Let’s Hear It For The Fog
You think I’m kidding? One of those Mimi-epiphanies yesterday as I was driving home from the mountains. I watched the fog descend from the tops of the trees, resting its covers on top of the valley. I was going to drive home under that blanket, so to speak. Windshield wipers would flap intermittently without rhyme or reason. Headlights would appear from nowhere; the air swollen and impenetrable. I already felt a sinus headache coming on.
Better to get it over with and drive. Packed up the Sirs, found NPR on a station I didn’t recognize and off we went. We tip-toed down the mountain, acutely aware that every sharp turn is not yet second-hand, we gently rolled through small towns. Respectfully and quietly. You’d never know we were there.
Once on the highways, the sun began to challenge the density of the air. We were good to go. And I realized that fog is really given a bad rap.
When in fog, one can only focus on what is in front of you. There’s no looking for the next curve, anticipating the alternatives that a clear vista provides. Your primary requirement is to get from point A to point B. That’s it. There’s not too much to consider, your eyes don’t look around with wonder and mild confusion at all that is in front of and around you. No sense looking in your rear-view mirror very often either, for you can’t see anything back there. True, you can pull over and just succumb to the opaqueness – most keep going. And get through.
It isn’t the clarity at the end of the journey that I celebrate though. It’s the process of moving in the mist. Recognizing that in all that murkiness is the greatest focus one may ever have. Nothing else teases for your attention, no one can distract you from your purpose. And it is in those moments of uncompromising concentration, priorities get distilled to the most fundamental. What matters is only what is before you. The eye candy, plans for later, the expanded vista of possibility are irrelevant. Just focus and feel the strength of getting through. There’s something to be said for that.