Chimney | Wenatchee, WA | May 2019

Our closest encounter with a spirit-like form is likely the phenomenon of smoke. Ephemeral, intangible, airborne, smoke is evidence of transformation, a wispy connection between the solid and the vaporous. It certainly affects us — cough, cough — but can we affect it? A friend in my youth seriously claimed he had mental control of the mists. I witnessed him once make clouds disappear. Another time we parked near a sawmill for him to practice on smoke billowing from huge stacks. “Animals,” he said, and sure enough there was the rough shape of a horse running on the wind. Or maybe not.