Monday, November 2, 2009

QUESTIONS…

This second day of November began with fog along the river—restless swirls of luminous white mist that hung over pools and riffles like leftover ghosts from Halloween. The view upstream was softened, the familiar scene transformed, given an aura of mystery, as if time had been shifted back to a moment just after creation. Water and sky merged. Sycamores leaned thoughtfully, like white-robed Druids.
The only sound was that most ancient language of water purling over stone. A muted whisper; a voice of secrets. What was it saying?
During the small hours of the night, I had awakened and arose from my bed. An odd light seemed to be filling the front room. It took me a moment to identify the light's source as a nearly full moon, diffused by a thin screen of clouds, now coming through the room's high-set triangular windows as a pale, silvery wash.
Perhaps, I now thought, that hadn't been clouds beyond my river-facing windows, but the first shimmery breath of this fog which hushed and altered my streambank world. For a long time I stood beside the moving water, listening to the silence, wondering what lay beyond that veil of fog.
A fellow I know recently told me he was trying to quit asking questions. Why? Because, he said, the older he became, the less he liked the answers. He may be right. Could be some questions are better left unasked. After all, curiosity is said to have been a fatal flaw to the cat. But I can't imagine ever reaching that point where I don't want to know, to learn, to find out what's beyond that veil of mist.
And I want to know, too, what message the river keeps repeating to my untuned ear.

28 comments:

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Such a lovely piece of writing to match the mysterious image of river and fog. I love questions, such as those you describe. Answers would be welcome, but I don't need them. The questions themselves are an indication of a longing for connection . . . an indication of an intimacy still growing . . . an avowal of devotion and love - whether I get the answers or not.

Every 'object' of love should retain some mystery . . . even our wounded, precious Earth.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

Oh such sweet mystery - hidden in veiled mist - hanging just beyond your windows - calling you to ask - to look - to ponder - to feel the haunting of the unknown. It is in the mystery we are most thoughtful - aware - heightened - cautious - alert - and intent - something is looming near by - I feel it all the way here - it is in your words both spoken and not -it is in the silence and the dim view - it is beyond the veiled mist -
it is what I call a premonition of the truth to come.

Loving you and experiencing the mystery

Gail
peace.....

Wanda said...

The foggy mist of mornings is special, even more so by your river it seems! It does set the mood for deep thinking. As for not asking questions, I think it all depends on the questions you ask. I love to search and discover or just watch and discover. The moon last night caught our attention as well, I thought it was shining with an extra bright white glow. I took photos then and this morning just as it was setting, before the sun was rising.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

You have hit on something I missed entirely…that sometimes asking the question is enough. It is often the case that a question, though unanswered, leads to greater awareness, paying closer attention, following a different road. All of which, of course, can produce more questions—but this is the crux of life, the spark and power.

Yes, indeed, that is so true and astute…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I believe you do know and understand a lot of this subtle mystery because your life and history has shaped and heightened your own awareness. You also live in the posing of the question.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

The moon sure seemed bright and a sort of silvered white last night—but it never occurred to me to make a photo. I did take a few moon photos Halloween night. If I don't forget and the sky remains clear, I'll try and shoot a few more tonight.

This morning's moody fog seemed to influence my thinking all day—a sort of restless introspection, wistful, wondering. Not unpleasant, though. Or unfamiliar.

giggles said...

Fait accompli.... I gots me lotsa questions now...starting with "uh oh...what have I done now?" A few jangled nerves, for sure.... But I trust ya, Scribe....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Time to look back and remember all those reasons—good reasons—why. The future is always less scary when you put it in the perspective of a logical, well-considered past, founded on motivation and reason.

Any good woodsman (or woodswoman) knows you keep track of where you are, how you got there, by looking at your backtrail.

BTW, guess what came in the mail? Haven't had time to read it yet, as I've been out and just got back in.

Thank you very much. Maybe even for the puzzle!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Lovely mysterious post!

Maybe the river speaks of the same things as the wind does in the willows!

Robin said...

Griz... I think your ear is more tuned than you know because when you sing about the messages you're getting from your river, what I hear is a song about how important it is that I find my own.

Maybe part of your message is simply in the sharing.

