Fire of course is an elemental. Not humanized like ancient gods, nor made cuddly or comic-booky. Nor should it be. Some things, like our deepest emotions, are best left felt but not over-analyzed.
Our reactions to fire are also emotional. We hate and cry over some of the effects of fire, but we curse the effects and not the flame. At some level, we sense that fire lives alongside but not with us.
My story, “The Birthing” cheats a bit, personalizing fire just enough so that it can hold a conversation. But it tries to give voice to fire’s essential indifference to human existence.
Despite this indifference, we continue to try and understand the essence of fire. My recently published poem “Firelight” addresses this:
The allure of an open fire,
is an inarticulate wish
for the flames to reveal
the whys and wherefores
Thoughts swirl in updrafts,
the random patterns,
by closeness to ineffable
Some things in our universe are vast and incomprehensible enough to remind us of our relatively puny existence, to rein in self-absorbed egos, and fire is one of them. Staring into a fire reminds us of our place in existence, and if we’re lucky, lets us take comfort in it.
Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had a hundred seventy stories and poems published so far. His collected fairy and folk tales, The Witch Made Me Do It was published by Gypsy Shadow Press. His novella The Witches’ Bane was published by World Castle Publishing, and his collected fantasy and horror stories, Capricious Visions was published by Gnome on Pig Press. Ed’s currently working on a paranormal/thriller novel tentatively titled The Rule of Chaos. He works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of five review editors.
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