Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pulled over, Route 9, 8am, foggy

Fog is something I've recently been fascinated with. As I write this I'm sitting inside a morning cloud, in my car, awed by beauty and the unknown. As I bring myself to wake up as I drive, I suddenly find myself floating through a sea of color-eating mist - changing the greens oranges and yellows of the trees into muted, pale imitations, save for the brief instant that I get to glimpse them when I get close enough. That tiny bit allowed to be revealed at any given moment has its own mystery and almost sensual quality - like the flash of a naked ankle of a fully covered woman in a burka.

Fog can feel like you're going to fall off the planet, somehow falling forever in a void of white mist. I saw a road sign that said 'Right Lane Ends' and immediately imagined a car driving over a cliff into the unknown, and somehow flying on like a balloon let go from a child's hand. 

The mist and fog clouds a familiar landscape in mystery, begs me to ask what's around the next bend, the next hill or valley. I have to say I love what weather can do to a familiar landscape - part of the inexhaustible beauty and uniqueness of nature. This spot, this moment, will not hold the same secrets tomorrow, nor will it be any less beautiful.

I like how fog can change your perspective, how it can change what's hidden and what's seen, like a skilled photographer's composition. I've seen fog turn mountains into islands, trees into ghosts and curves of a road into a magical path. 

I've seen fog spilling out of a graveyard on Halloween so creepily I avoided driving over the mist in fear of disturbing the dead souls within it. Fog often makes me think of death - not in a way which evokes fear but maybe one of peace. I imagine death could be like approaching a foggy curve in the road, its edges just blurred to oblivion, and the trip around the bend is known to no one but somehow is attractively serene. I can only hope that when I die I am greeted with such a beautiful sight.