And I thank you.

giggles said...

You are welcome!! Isn't real mail a treat?? (And I thank you right back.... No fools so far!!) I remembered just this a.m. that I promised you cookies for sending your bloggy friends over my way several posts ago.... I just don't know how to get them there without turning into crumbs along the way..... Any ideas?

TheChicGeek said...

Good Evening, Scribe :)
I am late to the river today. Your photograph is so very mysterious. The fog adds beauty to the image, and I think evokes those curious stirrings. I myself am often moved to questioning when I am standing before a full moon or a fog covered land. Something about the magnificence of nature...it is so much bigger than we are and so much more powerful. It's beauty and mystery captures my heart and my imagination.

I love the way you write. You always bring a smile to my face, a laugh...which today was greatly needed...and an appreciation of our beautiful world.
Thank you for that.
Have a wonderful evening :)
Kelly

KGMom said...

Nothing quite so enchanting and ethereal as mist coming off water.
Maybe the river isn't telling you anything...maybe you are just hearing things.
;-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

Maybe it does, indeed…and also of time and distance, of quiet pools and silver minnows flashing in the shallows, and winding bends where sycamores lean and willows turn gold in the autumn light.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robin…

It may that yours is the ear attuned—that my words and images are simply given to those who can or will receive whatever message is in there for them. I know I write to share, but from my end of the process, it's more reflection and wonder and joy than message.

I'm glad you find something in there, for you, though.

Jayne said...

That moon WAS huge, wasn't it? It cast light and shadows through my bedroom blinds as well.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

The ever-changing eternalness of land and sky, water and wind—of autumn geese and spring wildflowers and birds singing to the dawn…all help to keep me centered and give perspective. There's room to think outdoors, to gaze into unfathomable distance or look deep into your own heart. There's solace and healing, strength, acceptance, and a reality both ancient and new.

I hope you're doing okay. I know things have been—are—rough. I appreciate that, in the midst of this, you find time to visit the riverbank…and I pray that something you find here helps.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I have no ideas or experience re. the cookie issue…I'm a lifelong consumer, not a shipper. A limited specialist.

Snail mail is always great fun, and so much better than email. Years ago, it wasn't at all unusual to receive several letters from friends, family, etc. in the mail on a given day. I loved coming back from the box with that handful of mail—letters, a stack of magazines if it was around the first or last of the month, catalogs of outdoor equipment, fly tying materials and fishing gear, flowers and gardening, books. I liked the differences in the letters—their envelopes, letterheads, stamps; their slightly worn look, as if they actually came from somewhere, had been on a journey.

Oh, yeah, I miss real mail.

BTW, that Hawk Mountain article just makes me even more determined to make a trip there one of these days. Thank you very much for sending it.

And hang in there…keep the faith. You did right and you'll be okay. All will work out.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Hey, I've already thought of THAT! And it may be true—but how would I know?

Nope, I'm just going to keep listening and wondering what's upstream, around that foggy bend…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Huge and bright and beautiful. And still shining through my river-facing windows this morning when I got up.

TheChicGeek said...

Thank you, Scribe, for your kind words. You've put tears in my eyes with the truth, wisdom and beauty of what you have said.
And yes, coming here and seeing nature and reading your posts are a great gift to me.
Thank you for your kindness and your prayers.
Kelly

Grace said...

Your picture took my breath away; it is stunning, as are your words.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

ChicGeek…

You are always, always welcome. And still in my prayers.

Thank you for your lovely comments.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Grace…

I'm just glad something of what I saw—the look of the river in fog—came through in the photo. Thank you.

Scott said...

There you go again--another winner!

"...restless swirls of luminous white mist that hung over pools and riffles like leftover ghosts from Halloween."

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Scott…

Looked like leftover spooks to me—but nice, friendly, river ghosts. I'm glad you liked the line…

Rowan said...

This is a lovely post and a lovely photo - one half expects to see the hand of The Lady of the Lake holding Excalibur aloft. A very magical scene.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

There must be some mythology of some thing—beast, beautiful lady, magical sword, naiad—arising from the mist-shrouded pool of a river. Surely there's an Irish or Scottish tale involving such a scene taking place on a stream.