Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Desperation. Desire. Fire.

Desperation. Desire. Fire.
Cold, dead ashes bury the ember that survived the night.
Refuse to surrender!
Fight! Fight!
Discarded refuse buries you, serves as fuel!
Fan the flame!
Fan the flame!
Passionate fire builds with each heart beat,
Feel the heat,
That fills this room,
Be consumed!
Desperation! Desire! Fire!
Cold and empty and nothing of consequence.
No heat to be noticed, no flames to illuminate in their wild, passionate dance.
Like a fireless fireplace was how I found my heart.
After years of encouraging others to realize the passion of their hearts and live their dreams, I could see nothing in mine but emptiness. A cavernous space laiden with the ashes of a formerly raging fire.
Where had the fire gone?
And why did it die?
What purpose does a fireplace serve if it does not heat it’s environment, if it does not facilitate the fire?
But the fire was gone and I felt cold.
Like an painter with no canvas, I could see no way to express my art.
And I thought there was always a fire burning.
Like the Aish Tamid, the everburning flame, I thought the flames were ever-present and beckoning to bring heat.
Or like the bush in the wilderness that arose the curiosity of a shepherd on the lam.
But after a night void of fire-maintaining timber, there was nothing left to be noticed.
Nothing, of course, but those dirty ashes. Just a chore that was sure to dirty the hands.
It’s a sad thing when there’s nothing left of the passion of life.
And that’s where I was, sad.
Time to get to work cleaning out the ashes.
The little broome and dustpan begin to stir the ashes into a swirl of floating dust, when suddenly something catches my eye.
An orangish-red pebble of glowing and the immediate knowledge that heat is present. An ember has survived the night.
An Ember!
Proof that hope may still be alive!
Inhale, purse the lips, fill the cheeks and exhale.
A thinly streamed gust of air meets the ember and immediately it’s glow intensifies.
So does it’s heat!
Hope grows as the gusts of air blow.
Gust of air.
Wait a minute! A gust of air has brought back to life that dying ember!
Gust of air. Pneuma.
A word of Greek antiquity.
It’s meaning: a gust of air.
It’s translation to English: the Spirit.
This Spirit blows into the heart of the dying ember, bringing it back to life.
And as the ember’s heat grows it is in need of something more in order to build the kind of heat it must produce.
It needs to be kindled.
Kindling, the introducing of something to the minute fire that will make it grow.
We use trash.
At our house, in our fireplace, we use pieces of trash to kindle our fire.
And so we do here. We bring the trash of our life to the glowing ember, heated by the Spirit’s forceful wind.
Those things heaped onto our lives, the refuse discarded that lands on us and tries to identify us. We begin to bring to the fire.
Consuming the trash, the fire grows.
The glow of its flames dancing across your face.
Can you feel that fledgling heat?
And then, as the fire has grown, the time has come.
A rough piece of split wood is placed into the fireplace.
And an amazing thing begins to happen.
The fire grows.
And as the wood dissolves into ballet of flaming movement, more wood is added.
And as it does more wood is added. And with each additional piece of wood, the heat grows.
Growing and filling the room as tiny toes are defrosted, it’s cozy warmth inviting all.
And what was once dead emptiness, ignored, avoided and put off for another day, has now become the center of attention for the room.
Captivating, enticing, not to be ignored (use another word).
Conversations are had with not an eye looking away.
The icy chill of winter winds stand no chance against the raging, consuming passion of the fire.
And immediately upon entering the room the fire…
The fire is…
Undoubtedly, decidedly…
Understanding the emotion and wonder of Moses, I can’t help but…
“I will go over and see this strange sight…”
Passion stirs and I feel my heart race!
I can’t sit still!
I want to shout, to sing, to dance, to paint…to write words.
I see my canvas in the light of raging flames.
And I write my words feverishly.
Growing with each strike of the finger against technological keys.
The flames rage on…
The dormant, dead, dirty ashes that once littered my heart, attempting to smother life…
The ashes that hid that tiny ember…
Have been traded in…
And in exchange for the ashes…
In exchange for the heaps of trash…
What is giving?
The crackling, consuming burning beauty…
Of the fire.
Desperation. Desire. Fire.
Cold, dead ashes bury the ember that survived the night.
Refuse to surrender!
Fight! Fight!
Discarded refuse buries you,
Serves as fuel!
Fan the flame!
Fan the flame!
Passionate fire builds with each heart beat!
Feel the heat,
That fills this room!
Be consumed!