She’s close to running into our pollaio (our chickenless chicken house) and staying there with her fingers in her ears! I can only hope that if she does, the response to Thoughts Above Clouds will be kind enough to persuade her out again!
For those who choose to navigate through these pages, it’s also hoped that you will both enjoy and appreciate what I - and others - see as a beautiful (if raw) talent. What you will read will be almost exactly as my wife originally spontaneously wrote. She doesn’t ‘do’ notes or considered construction; she exceptionally rarely goes back to ‘tinker’. She just sits down and writes (just not as often as I think she should!).
So, welcome, again; again, enjoy