Thursday, September 27, 2001

This morning I awoke suddenly, to the echoing sound of a foghorn resounding off the natural and man made boundaries surrounding Budd Inlet on the northwest coast where I reside. Squinting at the morning brightness intensified by a very thick layer of fog, I sat in awe of the surreal context into which my usually predictably beautiful view had become immersed.

My first thought was of the little rowboat my landlord had told us all we could use. Tantalized and giddy with the thought of rowing out into the middle of it all, I hurried upstairs to get my sandals on. I then edged my way carefully, groggily down the steep staircase that traverses what is practically a cliff between my home and the shore of Budd Inlet. In minutes I was gliding into the deep waters, the fog quickly enveloping my house, and practically everything within twenty feet of the boat.

In the distance I could hear a seal breathing, popping in and out of the saltwater. I turned to my left and there it was looking at me intently. I stopped paddling and quickly entered a state of deep meditation...the ripples mesmerized me as thousands of thoughts zipped through my mind; mostly thoughts of fear for the future in the wake of the September 11th bombings in New York and Virginia. I could not stop thinking of how different our country would be shortly - indeed how different the world would be. I thought of something my professor had told me, how in times like this there is always the initial storm and how that is usually the most dangerous time because of the sentiments that are whipped up in the public mind. But usually, the war fervor dies down rather shortly, the antiwar movement grows and eventually the bad days end.

I just didn't want to think about what the worst of those bad days would be. I thought of all the amazing things I had seen in my life, then all of the changes the world has been through. I thought of the choices I and others around me are making, what we all are deciding to do with our time here on earth. I thought of my grandma Adams who died recently of breast cancer - of what it must have been like growing up a coal miner's daughter in Eastern Kentucky, of having your husband in jail for 10 years for a crime he maintained throughout his life that he didn't commit. I thought of my dad and his movement away from drugs and towards Christianity - what did he think of all of this that was happening? I thought of my Mom and stepdad, my ex-Fiancee of four years in her new marriage...of my sister working on an organic farm in Twisp, of my cousins in Ohio and Kentucky.

Soon the fog began to give way, in small pockets directly above my head to a bright blue sky. A white-ish "fogbow" formed to my left, and a gaggle of geese emerged out of it flying over my head in every direction. I sat staring at it all and within minutes the shoreline was visible once again the birds were chirping, the trees were still there, the mountains still there, my house still there. I felt very strongly that there was some significance to it all, that the lifting of the fog was some sort of a metaphor, maybe telling me that when the social fog finally lifts from the events of September 11th, we will be in a new world. It won't be right away, and vision may be extremely limited for a long time. But eventually, through struggle and introspection, the fog will lift. And the bad days will end.