Minor Details

December 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

I find myself dwelling tonight on those most minor details of memory. Instead of sleep, I recall the bench where, each morning, for a time, I’d come with the dog.

She likes to sit here on the bench, alerted & distracted by her many attentions, and indifferent to my company. Everything is wet, either by dew or the spray of sprinklers. We sit, for as long as we agree; & occasionally we watch the fog sneak above and below & sometimes between the highest and lowest points of the nearby bridge that connects one town to another.

If a cloud, in our popular imaginations, can occasionally appear as something lifelike, what distinguishes the fog is that its lifelike qualities are somehow more than mere appearance. It is not so subject to interpretation or even perspective. It feels organic in a way that we would probably not allow most other atmospheric phenomenon. Fog seems, rather, closer to being “real” — or, at the very least, hiding something real.

No, not hiding. This seems more the stuff of clouds — their pretensions & promises of a horizon just beyond ours — of something to come, whether it be of a storm stirring or survived, etc. And while there may well be something awaiting us on the far side of the fog, it is its immediacy that we remember, its consuming closeness, when in the thick of it, that prompts a certain forgetting that there is anything else.

For it is in the fog that we discover sand littered with death — driftwood, vacated shells, dried seaweed, and the trunk of a tree — in such a way as to remind us of life. It is here, within the fog, we hear the sea from which we came, our origins peeking through the indistinguishable, the fog from the sea, until, as we might wander, we find ourselves, & everything, once again, wet.

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