Posted by: Bruce Proctor | May 31, 2016

White Cliffs from our Porch

Here is a journal entry from two weeks ago:

5-15-16 Sunday

Yesterday I had an early (for me), noon-ish, breakfast at the table on the porch, a spectacular spring day, and an unusual time of day for me, when the time and light were exceptionally good for viewing what I’m going to describe. Looking beyond Birch Point (about a quarter mile away) is a more distant point a few miles downriver, beyond which you can see straight south into the Atlantic. This more distant point has white houses and so forth visible. Yesterday, to my utter astonishment—the sun very bright, the air very clear—beyond that point, I thought I saw another point beyond it, in fact, white cliffs! I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I went in to get binoculars. The cliffs were there! Directly behind and above the familiar far point. It was low tide, okay. That changes the view somewhat. How high were they? 50 feet? Maybe twice as high as the tree line in front of it. Cliffs?!

The sea on the horizon also seemed to bulge off-center considerably. Were there low-tide islands out there? A few minutes later there were other bulges, but elsewhere. They changed not second by second it seemed, but over minutes.

I seemed to be on the edge where mariners lost touch with a clearly defined, tangible, practical world, and a spooky world appeared.   (end entry)

* * * * *

Fast forward two weeks, when I’m returning home from swimming, Friday evening, the sun still bright. At the bottom of the driveway, I pull up to see the far point of land far out in the bay, well-lit, houses. A good view from there. Try as I might, I can see nothing behind or above it. For sure there are no cliffs.

But there’s yet another thing about this. I went back to the porch table where I sat that morning, and you can’t see that farther land point from there, just the very tip of it, hidden by Birch Point. No houses or buildings or expanse at all.

I don’t know what to make of the whole thing.

* * * * *

You do wonder if these incongruities would be noticed at all if they weren’t clearly noticed and recorded as they happened. The mind does not know what to do with them, and we are thoroughly indoctrinated in our culture that things like this cannot happen—most certainly not in the clear light of day.



  1. What a wonderful post, so full of mystery and awe. Too bad you didn’t get a picture. I do believe the fabric between this world and the next one blurs and thins. Have you read the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman? The whole series is about this thinning. Have you researched this phenomenon? I wonder if others have seen it. I wonder what Islands etc are in the line of sight from your porch. Thank you for adding wonder to my day.

  2. Thank you, Katie, for your wonderful response. This particular experience is even more mind-blowing to me as time has gone on. So completely impossible, yet there it was. I don’t have a lens that could have pulled in such a small scene, or I’d have gotten a shot. Wouldn’t that have been something!

    I have not read or heard of Philip Pullman, but I’ll check it out. But so much of what is contained in this blog is about this miraculous conjunction of worlds. Offhand the Hopi/Navajo posts (and I believe I have more of them unposted yet). That’s why I study my dreams, too. Not just the blog, but in a sense my whole life seems to be about this exploration. My photographs, the abstract ones, never faked, always showing the 2nd reality, or both 1st and 2nd simultaneously.

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