December 22nd, 2005

5th street los angeles 1905

Fog Time and Foggy Time

Gray light emerges. It is a foggy morning. Light rain continues to fall, but much louder is the sound of accumulated water being shed by the trees. There is wind, too, singing in the ghostly tops of the pines, but here below the air is still. It's a splendid beginning to winter.

I was going to a number of things this night, but ended up spending way too much time doing stuff here, adding bits and pieces to the accumulating mass of information about vanished Los Angeles theatres such as the Optic. What gathering together all this information will accomplish in the end, if anything, I don't know. I just find it endlessly diverting. I wish I could have seen the Hot Mamma Chorus at the Follies in 1927. And boooo to Chief Investigator Vail for having them arrested! I hope they beat the rap.


I thought about wandering off into the fog. The clouds clamped themselves down onto the ground and didn't go away all afternoon. I could see the vague forms of trees over toward the canyon, a slightly darker gray, the shade of difference between exhaled breath and the air around it on a dim, cold day. I though how nice it would be to walk into that fog and vanish, becoming like those deer glimpsed in the forest who are never there when you look again, so you think that maybe you imagined them. If I wandered into that fog, maybe I would become invisible to myself, and not have to listen to my thoughts, all of them having been replaced by immediate and complete awareness of the gray atmosphere in which all things disappear. In a fog there is no direction, no distance, no goal, but only soothing presence and pale light. All water gets to be fog, at one time or another, and not pressed into an ocean or rushed through a river or stagnant in a swamp. I find that comforting. Fog is water liberated.