The day you were born it’s as if a match was struck, one that would light a fire that ignites your being but also one that burns through your days.
Sometimes the fires at our center smother to a lowly smolder yet, regardless of whether they burn vehemently or not, in the dawning light of each new day we will only ever find smoke and dust, cinders and ash, in place of where yesterday once stood.
We often say of things we don’t particularly enjoy that its time we’ll never get back, but truth be told, even if we did enjoy them, its still time we won’t get back. Time is something we don’t ever get back.
Perhaps, that’s what truly makes the loss of someone we once loved so deeply felt. In some precarious way, all the years spent in the devoted service of keeping the flame of the home fire burning become sulfurous. And, like a phoenix consumed and stillborn, there is no getting them back.
The fire of our lives can so quickly and unexpectedly turn in upon itself, becoming wild, unruly, untamed, and ravaging. It flickers and sways in the most unpredictable of ways and it doesn’t take much of an accelerant for the blaze to become uncontrollable.
And yet somehow there is a sweetness to the flames; a sugary taste only arising from the exposure to intense temperatures, when all our stored energy and volatility turns honeyed and golden – the candied kindness of the fire.
A fellow artist on Instagram sent me a passage from a book by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor titled The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home. One line in particular stood out to me: “there’s beauty in black ash quivering around bright orange edges. It’s art.”
Maybe, then, the true test of creative courage is to find the beauty and the art in the pyre. Though it seems the most unlikely of places, it is there, within the tenebrous soot of what once was.
The inferno that scorches the earth of who we are releases nutrient rich minerals into the exposed soil of ourselves. Inhabiting the boreal forests of our being there are serotinous seeds that can only burst into maturation following the blasting intensity of a blaze. Once the fire has shed the shields of these seeds, only then can they begin to germinate. It is the fire ecology of our human condition.