Fog Walk

It’s foggy tonight, and the air is filled with ice plankton.

It’s hypnotic. I spent a long time out there with my headlamp pointed toward the opalescent smudge in the sky where the moon would be, holding my breath and watching the stream of sparkling night move by my face.

I tried to keep from breathing (this was not so much a case of “I can see my breath” as it was a case of smokestack), but air trickled in a slow stream from behind my teeth and entered the current like milk, pure white, swirling and discombobulating the glittering particles drifting by in the blackness.

When I had to breathe, my vision was obscured completely by the gust.

Once, walking here, I turned back and walked a while in my own footsteps, observing the way my breath clouds hung behind me like forgotten thoughts: cottonballs stapled to a springtime bulletin board, left behind through the summer to bear witness to the silence of the schoolhouse.

I have never felt so strangely intoxicated without being intoxicated. I have never felt so much a tributary in a vast, spherical watershed.

Today marks two years exactly since I first arrived in Alaska. What a brilliant and utterly new gift to receive on the occasion.

Revisiting Winslow Homer

Yesterday, Sean and I went to the MFA in Boston. I love art museums, (though I can distinctly remember being bored to tears by them as a kid) and I could have spent much, much longer exploring the maze of galleries and exhibitions.

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Sean in 8’x12′, an awesome piece about personal space and sprawl and scale in Mumbai

I loved the Megacities Asia exhibition and the gallery of Chinese furniture and the model ships and the very peaceful Buddha in the temple.

We also took a tour of the Americas wing and there paid a visit to some of the paintings of Winslow Homer.  It was impossible, today, not to think of his paintings as we brought Islander down the Penobscot from Winterport in a drenching rain and pea soup fog.

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“Look anonymous and heroic, Mom, I’m taking a Winslow Homer picture”

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The Fog Warning, 1885

As we ran out with the tide, sliding through water still but for the constant bulletholing of raindrops, soaking slowly in the heavy, warm rain, Dad described the grey landscape of fog and water and sky almost the way I have been known to describe the snow and sky and mountains: it’s a thousand shades of gray, dissolving sound and land and the boundaries between this world, the next, the sky and the sea.

DSC04892DSC04887DSC04894It’s beautiful out there, even on days when the horizon breaks down and water soaks into the sky.

A counterpoem from last week: Sleeping Inside

Tonight I slept
on the couch under the front window
and the rain blew in

I had taken my hammock in
Not wanting it to shred in the forecast winds
Not wanting to sleep light in dark rain

I woke up in the lightning night
With the rain soft and cool on my face, so glad
that the sky came to find me