fire

There is a beauty to destruction. It’s difficult to admit when faced with the reality of people losing their homes. But the fact remains that the sunset through the smoke has a mystical quality to it. Fire has long symbolized destruction and rebirth. Phoenix from the flames. Burn down and grow new from the ashes.

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D.H. Lawrence captured this rebirth in his poem, “Phoenix”

“Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled,
made nothing?
Are you willing to be made nothing?
dipped into oblivion?

If not, you will never really change.

The phoenix renews her youth
only when she is burnt, burnt alive, burnt down
to hot and flocculent ash.
Then the small stirring of a new small bub in the nest
with strands of down like floating ash
shows that she is renewing her youth like the eagle,
immortal bird.’

There is a fire consuming 5000 plus acres of forest near my home.

It’s not close enough to harm me, unless something drastic happens with the wind and we lose all firefighting capabilities, but there have been a lot of evacuations with more to come.

This was my view this evening, after the wind shifted. It went from 600 acres to eating up 5000 plus acres in a matter of hours.

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There are firefighters and aerial water drops and I don’t know what all but people are out there risking their lives to try to contain this massive fire.

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My heart goes out to the people who have had to run ahead of the storm, whose homes are at risk and who might return to charred remains of a lifetime worth of memories.

I hope the nesting Peregrines found their way out of the forest before the flames.

And I wish luck and cooperative weather to the people on the front lines at Granite Mountain and beyond.

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no voice

Today is the fifth day I have gone without a voice. It kind of sucks. But it’s also kind of interesting. I don’t feel sick, just tired, so I’m mostly able to go about my life normally except that my main mode of communication is now cut off.

I spent some time the other night thinking about what it would be like to go through the rest of my life unable to talk. To those of you that know me, you know that’d be very difficult for me!

Modern technology has made it much easier for a voiceless person to communicate. I don’t feel very cut off since I can text message and email with friends. However, I couldn’t chat with my grandma when she called me yesterday. And when I went to get dog food yesterday afternoon, the clerk seemed confused at first when I wasn’t responding verbally.

Luckily, I normally tend to talk with my hands (thanks, Grandma!) so that makes it somewhat easier, at least in my mind. Perhaps what others are seeing is a red-nosed, wild-eyed, redhead maniacally waving her arms about, almost whacking strangers in the head. I think I’m communicating because the clerk smiles and rings me up. What’s really happening is that she’s terrified and wants to get me out of the store as quickly as possible. One of her hands on the register, the other on the red emergency button.

In general, it seems that once people notice that I can’t talk, they get more polite and helpful. Perhaps its my perspective. Maybe I’m a bit more passive since I can’t defend myself vocally. It’s an interesting interaction with the world.

But the idea of not being able to talk, or yell, or call for help, unnerves me a bit. What happens if I need to make an appointment with my doctor since I can’t talk on the phone? If someone breaks in to my house at 2am, how do I communicate to the 911 operator? What if I fall down and can’t get up? I went to the grocery store with a friend yesterday afternoon. She wandered away to grab some eggs and I couldn’t call after her to get me a dozen too. Okay, that one was more of an annoyance than necessity, but still.

I hope my voice comes back soon.