Fog II: Perception

What we behold, and what we cannot.

A bird wondering what's going on. Photo by Michael Milverton / Unsplash
A bird wondering what's going on. Photo by Michael Milverton / Unsplash

Good morning. Today begins the second décade of Brumaire, Year CCXXXII. It's the month of fog. Our theme this time is perception.

Here are the items we celebrate for the next ten days...
Salsify on primidi
Caltrops on duodi
Sunchoke on tridi
Endive on quartidi
Turkey on quintidi
Skirret on sextidi
Watercress on septidi
Leadworts on octidi
Pomegranate on nonidi
Harrow on décadi

One of the most frightening things in the universe has to be stillness. Not just something in caesura, paused in the midst of motion, but something completely, physically still. Even an inert object, such as a rock, has light play off its surface in the long haul as wind sweeps dust from its surface and slowly erodes its exterior. The rock may not move in the sense of locomotion, but its appearance changes, and its surface stillness can, with meditation and study, be seen in motion.

Think of a scary scene in which someone has been magically or mechanically restrained from moving. The director nearly always leaves some small part of that victim free to wiggle, or perhaps it's an eye to track the movements of its tormentor, or even if the body is completely immobilized, it will often be floating or rotating or falling. Strangely, when I think of instances of true freezing, I can only imagine ones in which a stoppage of time is being represented, such as when Professor X pauses (most of) the world to have a little time-out conversation with a character. In that case, not only are the main characters still fully mobile, but the people frozen in time are understood to not experience or perceive at all their situation. Once Professor X restarts time, life continues as if it had been seamless. Nobody's asphyxiating. Nobody's dying. Nobody's even aging.

What terrifies me is a stillness beyond immobility. Something truly frozen and fixed. Because if that were to happen, from a physics standpoint ... if all our molecules and subparticles and quarks were to suddenly cease their endless dancing ... we would drop completely from the plane of perception and truly, mathematically, disappear.