Thursday, April 15, 2010

In the Belly

It’s a fire. It always starts with a spark. From the speck of orange that connects two substances, it can explode in one swift ball of gases, or it can skirt around the fringes, consuming the dry parts first. It can fold in on itself, a flame parasite devouring the surface which gives it life and so consuming the hope of a future. It can be unstoppable. A wall of flame which devastates an entire landscape, and while it burns there is no time for work or food for those in its path. It sears the flesh leaving blisters, scars, and scores arcs of memory into seared eyes. You can keep it in a fireplace, feed it, watch it, meditate on it as you look into it. It’s a crystal ball of connected thoughts and wistful moments. You can guide it, but you can’t master it. Fire has a way of finding loopholes and surprises. Fire seeks out everything which it can lick and taste, and its appetite is never sated. Fire is pretty to look at, but hard to hold. You can dash across a bed of embers, or breathe it like the moist-lipped circus performer, but you can’t suppress it without killing it completely. You can huddle around it and harness it for cooking, call it entertainment, but it remains an elemental force, channelling your mind into the mists of time, where men walked in fear of serpents and beasts that called in the dark. Sometimes it’s just a candle, nodding away in the corner, giving off a stuttering light in a shadowed room. Sometimes it’s an ember, a smoking piece of moss in a leather pouch waiting to be touched against a ball of grass and blown upon. When it’s out of control, people can’t tame it or quench it. When it sits in the belly of a volcano, it turns rocks to liquid and rolls in on itself,a creative force altering maps and horizons. Fire is one of the sculptors of human destiny and the great-great grandparent of all things mechanical and industrial. Without fire, we’d be doomed to a stone age of gnawed hard things, and nights spent with chattering teeth alone under our woven blankets or flensed hides. Without fire, we’d be without warmth or comfort. Without fire, we’d be gathering on weekends around bowls of fruit, barking our shins on roughly-hewn logs.

Aw, crap. Just wanted to say that love is like fire, and then got a little carried away. Anyway, it really, really, really is. So there.


  1. Seems like you get carried away as quickly and as easily as i do:P But yes, love is like fire:)

  2. What a brilliant description of fire. Wow. "candle nodding...." >>>AWESOME. I could fully visualise everything you said.

    Love being like a fire, well, yes, it needs nurturing and tending to and can burn. But the charred marks left by love are often good for the soul - adding memories, character, and always with you. Marks from love never really leave - while no love/fire, leaves nothing to muse back on.


  3. and out of the ashes comes new life. you really are a touching writer. love it hun

  4. @Ruby: Or maybe it isn't at all. Thanks for reading :-)
    @Cazpi: I like your comment- that love leaves marks. And marks add character...
    @Nixie: Some fires don't go out...

  5. hhmm love is like fire? maybe because they are both HOT! I love the metaphor the intesity of a fire and the feeling of being in love both are just WOW #eternalflame

  6. Wow - I have no other words, just WOW!!! :P

  7. @kambabe: Hawt! And I like that you get the eternity of it- exactly what I was trying to express- badly!!
    @Sharon: Thanks for the comment- wow does it for me :-)


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