by: Carl Sandburg
HE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
I remember being DJ’s age when I memorized this poem. I can recall the book I had checked out – a poetry book to satisfy a book report assignment. It captured my attention because of the colorful illustrations the person who assembled the collection had with each poem. Fog was the poem for white – and the imagery of fog as a cat designated with me more than most of the other poems.
- Fog – it is what invaded my brain this past weekend. It came into my head and heart on little cat feet decided, as a cat tends to do, to stay for a while.
- Fog invaded my brain. It clouded my thoughts – forcing me to look too close at the minutia and less at the big picture – it obscured the larger picture from my view. It made me get lost in my head – lost in my thoughts – as I tried to navigate through them without tripping over myself or someone else.
- When I get like this – and it starts affecting me – I have to step away. I start looking at the world through the fog in my head and it prevents me from seeing things as I should. I withdraw before I do something that prevents me from doing something I regret or responding in a way that I regret. I know that the fog is keeping me from being rational.
- I knew this weekend I was not succeeding. I knew I was sending the wrong message or a message that could be seen not as it should. Those who know me best – know to listen and give me what I need. In the end, I decided it was best to go for a run and try to burn off that fog – try to swat at that cat who who had taken his spot in a less than convenient spot.
- So, I ran the first mile out of synch. My body felt like my mind. I couldn’t find my rhythm. I couldn’t find my breathing. I couldn’t find my stride. I fought with myself – trying to force my body to do what I needed.
- My running route takes me along a gorgeous part of the neighborhood – along a ridge that overlooks the river, the forests in the hills, and the city. I passed the mile mark, rounded the bend, and was struck at how gorgeous of a view it was. The fog was layered – coming into the valley from the ocean – crawling its way into the city – obscuring parts of the gorgeous view.
- There is always a great debate about life imitating art or art imitating nature. At that moment, I felt my mood was being shown in nature. The fog crawling into the city while the sun was trying to break through – trying to chase it away. And me, trying to chase the fog away with my run.
- I found my rhythm at that point. I found my breathing. I stopped fighting it – and started going with it. And it felt less like a battle and more fluid. I knew just like I did when watching the sun burn away the fog that the fog would go away. I needed to stop looking at the minutia, and start looking for the sun – looking for the positive and happy. The bad will always be there if you look for it – but so will the sun trying to break through.
- Eventually as I got closer to home, I felt that cat in my brain stand up slowly and start stretching as he started moving around getting ready to move on to a better spot.
- And I started to think clearly again.
3 Comments Add yours
I know exactly what you are speaking of. On so many levels. Both that ‘fog’ that can invade your headspace and settle in. And with the running….waiting for feel in rhythm with yourself.
Chances are good that I will experience this myself today. I so look forward to running again…
I am in a drug induced fog- I hate it