Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fogginess surrounds

Reading an article about surfing and pelicans in my favorite magazine Orion last spring, I came across the following: There is a German word, funktionslust, meaning “pleasure taken in what one can do best.”

Does the weather here thrill to bring us fog? Last night, the soccer teams practiced despite low visibility - looking out the window felt akin to flying through clouds and coming upon a gaggle of angels playing ninepins.

Babbo Natale's foggy beard draped all over - hoary weather reminding me again of Ireland ('Until the Battle of the Boyne Ireland belonged to Asia.' W. B. Yeats), and also of the California coast where fog is as regular as bow-tying laces, honeybees, and extra pennies rolling in gutters.

Another fog poem, this one from a poet of the California coast.

Boats in a Fog

by Robinson Jeffers

Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of dancers,
The exuberant voices of music,
Have charm for children but lack nobility; it is bitter earnestness
That makes beauty; the mind
Knows, grown adult.

A sudden fog-drift muffled the ocean,
A throbbing of engines moved in it,
At length, a stone’s throw out, between the rocks and the vapor,
One by one moved shadows
Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing-boats, trailing each other
Following the cliff for guidance,
Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog
And the foam on the shore granite.
One by one, trailing their leader, six crept by me,
Out of the vapor and into it,
The throb of their engines subdued by the fog, patient and cautious,
Coasting all round the peninsula
Back to the buoys in Monterey harbor. A flight of pelicans
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts lose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Earnest elements of nature.

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