step back

Driving long distances allows you to sit inside different atmospheres, protected by your vehicle's shell. This year, as winter finds its feet, fog and oily rain have spread across the country in thick patches. I look for the frames of emerging, bare-limbed trees, droplets of mist where the leaves once were. The traffic jams are caravans of red and orange blots. Headlights flash like speed camera bulbs, existing, like all signals, in one particular place at one particular time.

As always, there are plenty of dead animals. I see a flattened deer, cheek pressed close to the road, looking as if it's taking a nap in the rain. Elsewhere, the skinned carcass of a fox or neighbourhood cat, mushy and damp and now devoid of fur, unfortunate and impossible to identify. There are other bodies that appear then pass on, softened, somehow, by the fog.

Somewhere in the Lincolnshire fens, a light is mushrooming up from beyond one of the low lying hills, making you suddenly aware of a horizon. So much water in the air means that light itself takes on a physical shape. It can be divided into slabs and parcelled out. You can see precisely at which point it's being blocked.

I wonder if they're digging something vast out of the land, a huge construction project that requires excavation before anything new can be built. Foundations for anything would have to be drilled deep into the mud. Weather like this can only make it deeper, muddying the divide between land and sky.

We're always walking that divide, consciously or not, dipping into one realm then the other. Days like this make the boundary more apparent by dissolving it just as we pass through, moving straight ahead, or back and forth.

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