Friday, January 27, 2012

...fog and the art of dancing by the water's edge

Last night's stroll to the store

'There are your fog people & your sun people,' he said. 
I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. 
'Fog'll do that to you,' he said.
Brian Andreas, Story People
Writing is like driving at night in the fog. 
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. 
E.L. Doctorow

Most days, I can be found at the intersection of Andreas and Doctorow. Not lost. Nor wandering aimlessly. I have bartered my yesterdays for today’s clarity. But I know fog. 
I love winter’s grey blur. Such days are made for meandering. My favorite memories of Ireland are wrapped in mist: long walks in my rain hat and boots followed by a cuppa tea in front of a peat fire in the parlor. 
My reading habits are a bit peripatetic as well. Some familiar phenomenom gets my attention, whets my curiosity and I'm all a-Google. After my walk yesterday, I ran my e-fingers through the Wiki. And found this interesting passage:

Shadows are cast through fog in three dimensions. The fog is dense enough to be illuminated by light that passes through gaps in a structure or tree, but thin enough to let a large quantity of that light pass through to illuminate points further on. As a result, object shadows appear as "beams" oriented in a direction parallel to the light source. These voluminous shadows are due to the same cause as crepuscular rays, [see photo below] which are the shadows of clouds, but in this case, they are the shadows of solid objects.
Crepuscular rays...and I thought this was just a pretty sunset.
Bill's iPhone photo, September 2010 
Our advection fog results when the marine layer is pushed onto land by fronts and lows and highs. The landscape, the harbor, and the air itself are transformed into ethereal shapes lit by halos of street lamps. And so am I.

I planned to celebrate the metaphorical fog that resides at the intersection of Andreas and Doctorow in this post.  [How appropriate that I now live within spitting distance of the San Andreas Fault. But I digress.] Celebrate. Yes indeed. Sometimes the well-planned life has to defer to detours in order to become the well-lived life. That's my philosophy, at least. As I sat typing this, I saw the mist creep behind our condo. The marine layer does not visit this spot...or so I thought, as I watched it break through my expectations.  Once again I could not see around the next curve. The post made a right turn. The pictures tell the rest of the story better than words but they fall short of the magic. 

Oh, what to my wondering eyes should appear!
Can't see the harbor past the trees.

The marine layer visited Marina Bay as I've never seen before.

FOREver AFTer is out there somewhere in the mist. 
This I know.
I just can't see that far.

As quickly as it had disappeared, the sun rose from the water
and reclaimed its dominion...
The color returned and brought the boats
...and with them, the gulls

wait five minutes 
(or more)
enjoy the wait


Sarah said...

This beautiful. Adore.

Celeste said...

Thank you, Sarah, for dropping by this morning!

Carole said...

What a delightful post Celeste! I have always thought of fog as 'the enemy' but I now see it has a kind of beauty of its own. In my part of the world fog is a very persistant visitor in autumn and winter. Two days ago I woke to the sight of heavy mist following the line of the river, but above it bright sunshine on the hills. It created an ethereal beauty of its own. Greetings from a cold, crisp Yorkshire village!

Celeste said...

I long to visit a cold, crisp Yorkshire village, Carole! Perhaps I'm in training. In my twenties I devoured James Herriot's books just to "hear and see" the place. Half of my family came from England, the other half, Ireland. Somewhere in the mix I have a French great-great grandmother who was shunned by the good ladies of south Georgia because she wore make-up. Love that I have a "painted" lady in my past. You always brighten my day, Carole. Perhaps thats the secret. We carry the light inside.

Carole said...

Gotta love these French women - I have a great-grandmother who was French and shunned by her family because she married 'beneath her', even worse she married an Englishman! If you ever get the opportunity you simply must visit Yorkshire - North Yorkshire is England's largest county, mainly rural but with a bit of coastline, and so very beautiful! I wish I could share some photos with you Celeste, but I don't know how to do that....