It’s hard for me to not get all woo-woo about burning wood off my own land in my own fireplace.  And it occurs to me that one of the things about a fire–in that woo-woo way–is that you have all four elements.  The wood that is burning, obviously.  The flame.  The ashes that will go into my compost pile to become dirt and the hiss and spit of water as it steams out of the wetter pieces.

I have done less woo-woo-y blogging lately and yet I feel like it’s because movng out here has made me feel more constantly woo-woo-y.

I’ve been thinking a lot about words and writing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not going to up and quit blogging.  But I think that I have always used words… often used words like little posts to fence in small understandable meanings to things.  I have tried so hard to master words in order to master my life and my environment.

And, don’t get me wrong, that’s been great and important for me to do.  I could not have gotten here if not for that.

But now I am here and I have a kind of security I haven’t had before, ever.  And I feel like that means I can let go of some things.  I can fumble and not know and drift and babble.  I can say nothing.  I can let my animal-soul run and experience things there aren’t words that will work to explain to you what it is that happened to me out there.  I will know things in ways there aren’t words.

I was telling Theriomorph the other day that I feel like there’s a rhetorical motion some bloggers make that appeals to me, a kind of urge to openness, to understand and mull over and revise and reconsider.  And it doesn’t have to do with political bent or whether someone’s a feminist or not or whatever.

It has to do, for me, with that motion.  And I don’t know for sure how to describe it to you.  I see it in bloggers I know, like Coble and Bridgett, and bloggers I don’t, like Chris Clarke and Nezua.  And they are clearly not the same kinds of writers, don’t write about the same things, don’t write in the same ways.

Most of us blog like we want our writing to take the shape of Algiz–there we are with our pitchforks, ready to run the monster out of town, ready to skewer our enemies, ready to lift and toss and sort and move things around.  It’s not a bad form for one’s writing to take.  But it requires sure-footedness and solid ground.

The other motion, I think, is a kind of spinning.  Think of us, twirling through space, and every year, at the winter solstice, at Newgrange, the rising sun spills along the long passage into the heart of the tomb and for about twenty minutes, the floor of that dark interior chamber is illuminated by the sun.  It’s thought that the ancient spirals carved at the entrace to the tomb represent the sun and the motions that it makes spinning through the sky.

The tomb still floods with dawn every winter solstace, even after 5,000 years.

It meant something then, to our ancestors, though we can’t be sure what.  And yet, people still go to stand there and watch the light because it means something still to us, though I don’t think we can say what.

It is a language our bodies speak, though we don’t know it, and sometimes you just have to put your body there and let it do its thing and let the shape of things speak to it.

And that motion?  The turning out and in at the same time?  That is a motion I want to learn to make and I want you to feel it when you read me, feel that motion behind my words.

Eh, well, what can I tell you?  The fire makes me all thoughtful.

4 thoughts on “Fire

  1. It cannot be an accident that out of all the houses in Albany, I bought the one where the sun shines directly into my face when I sit at my place at the breakfast table on the morning of my birthday. Speaking of woo-woo.

  2. B, oh, B, now I think you’ve understood what it is to live on the land, and what it means to be pagan–not in the head, not intellectually, but with the body. A lived world, I guess I mean.

    Seeing that spiral marked entry stone at Newgrange and going into the inner chamber…it’s pre-woo woo. I would like to read your writing a spiral.

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