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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sun and fog

The sunrise this morning was spectacular, and brief. The sun rose red-orange over Vinalhaven, intense and clear. The sun path on the bay reached for me in bed like a furrow on fire. High clouds turned pink, purple, white. The sun rose until it was perfectly framed between the horizon and the thin band of dark clouds just above. I wished I could stretch this moment to last longer, I wanted to stay bunched on my side in the bright clarity of morning, dreaming the possibilities of light, viewing a simple, clean world. The earth actually goes around this thing! For millions of years! The moment lasted but several minutes before the dark cloud took over. Time to face verticality, and coffee, and clocks ticking.

One hour later the fog had come completely in. I could barely see the water, let along the sun. Time to face the outside world, traveling blind through cyberspace: the news of the Times, reviews of books I'll never read, an array of environmental disasters flagellating me via Twitter feeds, the usual mess ever-, and never-, changing. It's better to travel "away" when you can't see the beauty in place.

Soon enough, fog and sun were mixing. This is a better metaphor for the confusion of daily life. We take the dog for a walk she doesn't really want. We struggle with words. We struggle for energy to struggle with words. We hope and regret at the same time. We try to pin down the wispy ineffable. We calculate the carbs of lunch and cars.We worry needlessly about our children. The future breaks through but occasionally. Cosmology no longer seems simple. In my beginning is my end.

From T.S. Eliot, East Coker section of The Four Quartets

Dawn points, and another day
Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind
Wrinkles and slides. I am here
Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning.

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