22 January 2011

Fuel In A State of Combustion

The weather is bitter cold here, or what passes for that in this neck of the Old Line State.  The temperature will drop to what may be its lowest reading yet this winter, and never has the ticking of the radiator pipes ever sounded so good...

Snow still dusts the ground, my daughter and I are warm and safe in the house, and in the echoing silence after I put her to bed, I had some time to meditate a bit.  What came up, unbidden in my head, was another Jack London flashback.  I have had it off and on ever since I read his story, To Build A Fire, many years ago when I was a younger, dumber Gumbo.  The cold does that to me.  

In the story, its the part where the protagonist has burned up all his matches and is struggling to build a fire with hands gone numb from cold beyond imagination.  To watch your last best hopes go up in a choking burst of acrid smoke, to see the flames sputter out...that scene is what plays out in my head.

Sitting on the couch, staring up at the ceiling, I can see myself in that snow, feel the ice on my hands.  I poke, I prod, I scramble for fuel.  It makes me wonder: am I building fires, or putting them out?

Can someone lend me some kindling?  It's a little chilly...


  1. it's finally a little cold here..in the morning and evening. otherwise, 75 degrees. weird.

  2. I remember that story...it is horrifying. Time to search out a more uplifting read.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...