Writing in the Mist

One morning last month, I awoke to find the world shrouded in translucent, luminous mist. The huge oak tree one hundred feet across the yard was visible only as a dark form.

I love misty mornings, but seldom experience them.
Lacking a compelling reason, I rarely leave the house before noon. The mist was compelling. I slid into shoes, grabbed my camera and headed out the door. It’s challenging to describe the sensory delight that enfolded my senses. The air was neither warm nor cool, and the moist air enfolded me in the most gentle, nurturing way. It was as if the air and I merged to become one. Ordinary thought gave way to a sense of total awe. The wafting wisps of fallen clouds kissed my flesh, like tender caresses from Mother Nature herself. I felt transported into a mystical world.

The street, which runs through the woods along the side of a steep hill, was nearly deserted, so I strolled down the middle, taking the occasional picture of dark tree shapes against misty grayness. If I believed in elves and fairies, this would have been a day to find them in the woods.

Before long, the sun’s power grew, and the mist began to lighten. I left the road and walked into the woods, surrounded by mature hardwood trees, with the top of the hill due east. Tentative shafts of light began piercing the canopy of leaves, rapidly gaining strength and confidence. In a short period of time, the gentle misty grayness was only a memory, supplanted by vibrant greens and browns, set afire with life by the magical gold of full-strength sun rays.

As I sat down to write this blog, I was reminded of that morning. Ideas danced in my mind, but only as vague, misty shapes, not readily apparent. But I began writing, coaxing out elusive thoughts. Soon the fog began to part, and scattered ideas and memories coalesced into coherence.

Writing is like that. Sometimes a topic is in focus, full of energy and vigor, ready to burst into full bloom of its own accord. Other times, murky memories float in the a mental mist, not quite clear, but luminous and present. In the misty moments, I find it best to be gentle with myself, writing slowly, aimlessly, letting the ideas take shape as they will. And indeed they will. I can’t guarantee that every time you “write in the mist,” you’ll burst through to a stellar story. I can guarantee that if you persist, writing softly and gently, feeling your way through those vague, dark shapes, sooner or later the mist will lift, the sun will shine, and you’ll find a story.

For now, perhaps you’d like to write about your experiences on foggy days. Do they make you sad, glad, fearful? Do you celebrate them or bemoan them? Has anything special (good or bad) happened on a foggy day? What do they make you think of?

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal


ybonesy said...

Mist and fog must be a "season in transition" kind of thing. We've had a bit here in NM, and I recall QM writing recently about fog in MN. Maybe I'll do a writing practice on mist. Thanks for the idea.

JoJo said...

This is such a tremendous shift from the classroom that we have all appreciated as you tutored us in our belief that we, too, could and should, continue to drive our words toward the goal of our individual stories. Flavoring them with out of the box comments and externals brings an element to the the "whole" that details may pale in not sharing. Thanks!

Tara said...

Funny you should write this. I just got back from Kentucky a couple days ago and it seems like every time I head South, it is always the foggiest morning imaginable. Must be a tradition for my travels.