All Things Roll In

The cold is comforting—it commands that we all wrap up in blankets and giant coats and sip black coffee all morning.

Lindsay Gray

March 1, 2014 | Fog | March 2014

a million girls

All things roll in. I can’t think of any other way in which to describe the phenomenon—at least no way that incorporates only words.

A mentor once told me to try never to use the word “thing,” because it’s so broad and vague that it’s actually meaningless—that it means so much that really, it doesn’t mean anything at all. So, for a long time, I tried to push it away entirely, removing it from my lips and my fingers so that I might be a better writer with a clearer vision, but I found it impossible. I’d try to think of what I could replace the word with—what specifically I meant for each instance that I’d written ‘thing’—so that I wouldn’t seem as if I was copping out or being carelessly unapparent about what I meant. I found that was the dilemma: I never know what I mean.

I bounce back and forth endlessly between feeling madly in love with words and language, and hating the uselessness of them. I’m never quite certain whether they mean everything or nothing at all. But no matter to which side I lean at any given moment, I’m always somewhat consumed with an unfaltering sense of elusiveness. Nothing ever seems concrete or perfectly clear—and again, I’m unsure of what I mean when I say ‘nothing.’

Everyone seems to love the spring, but it’s always been bitter for me. There’s never been a year in which I’ve felt ready to let go of the winter. This year is no different. I’ve always found such charm in the blue haze that everything seems to reflect. The clouds appear so packed that you almost question the existence of the sun. The cold is comforting—it commands that we all wrap up in blankets and giant coats and sip black coffee all morning. There’s a certain satisfaction in feeling warm all aside from a harsh chill on your face and hands. Perhaps I’m the only person who feels it.

All things roll in. They hit you—wash over you—like southern waves or arriving storms, and that’s how you feel them or see them or experience them with whatever sense. It’s the way in which August arrives exactly as it has in every year past, yet still, you’re never ready for it. It’s the way in which you finish a book or a television series or a relationship, and you’re suddenly very aware of idea that all things have an end. It’s the same as a thick 5am fog rolling in, so dense that it’s hard to even find your way home.

This lack of clarity both terrifies and fascinates me. There are so many things—people, places, emotions, colours, words, voices, feelings, and combinations of all of these that translate into one specific and perfectly unique moment—that exist in each small bit of a second, and the rest is a large and ever-expanding cloud of all that you can never encounter or understand.

Lindsay Gray

21-year-old photographer and writer based in Dallas Texas.

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