Yesterday morning I awoke to an unfamiliar scene. It was not unfamiliar because I was in a different setting but because a thick fog bank had rolled in and obliterated my normal view. The trees across the bay and the mini island in the near distance were nowhere to be seen. I was not just having trouble seeing them, they were not there the fog was that dense. It is curious how fog which is essentially thick moist air can wipe out the appearance of things. One minute something solid appears in your line of vision and the next moment that solid something is gone.
It was not long before the fog shifted enough so that I could begin to make out the trees and the island once again. It felt good that I could see them once more returning me to a sense of ease. The fog hung in the air for most of the morning but slowly drifted up and merged with the clouds where it no longer obscured my view and seemed more normal.
There have been many days and nights lately when the fog has rolled in and changed my perspective. This got me to thinking about how our vision and our perceptions about a lot of things are often impacted by a lack of seeing, a different kind of fog. It also made me consider that although we may not see things at times, they may still exist behind the fogginess.
I have been thinking quite a bit about what has been hidden from us by the current cultural context that informs our society.
How does our narrow economic lens that is so very dominant in our culture impact our vision? What does our insistent focus on money, making money, spending money and worrying about money obscure from our view? What is it that we are no longer able to see?
What about fear that is so very prevalent within our culture? How does our media and political focus on fear alter how we see the world and what we see in others? What if fear was to be lifted like the morning fog and reveal the compassion we are capable of and that we feel for each other?
I knew that the trees and the island still existed hidden behind the fog that morning. Even though I could not see them I felt a sense of comfort knowing that they would once again appear and present me with their beauty and grace. Like those trees and the island I believe that behind the greed, the fear, the hatred, the unawareness and the ignorance in today’s dominant culture there lays peace, love, generosity and compassion for one another. I also believe that this fog that separates us from these essential elements of our being is starting to lift. My eyes are straining to see through the murkiness and my impatience wants so desperately to see the beauty and grace once again.