I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is in the process of identifying her next career move following the end of her last assignment back in autumn. She spoke of a certain anxiety creeping on her as the Christmas season drew to a close. I am certain this feeling is common to many people these days, as job security seems scarce and as security itself finally becomes a fallacy.
As she was talking, and my God how do I wish I could be more supportive than just by occasionally nodding, I thought of anxiety and of its ability to squander our certainties as it leads us into a no man’s land of doubt and self-doubt. I thought of those days when I am walking around the park, catching a glimpse of marvellous, still, naked trees and by the time I’ve finished fiddling with the settings of the camera, it doesn’t look as marvellous any more. That’s because the fog has set in.
It’s a weird thing the fog and so very like anxiety; one minute I can see not just the present but the future with great resolve and the next I cannot tell dead leaves from paper cuttings, their crinkling under my feet as alien as the unknown itself. To think that the fog only hovers very close to the soil! As a child I often thought that giraffes would never be affected by it, as their long necks would allow their head to pierce through the fog, high above the miserable little mortals stuck in a smoked grey marl. Have you ever read Marcovaldo by Italo Calvino? You ought to if you haven’t because it is a piece of surreal, and at the same time hilarious, literature and you will agree that surrealism is rarely side-splitting. Well, Marcovaldo and his fog in Milan are.
I’ve been enveloped by fog myself for a little while, as hours quickly turn into unprofitable days, as I flap like a fish out of water while I live on coffee and play High Grant movies in loops. It normally lifts after a few days if not hours, the fog, right?