Archive | August 2012

Fire, Fire

I’ve been thinking again, this time about smoking.
Like many people, I bore a shunning disdain for smokers, drinkers, and their ilk;
something oft cultivated children. Much in the same manner young boys may think girls are icky, and vice versa.

I’ve since gotten past that, but looking back, I’m surprised it took so long.

Fire has always been a fascination of mine. I’ve always loved fire.
Building fires, lighting fires, tending fires;
there was a time I lit a candle every meal, even with the sun shining.

I’d hold matches with my nails so they would be better consumed, and after I had to extinguish the flame, I’d flip it around and light the other end.
Lighters, too I adored, these little bringers of fire, fuel and the flint from which sparks sprung forth.

My memories of fire are all good.
Slowly dripping a bit of wax onto a lit wick, watching the flame be smothered, waiting till that last moment when the flame was a speck of a blue glow before stopping- and seeing the flame come back bigger then before.

Working on a ‘dead’ fire, searching in the wet for those dulled embers, and coaxing back Fire as best I could with sticks and leaves.

That joy of starting a fire without paper, marveling at the wood shavings that nursed fire better than newsprint, and wincing as an adult unceremoniously lumped paper into a not-yet started fire.

Tending that same fire after the rain came down harder and harder, feeding those flames after everyone else had broken for shelter, Feeling that fierce, wild joy as the cold heavy rain came down even as the hot fire roared higher, and the regretful sadness when I had to leave.

The fascination with which I first beheld a Zippo, entranced by the flame, and the instant desires for one of my own.

A lot of things change when you think about them.

When you draw on a cigarette, pipe, cigar…
You are breathing fire’s breath.

A smoke is tamed fire. tamed, shackled, domesticated sliver of fire, but fire, with promise of more.
With fire, there is always the promise of more, no matter how feeble.

I don’t smoke much, so I quite remember what times I did.

The first few times I smoked, I barely noticed the taste, the effect on my body- Nay, I did, but gave it no notice, for I was too wrapped up in the wonder of it all.

Here was smoke- Beautiful exquisite curls of smoke, under my control! (as much as Fire may be controlled) I could warp it, let it drift in a lazy line upwards, make a ring of it, or blow it apart in a moment of chaos!

Really, that is the main pleasure I took from it. With a moment to much of neglect, the pipe could be extinguished- the flame gone out. A thumb placed over the top, a careful breath- and it might yet be coaxed back.

<<This has been kicking around for months now, I’ve lost that train of thought and don’t see it coming back, so I’ve decided to just post it.>>


  • 10 May, 2012 @ 20:10 by inkywaters
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