Sunday, December 22, 2013


I wake up this morning and see the fog.  Last weekend on Saturday night and then again during the week we had several inches of snow in the New England area.  I spent last Sunday morning and then time during the week shoveling out from the weather.

Then, on Thursday, it became warm.  Unusually warm.  Yesterday it was close to 50 and today we are supposed to have temperatures reaching 60 degrees.  So, when I rubbed my eyes this a.m. I looked out and could not see the neighbors' homes right across the street.  The snow was leaving us and there was no visibility. It is a good thing this is not a work day because the traffic into the city would be impossible. My newspaper, I am sure, will not get here for hours because the poor driver who hauls them is unlikely to be able to see where he is going.

How could you explain fog to someone from another planet? You could ask the same question as it relates to snow, or rain, but there is something about the eeriness of fog.  What is right in front of you becomes invisible. In this way fog becomes a great metaphor.

It has been over forty years since I read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest but as I recall Kesey uses fog as a metaphor.  It is what is produced by what he calls the Combine which makes it difficult for all to see and proceed. It is everywhere in the asylum precluding clear vision manufactured, in the novel at least, externally--by the Combine.  It takes a McMurphy to convince the inmates that, with work, the fog can go away.

I remember once watching a football playoff game on tv played in the fog.  Players could not see their opponents, or the ball, or their teammates.  Lots of people running around chaotically. Kind of funny to watch. Was on a hike once and knew I was near an oasis, a place called the Hut in the Clouds.  But I could not see it. I could not see it because the fog/clouds were so dense that I truly could not see what was right in front of me. Fortunately, just as I was about to clank into the hut, someone from inside the building opened a door and I could tell the building was there.

How could you explain the metaphor of fog to someone from another planet.  People not able to see what is right in front of them, running around chaotically, banging into walls, because either their fellow humans or the individuals themselves have generated a fog so dense that what passes for normal progress is nothing more than aimless motion.  Like football players ostensibly pursuing the goal in a fog affected game, our movements would seem haphazard and foolish.

On another note. I like the Patriots today to beat the Ravens and I think Houston can give the Broncos a scare.

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