I awoke, as I did every morning, cold and damp in the grey half-light of the the Fog. I can’t remember the Fog not being there. It is everywhere, and as far I as can tell, it has always been. Cold and damp cover everything. The sunlight is diffused to the point of near uselessness – I strain to see more than a few yards ahead. The sun rises and sets, but its progress across the sky is barely perceptible. In the daytime, the Fog is a bit more bearable, but it does not dissipate or “burn off.” When darkness comes, the Fog is worse. It is not that the Fog is really any different, but it feels so much more oppressive. At night the chill dampness works its way deeper into my bones.
The Fog feels like a prison. It limits my vision. At best I can see only a few yards. I don’t really know where I am, where I have been, or where I am going. At night, my few yards of vision contracts to inches. In the darkness, in the Fog, I can’t even see my feet, much less where I am going. I can sometimes hear other people and noises I cannot identify, but I cannot see anything and cannot sense the direction sounds come from.
Within the Fog is the Light. I first noticed the Light during a long, dark, dark night. I saw a dim glow on the far horizon. At first, I thought it was the sun rising, but then I realized it was not in the direction of the sun rise and it is was too early for the dawn. No, the Light is not the sun; it is something else. It is still there in the daylight, but harder to see. I can see it only if I am very attentive and remember to look for it.
The Light, though dim and seemingly distant, is attractive – I find myself drawn to the Light — when I remember to look for it. Though the Fog is cold and oppressive, I press on through it, trying to make my way to the Light. But the way is hard and it is easy to become lost in the Fog and discouraged.
As I traversed the Fog I discovered that I was not alone. Others wander in the Fog. Some seem to be, like me, trying to make their way to the Light. Others give no indication of ever having noticed the Light. Still others are keenly aware of the Light but have given up ever trying to get to it, they are resigned to their lives in the Fog. Some have even grown to despise the Light as a cruel joke; a vain promise of something better that always turns out to be a cheat.
Some of my fellow wanders have stopped and built fires – a light of their own. They have managed to find enough dry wood to start a fire to give themselves some light and warmth. The fires are puny and insignificant compared to the Fog, but they can warm and cheer. Drawn by the fire and the lure I comradery, I decide to rest a while at one of the fires that have sprung up in the night in the Fog. I’ll think I’ll stay a night or two before resuming my journey to the Light.