Monday, December 29, 2008

The fog of peace

I woke yesterday in a fog on the Far Away Island. You know, in the old days, when most of the island was poor, they would cut a big wedge of it out, put it in a pot, and warm it up for soup. It’s tasty, but salty. Naturally, when the clouds hug the earth like this, the airport is closed down, so I returned to the mainland on the fast ferry. As soon the boat left the dock, the town disappeared into the pale. E. L. Doctorow writes somewhere how when a fog settles on Lower Manhattan, the town begins to looks like it did in the 19th century, all low rise and intimate. On island, a good fog makes the place revert to its pre-European state. As I was leaving the harbor, it struck me that the phrase “fog of war” is inaccurate, because fog is so completely calming, passive, and meditative. It should be the fog of peace, and the smoke of war.

The blanket of fog was tucked in all the way across the Sound and the Upper Cape, obscuring even the Canal below the Bourne Bridge. But by the time the bus approached the western end of Connecticut, the sky had cleared enough up for the sunset. And what color! Was it like three-strip Technicolor in the world of black and white (not that I don't miss those luminous, luscious silver grays)? The horizon had been turned into Saturn, with bands of dark orange and little nebulas of cloud in the foreground. On my trip up to the Cape last week, I sat next to a guy who was one of the people responsible for this project, Uniview, so the planets and the universe were in my mind.

1 comment:

M.Thew said...

Well, look at that. I unknowingly used the same title here as the Prospector did the other day. It must be something in the air.