Reflections in the fire

What is it that makes man so pensive, so reflective, when sitting before a fire? Is it that the  cracking and popping of the wood mirrors our souls as they face heat such that they expel superfluous elements amidst the flames? Is it the smoke that we are conditioned to see as a warning, and, yet, in this instance, the smoke is no harbinger of trouble; does it make us question what we know to be ‘fact’, what we assume to be fact? Or perhaps, and most likely in my opinion, do the roiling embers remind us of the roiling of our souls, of the undulations of emotion and thought that burn within us but no longer bear flame?

Whatever the case, tonight I had a bonfire. It has been quite a while since I had one, but it is something I love. Among the firelight, there gathered a symphony of crickets, the scratchy rustle of unseen things, and the pinpricks of stars.

Perhaps most of all, I find God in the floating embers. Something about it stops me, stills the turmoil about me, builds a sanctuary in the mire of darkness. Even then, though the turmoil dissipated, I couldn’t get someone off my mind.

And I just said goodbye to her.

How? How is it that I am giving up so easily? Has it been that life has taught me to just walk away when things seem impossible? To trust logic over love, platonic love, but love just the same? That seems to be the case. Now, my heart stands in judgement of my mind, condemns it, calls it ‘monster’ and ‘imbecile’ and ‘coward’. And that is what I am.

Is she worth fighting the impossible for? I say all the time that we can only reach to the limits we accept, but, in practice, I use the word ‘impossible’. My mind calls it ‘realistic’, my heart calls it ‘cowardice’. Sadly, both are right.

Truth has this terrible, dualistic nature wherein both sides are true. To not be a coward, I must be an idealistic fool. To be a realist, I must capitulate to reality before me, subjugated and fettered by what seems to be true.

Always there comes more questions. What should I do? Just keep walking away? Would she really even miss me? She has needed me and now does not. She never wanted me. I’m a human consolation prize. Who knows.

Dragons are best left sleeping…


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