Hey, you, get outta my cloud


illustration by Kuniharu Shimizu haiku by soji


Fog makes the world a painting obscure.
Even close trees are half unseen.
But a lonesome crow won’t stop calling:
He objects to being in this dream.

Over and over, the sages tell us that this world is but a dream.

When one awakes on foggy mornings, with the mists obscuring hills and valleys and the trees and village buildings appearing as diaphanous apparitions, we might even agree with them. Didn’t we see this same uncertain mirage in the hills of Vermont? The hollow of the Yangtze River valley? The streets of Paris? Don’t the memories blend with the dream and turn reality into phantasmagoria?

The world is a dream from which there is no escaping.

In this still dream, there is a crow calling. He doesn’t stop. When everything else is frozen in the sepulchral dawn, the bird continues to scream. Maybe he realizes the same dream. He protests loudly.

The ancients hold the outer reality to be unreal. But there is the inner reality too. Some of us do not readily accept the conditions of this existence. We have eyes to see, but we also have voice to refute the existential delusion.

Deng Ming Tao, 365 Tao

The fog rolled in so thickly last night that everything is soaked as is by the rain, even under the patio covers. We couldn’t even see the street lights or the houses across the street last night. This morning it is still thick, and we seem to have been transported to San Francisco for the day. We have a “dense fog advisory” for the area:

A dense fog advisory remains in effect until 10 am PST this
morning.

This will impact elevations between 250 and 900 feet… roughly the
area from Interstate 5 eastward to the foothills. Commuters should allow
additional travel time this morning… as most of the east to west
highways leading into the major cities will be impacted.

A dense fog advisory means visibility will frequently be reduced
to less than one quarter mile. If driving… slow down… use low
beam headlights… and leave plenty of distance ahead of you. If
your vehicle becomes disabled… pull as far off of the roadway as
possible.

We drove through this kind of fog a lot when we first came to San Diego, but I haven’t seen it this thick this far inland for some time. One holiday season we hit both snow and fog while driving home through the mountains from Arizona — I just got behind a big rig and followed it into San Diego. Slowly. For those traveling home after the holidays, this kind of fog means planes can’t land at our airport, so travel plans get interrupted. Our friends coming back from Maryland were stuck in Salt Lake City the other night, and had to fly back the next day.

Politically, I predict 18 more days of fog. Then perhaps some fresh air and sunshine…