We didn’t start the fire

I remember looking into a campfire.

I can’t really say why I remember this, but it kept coming to me tonight. It came to me then, too, when I was looking at it, the nearly unbearable heat of it contrasting with the wind and cold and darkness on the other side of me as I sat there, sitting next to it, just content to bask in it.

I wanted to write about it then, but didn’t have the words (or the paper, which was lying in my tent in my bag, buried under clothes and other trinkets). I probably don’t now, but I am anyway.

As a writer, of any sort, you’re sometimes trying too hard to be profound, to dig deeper into any situation to find meaning and irony and symbolism and happiness and heartache where there is none. Maybe it was enough that I was there, in the company of friends, enjoying escapist moments that come so seldom in day to day lives, when we let ourselves get swept up in busyness. We talked, though we didn’t have to. I enjoyed the silence, as I do so seldom, preferring bluster to actual substance.

I have a hard time forgiving myself, often dwelling on mistakes made, or going over situations long past. Being someone who likes to think about things doesn’t help matters much in that area. Doesn’t often matter if it can be reasoned out another way- reasons built in the prison of one’s own mind seldom subscribe to cold, hard logic.

The fire seems nice, in those moments of reflection. It’s not complicated- it just burns. You keep adding wood, tend the fire, and it keeps going, offering heat and light and warmth to those that will accept it. I wish I understood why I keep coming back to the image of it, now, as removed from it as I am now.

Incidentally, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. This is more to remind myself than anyone else, though any of you who have a “lightbulb” moment on my account are quite welcome. You lazy punks.

Rather than ending off with a shot, I shall bid you all good day.


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