A slender thread maintains a connection—holds interest and attention. The words on the page blur and each individual letter dissolves into an outline. The letters become hollow and meaningless and so the words holding the letters become more meaningless; they are full of meaninglessness. Hollow words. What was has gone and the usual tricks to return it are not working. Something was there, forming (formalising?) but now it is not there, or here. Is it at all? It is behind me. Have I put it behind me? I would not put it past me. What is this dogged lack of clarity, this malaise? Fog or mist.
Is the examination of it wrong. Instead of mis-understanding perhaps mist-understanding needs to be employed. (The puns (don’t) help). But this is where the way lies for we cannot go round the mist. This is not a proposal to go through (or under) it either but, alternatively, to see with the mist. The mist is to be our guide but be careful not to have your head in the clouds or, indeed, the clouds in your head. We are with(in) the mist. We need to see the mist and see with it (to hear with it, to smell with it, to taste with it, to second guess with it). As the mist must so must we.
The mist licking round outcrops has edges that furl and unfurl. Adapting and evolving, teasing and evading. Does the mist have edges or is the mist the edge itself? We fly in at microscopic level, just at the ‘edge’ of the mist, and discover water droplets…see, the mist has gone, it is now droplets. We withdraw and the mist is away from us, but we are still in it. Looking in all directions we are surrounded by it. We can feel the mist on our skin. No, we feel the water droplets that are no longer suspended and have found a place on our face, our waterproofs, our hair. We have broken the mist with our overthought intrusion.
Suspended you said? How are the water droplets suspended? An act of cohesion that eludes us. With all our toing and froing the secret of the mist evades us. We are missing the mist’s misting. Yes, understand the mist’s cohesive strategies but, at the same time, ignore the traditional view that mist reduces visibility. Instead use mist as ‘visibility’, as a way of going about.
Ah, but I have been mist-taken all along. That is not mist up there on the mountain ridge for “[t]he mist we see round mountains, hills and high ground is really low cloud.”*1 So, choose your mist with care for it may be cloud…or fog. Help, I’m lost…but I got a foggy notion.
With apologies to Gilles Deleuze and The Logic of Sense.2
* spot the paradox.
1. F.E.Newing and Richard Bowood, The Ladybird Book of The Weather (Loughborough: Wills & Hepworth Ltd., 1962), 32.
2. Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).