The Port Townsend fog's already burned off (along with that trapped smell of paper mill) but in the last two days, we've gotten up to sound of at least three foghorns, which I've come to think of as the clarinet, the bassoon, and the tuba. The third of these is the wonder; I could listen to it all morning, all day. Every time it lows, you feel it down into the chest, the backbone. Imagine the blast of an ocean liner, gentled, with some nuance in it. The sound reminds you that you're a body--or in a body. At the same time it takes you completely out of yourself. It tells you, on the animal, physical level, that there are other worlds going on near you, right next to you. The best thing is that I never get used to it, or bored by it, or annoyed. I imagine it must come at prescribed intervals--thirty seconds? sixty seconds?--depending on the density of the moisture. But somehow I'd rather not count. I like the surprise of its muzzy address, until I forget the delight of the surprise, until I feel it into my body all over again.
Mark mentioned that it's unusual to take in a warning that has an aura of pleasure about it. I think that's true, even though I also think of the horn of the train to Montauk as the sound travels across woods and moraine and water. That's its own occasion of delight. Still, the train's more melancholy than sublime. If sound could be an animal, the foghorn would be the whale, the largest whale of the species, far from the coastline, in ice water. If the sound could be a color, it would be darkest purple, tinged with brown and deep green and black. It might have some dust in it. It's as vast as a glacier and has the quality of making one feel both contained and anonymous at the same time.
Some local names I've noticed on the map:
Baby Island Heights
Egg & I Road
Click here for Mark’s take on the madrone and the Centrum Writers' Exchange.
Some shots of our ride to Sequim, Dungeness, and Port Angeles, towns west of us on the Olympic Peninsula. Sunshine insisted it was time to get out, in spite of work to do. That green water is Strait of Juan de Fuca water, which has become terribly corrupted in our personal South Park-Beavis and Butthead like fashion.