mist opportunities

mist_postA 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).

“Very, very frightening me.”


“What do we mean by rendering objective the concept of time? Let us consider an example. A person A (‘I’) has the experience ‘it is lightning’. At the same time the person A also experiences such a behaviour of the person B as brings the behaviour of B into relation with his own experience ‘it is lightning’. Thus it comes about that A associates with B the experience ‘it is lightning’. For the person A the idea arises that the other person also participate in the experience ‘it is lightning’. ‘It is lightning’ is now no longer interpreted as an exclusively personal experience, but as an experience of other persons (or eventually only as a ‘potential experience’). In this way arises the interpretation that ‘it is lightning’, which originally entered into the consciousness as an ‘experience’, is now also interpreted as an (objective) ‘event’. It is just the sum total of all events that we mean when w speak of the ‘real external world’.”2

“Perhaps [transgression] is like a flash of lightning in the night which, from the beginning of time, gives a dense and black intensity to the night it denies, which lights up the night from the inside, from top to bottom, yet owes to the dark the stark clarity of its manifestation, its harrowing and poised singularity.”3

“The difference ‘between’ two things is only empirical, and the corresponding determinations are only extrinsic. However, instead of something distinguished from something else, imagine something which distinguishes itself—and yet that from which it distinguishes itself does not distinguish itself from it. Lightning, for example, distinguishes itself from the black sky but must also trail it behind, as though it were distinguishing itself from that which does not distinguish itself from it. It is as if the ground rose to the surface, without ceasing to be ground. There is cruelty, even monstrosity, on both sides of this struggle against an elusive adversary, in which the distinguished opposes something which cannot distinguish itself from it but continues to espouse that which divorces it. Difference is this state in which determination takes the form of unilateral distinction. We must therefore say that difference is made, or makes itself, as in the expression ‘make the difference’.”4

“A philosopher: a man who constantly experiences, sees, hears, suspects, hopes, dreams extraordinary things; who is struck by his own thoughts as if from without, as if from above and below, as by his kind of events and thunder-claps; who is himself perhaps a storm and pregnant with new lightnings; a fateful man around whom snarling, quarreling, discord and uncanniness is always going on. A philosopher: alas, a creature which often runs away from itself, is often afraid of itself, – but which is too inquisitive not to keep ‘coming to itself’ again…”5

1. F.E.Newing and Richard Bowood, The Ladybird Book of The Weather (Loughborough: Wills & Hepworth Ltd., 1962), 40-41. Illustration by Robert Ayton.
2. Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and the general theory (London, The Folio Society, 2009), 171.
3. Michel Foucault, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon (New York: Cornell University Press, 1980), 29-52.
4. Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition (London: Continuum, 2009), 36.
5. Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. R.J.Hollingdale (London: Penguin, 1990), 217.