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Entries in fire (3)


Visual Jazz

There was an invitation to the studio, permission to choose whatever colors drew him and to slap them on acrylic with the beautiful unselfconsciousness of an almost-four-year old.

I could learn something from you, Chris said to Ezra.


I witness it every day, unselfconsciousness being one of the primary gifts of early childhood, but damn if I can imagine how to embody it.

For Ezra there was the thrill of spray paint and color and tools.  He was reserved but alert, as he tends to be.

For me there was the pleasure of pulling back the curtain on something unusual and special,

of receiving kindness from a new friend,

of watching a kind of visual jazz unfold in front of me.


Fire Weather

Here is the thing about fire weather: at first you think it's just summer.  It's a welcome heat, that begs for flip flops and sun dresses and you revel in it.  Then the wind starts to blow and dry things out even more than they already are, but you take refuge in your car with your air conditioning.  It's just weather, after all.  What's a little more carbon to add to the mix?  

We are the frogs, not even noticing that the heat has been turned up below us, until


Lightning strikes and tempers flare, out of nowhere, and you didn't even see it coming, soaking in the warm bath of your stockpot while to-do lists and grant deadlines and snow tires pile up and ignite in the middle of your kitchen.  It's strange how quickly the profane rises and you think it's going to feel so good to release but really all you're left with afterward is why were you mean to Daddy?

The fires of my marriage flare up infrequently and are contained quickly, but they still leave me scratching my head.  Who is the arsonist in my kitchen?  Is it a dry year?  Where is the rain?


Smoke and despair hang thick in the air all over my home state.  It's going to take more than I'm sorry, I was out of line to make things whole.  When the conditions are right and the wind is insistent and the heat turns cruel, a single lightning strike sears the mountaintop and soon everything in its path is consumed.  It's not that we were careless, per se.  It's just that there is never enough time or resources to get all the fuel out of the way.

Thank you for digging fire lines.

Thank you for evacuating people from harm's way.

Thank you for saving us from ourselves.

Now where is the rain?


Bad News

162.365 190mm f9 1/3200 ISO 200This was the view to the west on my drive home from work last night, smoky haze choking the sky, the smell of the world's biggest campfire in the air even miles from the site of the Indian Gulch fire.  By bedtime the residents who had been evacuated from Golden Gate Canyon were allowed to return home, even though the fire is only 20% contained.  The winds are forecast to die down today so hopefully the firefighters will get this thing under control tomorrow.

This view puts a pit in my stomach.  I just keep thinking that if the Front Range is on fire in March, we are so screwed in September.