My castle in the clouds – painted when I was 18.

An illustration from a book I created when I was 8 years old.

Link to performances, stories, lyrics and recordings: WITH ME


The title of this post is related to clouds and is a lyric line from my song “With Me.” I often look up into the sky and imagine my father is watching me from the clouds.

Lately, I look there and am saddened by my cloudy vision. Blurred is probably a more accurate description. I’ve decided it is time for me to write an update regarding my vision. In May, I had new glasses made and could not see out of them very well. I brought them back to the optometrist and discovered that within one month, my eyes had changed.

I had a lot of tests done and it was determined that my visual problem was most likely due to cataracts. I had cataracts on both of my eyes and they had even progressed between May and July. I have been extremely nearsighted my whole life, and was told that might have something to do with this problem. I’m 52 years old, and always thought that cataracts happened slowly and when a person was older. Although I am still looking to move, this has slowed me down.

I initially blamed myself; I thought it was because of all of the years that I didn’t wear sunglasses while playing tennis. The ophthalmologist told me that it was unlikely and that made me feel better.

The timing of all of this took me by surprise. I have not yet gotten important information about what medical insurance I will have once I’m divorced. It was better this happened now while I had reasonable and excellent medical coverage.

The first surgery for one eye is scheduled a month from now. The second eye surgery will be performed two weeks after that. Until then, I have to wear glasses so that accurate measurements can be taken. I’ve worn hard contact lenses since the age of 11 and it is incomprehensible to me that I will have different vision after this correction. The doctor told me not to expect it to be as good as wearing my lenses.

I’m just praying it will be better than what I’ve been seeing these days. I have always appreciated color and clarity in the world around me. I have learned to live with ugly floaters that appeared when I was in my 30’s. I was told that after cataract surgery they might even be more noticeable.

Because I am so passionate about writing and music, I have focused my energy upon how grateful I am to have the ability to type and hear. That is enough for me, even if I don’t have best vision. I can still blog!

In this picture, I am close to the age of 8. That is when I wrote the book shared  in this post.

Now I want to share what is truly my very first book. It even has illustrations! This book was written when I was eight years old.

The cover of my book; there wasn’t a title.

I have transcribed my own writing in order to make it easier to read. I’ve also corrected some spelling and grammar. Under the scanned images, there are some comments.

Just to show how the book actually looked. With my Photoshop skills, I created scans that are far easier to read. There are many red corrections, and although I thought spelling was my best subject, there were still some mistakes.

May 10, 1968

Beauty is nature and its surroundings. What I mean by that is when you go to a park – when you look around it is sometimes beauty.

Beauty can also be a feeling – when you are happy. No one in the world has the same beauty as you. Sound is another thing of beauty. When you look at something, it may give you a little feeling of beauty. Like a grasshopper, it may not look pretty, but it has a kind heart.

So beauty can actually be sound, shape, feeling and nature.

I love what I wrote. I used to play a lot with grasshoppers when I was little. I wish I had a kinder heart – those creatures had legs that fell off when I played with them!

Feb. 5, 1968

I am red. I am a person. I like to ride my bike to school. I also like arithmetic. I like my teacher, too. Sometimes we have music. I like to be a person. Today, I had a good day in school. I like my classroom.

This was the book’s first entry. I was totally kissing up to my teacher and writing exactly what I thought she wanted to hear. I did perk up to see the word “music” – and sad that I didn’t write anything more about it. I guess I still like to be a person. I never liked arithmetic!

Feb. 15, 1968

If I were President Johnson, I would stop the war. I would give four recesses in school. I would also go to the store and buy all the candy I wanted. I could play in the snow all I wanted to. That would sure be fun. I would let my mom be governor. I would like to be president.

This entry is the beginning of finding out that I used food for comfort way back when I was a young child. All the candy I wanted wouldn’t have been good for me. Why only 4 recesses in school, though? I no longer want to be president – though I’d like to meet him someday.

March 20, 1968

The Ceiling

In Room 15, there are people on the ceiling. I believe they are invisible. I think they may be clouds of dust in forms as men. I can believe they are very tiny. The little holes in the ceiling must be their home. At night, I guess, they go to sleep. In school, they watch us every minute. I hope they watch us do spelling, because it is my best subject.

