Witte Wieven

fog ∙ mist ∙ haze ∙ veil ∙ mystery

The known world disappears

only our own little island is left

Everything feels different
A portal to another world opens
Anything can loom up out of the mist…

In the east of the Netherlands, fog banks are called ‘Witte Wieven’: ‘wise women’. They have lived in ruins and lakes since pre-Christian times. In Celtic and Germanic mythology, ‘the land’ is often represented by women. When we listen to and respect these women, the land is good to us. Then the Witte Wieven help women give birth and happily finish farmer’s jobs in exchange for pancakes. When we don’t listen to the land, we pay:

climate change

How do we learn from the land?
How do we respect the fog?

Joseph Brodsky writes about the Venetian winters:

The local fog, the famous nebbia, renders this place more extemporal than any palace’s inner sanctum, by obliterating not only reflections but everything that has a shape: buildings, people, collonades, bridges, statues. Boat services are canceled, airplanes neither arrive nor take off for weeks, stores are closed, and mail ceases to litter one’s threshold. […] In short, a time for self-oblivion, induced by a city that has ceased to be seen. Unwittingly, you take your cue from it, especially if, like it, you’ve got no company.”

12 thoughts on “Witte Wieven

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