Smaller, quieter, fragile...the metrics of minimalism. As I watch my father disappear into himself, I wonder, when did he first feel it? Out in the morning fog, their boots half sink, satisfyingly, into the celtic mud. Deer ran here, pagans too, once. The ball scuttered sodden and grimly heavy, but lighter when you know you're at the goal line. The tackles came flying through the white whisps, with a yell and thump. Even among friends, no mercy spared. The field was wreathed, wrapped by white moving walls. Sound echoed inward, as if this moment was to stay sacred in the satin sacristy. They were invisibled from the world, from hunger, Master's Ruler, and kneecaps. Burdens annulled, that morning was their universe. They were giants, tearing up the field, fumbling for glory and pride, laughing and cursing, endless, free. Over on the half-back line, a younger brother never stopped to wonder what it was all about. Right now it was all about the itchy sweater, the tight nip of old shoes, the scary blank white fog and that Mary at the convent school. It was the morning after the caeili, and his lifeline had just been set a new tangent. Knowing only a life of pride and strength and leading, now this insidiousness. Minimalism. Smallness. It was a lifetime and two continents away, but still it came, creeping day by day, a new fog to find him again.