The only time they don’t watch us is at recess. I wonder what they eat. They must have something to eat, I guess. At recess, they must sneak down and nibble at our plants. Since they’re so small, I’ll give them a name called Dust Men.

Believe it or not, I remember those holes in the ceiling well. Then one day, my vision changed as a child and I couldn’t see them anymore. I remember dreaming about those “Dustmen.” Food was important because I worried about what they would eat!

April 4, 1968

Happiness is going to the park and having a picnic on a nice day.

Believe it or not, this made me sad. I haven’t gone on a picnic in so long. I miss the outdoors and must plan something soon.

A linolium print of a forest I made when I had a printmaking class in college.

April 16, 1968

If I had one wish, I would think of the best wish I could think of. Another thing, I’d better watch what songs I sing. Because if I sing a song like “I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner” – you know what would happen.


The best wish I could think of would be . . . hiccup! Whoops. Now I forgot, what I was talking about. Oh yeah, the best wish I could think of is if THE WORLD WAS MADE OF CANDY. Hiccup! Oh, I guess I’d better get a drink of water. Whoops, I forgot something. Excuse me – as I was talking about I said that if I had one wish – that the world was made of candy. I meant by that the streets were made of licorice, housed of cake, oceans of chocolate milk and many other things. So if I had one wish, this is what I would wish for.

Sigh, another one about candy. Some things never change. Now that I’m older, I wish that candy never would make me fat or rot my teeth. I did not know how to spell “whoops.”

April 19, 1968

We let go of a balloon. I wonder where it went? It probably went higher than the clouds. The reason you can’t se it, is because it went into the clouds. Maybe it went to the North Pole. It probably got stuck on an airplane to go there. It must have been fun on the way through the clouds. It’s very lucky, because it has air to breathe. The reason your balloon gets smaller is because it breathes. Maybe it went into space.

I didn’t create many paintings with clouds, but I appreciated other illustrator’s paintings of cloudy skies very much. I often studied clouds to see the many colors I could find in them. I wanted to be a balloon; I even imagined they breathed.

May 16, 1968

If I could fly across the sky, I would wake up early in the morning and take a trip far up into space, and when I came back, we will still be studying space. I will visit each and every planet. Then when I came back to earth, I would know most about space. 

Another thing is, when my mother says no more cookies, I’ll blackmail her. I’ll go away again. Then she will give me some more cookies. Yum! Yum! Yummy!

I moved on from candy to cookies – and even to blackmail in order to get them. It was hopeless! Food would never satisfy me enough. I’m amazed I don’t weigh 300 pounds! I always imagined I could fly when I was young.

A colored pencil illustration of space done while I was in college.

I’m just throwing this picture in because my impish expression is cute. I’m older here – perhaps 10 or 11 years old.

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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2 Responses to I LOOK AT THE CLOUDS

  1. Joni Lautman says:

    I so enjoyed this entry. Loved seeing your youth and your writing and you talk about yourself. Nice job. Love you so much Jude! Joni


  2. jewpoet16 says:

    Hi Judy!
    I have read several of your blogs and I greatly enjoyed this one. It reminds me of how I used to make stories when I was in elementary school as well (with illustrations and all). It must be great to rediscover your inner child and the creativity that flourished when you were a child (and continues to blossom). Over the past several months I have realized that I have neglected my own inner child and I actually decided to begin writing a children’s book that would help children cope with a parent who has depression. My friend will most likely do the illustrations. I’ve realized that as we get older, it can be so easy to neglect the “inner child” and the creativity, imagination, and innocence that goes along with that feeling. I am happy that you continue to foster your creativity and I am looking forward to pursuing my own creative pursuits. I am actually thinking of becoming a psychotherapist that specializes in play therapy or drama therapy for children/adults. This way I won’t lose my inner child.
    I hope that your divorce process is going well. I can only imagine how tough the transition is for you and your family. I am sure finding refuge in your music and blog is helping you cope with your personal life as well as hypnotherapy. Perhaps i might try hypnotherapy in the future (when I can afford it). Talk to you soon.


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