One day in 2013, when I was still living in Tennessee, I drove up to Clingman’s Dome. I don’t recall what the weather was like in town that day, but the mountaintop was socked in with fog. When I got to the observation deck it was surrounded by a solid wall of gray, only broken up by the pine trees within 50 yards or so of the tower. It was amazing. It was so beautiful up there, nothing to look at but those few layers of trees, no sound but a few birds calling, not a soul in the world knew where I was at that moment. I had nowhere to be and nothing to do. It was an incredibly meditative experience.
I absolutely love fog. It simplifies and softens a bright, loud, overwhelming world, makes everything into calm shades of gray. Not everyone gets that. So many people don’t know what to do with themselves in the dim and quiet realm of fog. While I was up there at Clingman’s Dome other people kept coming up, just one family at a time, when one left another would arrive. And they kept complaining about there being nothing to see. I maintain that they just didn’t know how to look.