The Passing of Fog


Diary entry, 17th October 2021 @ 10:59; weather: 13ºC, fog, light breeze, dry.

Why is fog so quiet? The fog itself is quiet, of course. But the cul-de-sac is very quiet and, because of the fog, I can only see to the end of the Close and a little beyond. The world beyond that is unseen and silent.

In other circumstances this might seem terrifying, but right now it feels the opposite, as if we are existing in a bubble of peace where time only exists in clocks on walls. As more of the townscape is very gradually revealed only then is it apparent that time not only exists, but is accelerating – imperceptibly at first. It is only a matter of time until the fog will disappear altogether, the precise moment of which can never be known. The bubble will be burst, and we will suddenly become aware of the sun and how painfully bright it is. Where has all the fog gone? I am sure it was there a minute ago. I can see why ghosts are so often portrayed as ephemeral human-shaped patches of fog. They have a habit of being there and then, some time later when we have cause to turn our heads in the direction of the window, they are gone.

It is sunny now. The bubble has not exactly burst; it is dissolving. The sun makes it’s ill-defined appearance, and I can be fairly sure that the sky itself will shortly change gradually from white to blue. The trouble is, I shall inevitably venture out into the kitchen for another coffee and, upon returning to my chair beside the sitting room window, the sky will be magically – and apparently suddenly – blue, as if the fog never existed and I missed its passing. Fog is a bit like some aspects of life I suppose; you can never exist in the instant between presence and absence of fog, because no such thing exists. There is just a gradual and barely perceptible shift from one state to the other. Fog watching. What a peculiar thing to do on a Sunday morning.

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