"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

27 April 2005


On chilly, humid winter mornings, dank gray fog blankets the campus, its tentacles clinging to clothes and hands and face, its sinister silence dragging me into a world of gloomy stillness. These earth-anchored clouds are the stuff of nightmare, distorting the landscape, the sounds of the world, the voices of friends into alien grotesques worthy of the dreams of Queen Mab.

Other mornings, in the blue dark before dawn, trees, shrubs, lampglow fade in and out of the thick, soft-white mist that caresses the air and mutes the train whistle, the highway traffic, the voice of the security guard greeting me. Flying, I have often thought of the clouds as a landscape of expansive snowdrifts one could sled over, tumble in, build whipped cream igloos and cotton candy families from . . . These mornings give me a taste of living in those clouds and I would like to stay here forever in the beauty of the muffled world.


amelia ruth said...

I love fog, especially in the evenings when I'm walking in front of the student life center, and all the lights are misty and dim. It reminds me of some ancient train platform, steam rising from the last engine to leave, each whisper echoing all the way across the pavement. One of my favorite images. I even started to write a story about the misty train platform, but it didn't have much of a plot to go on. But that's what I think of every time I see those misty lights reflecting on the wet sidewalk.

Morning mist I like too, but it doesn't stir the same otherworldly longings of the British train station so present in my mind.

Anyway, enough of my musings. Thank you for more stimulation for my thoughts.

alaiyo said...

That is lovely writing, Amy! Now just find a character to put on the platform, and a reason for her to be there . . . I await your story!

amelia ruth said...

I'll work on it when I'm done with this silly paper that I have to make something of. You'll be the first to see it!

Fieldfleur said...

Beautiful, beautiful imagery!

alaiyo said...

Fieldfleur -- thank you!

amelia ruth said...

totally unrelated to fog.

I was thinking about what we talked about yesterday and how it is okay to grieve at death because it is not the way things ought to be. It seems to apply to my current situation of leaving Bryan and not returning.

I am never very emotional, but I have been lately; and every time I am sad at the prospect of leaving, I am immediately filled with doubts. Did I make the right decision? Was I misreading the situation and my own feelings about it? I want to fix what I perceive as a problem--this sadness that fills my heart. Do away with it like we do away with headaches or allergies or any other physical result of the fall.

But I am reminded that it is okay to grieve: that sadness at death or departure is not to be shunned or remedied. "In this life we will have trials, but take heart--I have overcome the world." I have always been so distant from any real trials, and thus distant from ever seeing my God overcome. Perhaps in the next week, I might learn to grieve appropriately: without allowing sadness to affect my decisions, but also without trying to cease the aching of my heart. And then I will be able to delight in seeing my Overcomer.

Thank you for your wise thoughts that continually inspire me to ponder these matters of the heart. I will miss you.

alaiyo said...

Amy, thanks for letting me know that our conversation was not a waste of your time, as I feared I was rambling on when you needed to be working on a paper! I am glad that you could take something from it that is helpful, though I had no idea what you were experiencing.

I am also reminded that you never know how you might be affecting people . . . Twice on Friday, I was approached by students in ways that surprised me -- I didn't realize they would come to me about such things because I hadn't noted any kind of connection made beyond the average teacher-student one. Those incidents and your remarks here are good reminders about the need to listen to Him and to do one's best to follow Him moment by moment -- because you never know what others are seeing and hearing, but if you are identified with Him, then what they see and hear will be identified with Him, also.

Humbling, and frightening: but in a good way -- the kind of fear that makes you want to pay attention.

And thanks for sharing your musings, because they are lovely and they are encouraging to me. I look forward to many more of them here after this semester is over!