Route 66 :: June '97 -- October '97

Subject: Pyromania
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 00:24:40 -0700

22:51 Lassen Volcanic National Park, California :: 20 OCT 97

Licking flicker leaps tongue-like, sputtering, crackling fire. Fire. Mesmerizing fire. What is it about fire? Warmth and light, the primal need yes, but... Our backsides chilly, damp and our frontsides toasty warm, hands outstretched, reaching to radiant heat. Campfire. Newspaper, kindling: a match. The first faltering flickers; it catches. Some sticks then logs, crackling in the twilight. Campfires shared with friends, contemplated in solitude. The center, and the centre. Eyes cast in, seeing and not seeing the embers glitter-glow in waves, the yellow golden guttering flames jump and flitter. Where do we go? Into the fire, into thought, into self. Fire, our companion, our guide.

Sulphur flare. Pungent air. Sputtering wick. Warm tones in amber glow. Glass of wine. Friends or lovers? Flickering flame casts fluttery shadow caress. Pooling wax gathers, balls, strains. Tension seeking release. Teardrop of red plummets. Then a rivulet, then a river. Wickering flame soars. An indrawn breath: the quickening. A smothering puff. Smoke tendril ascending. Enveloping darkness yet flame persistent; the gathering embrace lets afterglow linger.

~~~ Responses Sought ~~~
You can blow out a candle,
But you can't blow out a fire;
Once the flame begins to catch,
The wind will blow it higher.
  graphical element Peter Gabriel
From the song, "Biko."