Sunday, October 21, 2012


After a birthday party this evening, Jen and I rode our bikes home, with Tyler in the bike trailer, licking the icing off of the two cupcakes given to him before we left. Jen and I raced one another while Tyler called out who was leading. The air was cold--mid 40s--and the fog had rolled in with dusk.

We rode past a large field where sheep have been grazing for the past month or so. Over the entire field a fog as thick as maple syrup on a stack of pancakes stretched itself out. We rode faster, into it, gulping glee with every glimpse.

Tyler's sugar-heightened shrieks of laughter and amazement, my guttural assertions of beauty before us, and Jen's saying, wow all merged into one of those short segments of time where clarity no longer matters. It's what is hidden that is so stunning--how it's hidden.

With a little more than two weeks to the election, with manuscripts waiting on editors' desks in New York, with Jen's PhD thesis push, with Tyler's ever-more-inquisitive communication, with visions of what might be in the future enticing, enticing, enticing, fog helps.

Fog does more than help. Fog throws down a hammer of sorts and says, Stop. You don't have to know. 

All the questions of future possibilities rage in a riveting rotation, but the fog tonight reminds me that they don't always have to. Their power is only as strong as the stage-time we give them. Vision for the future is a beautiful thing--and chasing dreams, pursuing hopes, believing in the difficult coming to pass is all crucial. But just as important is letting the fog sometimes cover all those visions. Not because they don't matter or because we've let them go; but because seeing them so often in our minds can have the effect of ordering three appetizers because we're afraid the meal won't ever arrive--or when it does, that it won't be enough to fill us up.

Fog sometimes helps us do what we have such trouble doing ourselves: focus only on the precise moment of the journey we're in, rather than the beautiful vistas ahead.