It was very foggy Thursday morning, foggy and icy. Foggy enough that I couldn't see very far ahead going down the hill in my neighborhood and I was reluctant to take Tikka for a walk even on our relatively low traffic street. Truthfully she wasn't particularly interested in the sharp icy grass either.
We walked later. We've been taking an afternoon walk regularly, often at Victor Ashe Park, which is only a couple of miles from here. I could actually walk to the greenway trail that goes around and to the park, it is only about a mile from my house, at the end of my neighborhood, but my walks have been shorter lately. At first I walked until I started coughing. I no longer cough when walking, but the prolonged inactivity has taken its toll and I walk until I reach the point where I don't think I can push through my back pain. That distance is getting longer daily, and the afternoon walks help because the park is not nearly as steeply hilled as my immediate neighborhood, allowing me to walk further before crossing the threshold of intolerance. Perhaps by summer we will walk to the park instead of driving.
But I love foggy mornings. The fog was much more dense at the bottom of the hill, than here, at the top outside my front door. One of the reasons I love fog is the way it interrupts everyday perceptions, and Thursday's fog lasted longer and interrupted my routine far more than I had anticipated. Fog obscures the expected, and I always have this sense that anything can happen. I am drawn to the magical aspect of fog, of the opportunity to see or touch something special, but with that magic always comes the whiff of danger, of threat. That's the thing about fog, the beauty and mystery are combined with a touch of fear; it brings us to the edge of something I shall simply call awe, and invites us to step in. But we can't really cross over. We can't handle realizing how little control we really have in our lives for very long. We need the expected. We need our illusions. but it is also good to be reminded that what we see is shaped by what we have seen before, it is not complete.
Driving in fog frightens me. sharpens my awareness, and this too is one of the things I love about fog. Somehow this week I loved the foggy ice even more, the sharp prickliness when I touched the grass reminded me of the way fog pricks at our nerves, they way we sometimes need to stumble a little in order to open our eyes to the world beyond our own self-interest. That same day, Frances posted a photo of commemorative plaques in the pavement, between the stones and cobbles in the Jewish Quarter of Rome. The plaques are there to remind walkers of the Jews who were deported. The photo played hand-in-hand with the fog in my thoughts, reminding me of how we can become blinded to how much we are all connected, how each of our histories is one history, and how little we actually see of each other, how little we see of ourselves.