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John W. Pinkerton


Not being able to sleep at least allows one to see the world at a time of day we don't normally occupy.  Before dawn the other day, I made it to my front porch with my cup of coffee to see what the morning offered.  My mom always encouraged me to get up early to see the sun rise.  In later life I've unintentionally done it, but I'm still not a fan.

Fog, unlike myself, is a natural resident of the
morning.   On that morning the fog was pretty heavy and illuminated by orange tinted street lights along the highway through our small town, by sick green lights on our street lamps along my street, and the gleaming bright white of the ten lights of the fire station.  Not really spooky, but I could imagine Sherlock Holmes silently striding in the morning fog beneath these lights.

I can't think about fog without thinking of  Carl Sandburg's poem “Fog”:

The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

Fog, unlike most other weather conditions, is innocent.  It has no inherent malevolence.  It just is.  The only problems we encounter with fog is when we deny its existence and push on speeding into oblivion.  If we wait, it will clear as most problems in life will.

I won't try to stretch this little composition on fog into some kind of massive, distorted, self-important beast, but I did find a few quotes regarding fog that I like:

“Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little 'prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.”

Chalres Dickens: Bleak House

“Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form inself on the edge of consciousness.”

Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep

“I'll make me a sound and an apparatus and they'll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life.”

Ray Bradbury: The Fog Horn

Fog is like an acquaintance one runs into occasionally who only merits a nod as we move on.