I took a walk in the fog today. I wasn't going to go, but I try to walk everyday and rain is expected tomorrow. The fog extended wide and deep, like a bad dream. For a few seconds, as I pulled up to the state park's parking lot, I had reservations. Things could happen in the fog. I could walk off that cliff that plummets 30 feet to rocks below. A manic squirrel could mistake my vertical figure for a tree. A serial killer, who also wakes up early and isn't afraid of squirrels, could lunge out of the morass and strangle me. Despite my misgivings, I walked.
And as I walked, I began to see that whether a fog surrounds you physically or obscures your mind, it doesn't mean you can't see what's in front of you...it's just harder. I sat on that bench overlooking nothing but the gray and this is what I realized: The fog holds clues to clarity. It makes you work to see what's in front of you. There are five ways to see through the fog, and if you do them as an exercise, you will be sharper even on a clear day. Here's how....
- Close your eyes: You can't see anyway. Inhale as you close your eyes. Get a sense of the air and how it feels. You should probably stand still at this point, so you don't fall off that cliff. Allow the sensations of touch and intuition to inform you as to what direction you should go.
- Bring a flashlight: It's not cheating to shine a light into the gray. Use the tools at your disposal to see better when you are enveloped by fogginess. The metaphorical flashlight might be a support group, a writers' group, a writers' conference, exercise, meditation or medication.
- Note markers on the road: There are visible guideposts; you just have to look for them.
- Listen: This sort of goes along with closing your eyes. The point is to open your ears. When you can't see, there are indicators of where you are. I couldn't see the cliff, but I could hear the water rushing over the rocks below.
- Bring a friend: You can find your way, but it's always best not to be alone when the fog closes in.
Enjoy your walk!
finalist in the Abalone Awards for "Outstanding Ethno-Cultural Romance."