Myst

I captured this a couple mornings ago before sunrise when mist was obscuring the street outside my house. I was doing my usual pre-dawn sky check. The streetlamps were pouring orange tinted light down into the mist. I liked the quiet, the way the mist was damping the sounds of the very few cars running on distant blocks of the city. I walked back into the house for the camera and tripod, and quickly shot six frames, racing the rising sunlight.

Yes, I know that there’s a problem with the spelling of mist. There is no need to comment on it. The misspelling is deliberate and something of an inside joke about the time I had a problem with the spell checker of my email program. It actually was my mental problem, a temporary disconnection of the thought process, not a problem with the spell checker. I should know better than trusting software, because programs are only as good as the people who build them.

The problem arose because I momentarily believed the spell checker when it didn’t choke on my “mistical” typo. For a few minutes, I thought that it might be right, that it was a modern spelling that I hadn’t noticed before. I sent the email message out before I realized that I had allowed myself to be fooled. How embarrassing.

So it goes.

As luck had it, that message went out over the wires to a group of friends. That’s the danger inherent in email communications. Once you click on the Send button it is out in the world and there’s nothing you can do about it. I developed a mental cringe every time I thought about it for the next few hours.

Also as luck had it, the small group of recipients included my core. The core is my three closest friends, three guys I’ve known since I was 4, 5, and 16 years old. Those guys are a chemist, a musician, and a retired businessman. Though we live hundreds and thousands of miles away from each other, and are each perfectly capable of annoying the hell out of each other, we’ve remained tight for decades, though we often go for years without seeing each other. I can and have said things to each of them that I would never say to anyone else, knowing that they will understand exactly what I mean. I don’t have to qualify anything with them.

Here’s the thing, and the point of this post. It is a “secret”, or it was until I wrote this, that I write for myself. But by “writing for myself” what I really mean is that my intended audience is myself and those three guys, even when my subject matter is something that none of them care about. Again luckily, I never have to edit myself for my core, except to improve the writing whenever I can.

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