So what have I learned? What has spinning fire taught me?
I’ve learned not to trespass at nuclear facilities. They grab you and put you in a cage in back of a white pickup and go through all your stuff. It’s not usually good if they find kerosene and chains and rags. I just stay well clear of the military as a general rule since then.
I’ve learned how fire can draw people in, the illusion of its control. Yet at any moment a wad of flaming cotton could set loose into them. And it’s amazing how many people ask if they can try. I usually say, sure, but that’s sometimes gone badly -- especially for one girl in a nylon dress at a Cadillac dealership I set up outside of. The authorities showed up that night too. Just the cops this time though. Not the nuclear henchmen.
I’ve learned the recklessness of fire and that flames themselves do not burn, only a chemical/physical reaction. Fire. The thing that brings smoke, glass and metal; the first sign of war; the last gift of the dead unto the living. Fire. Eternal as every inferno on a beach and every small candle flickering in a window, for every catastrophic explosion a spark going out, the only element that keeps us together and our greatest threat. What I’ve learned from fire.
I’ve learned that you’ve got to expect things to go wrong. For every moment of peace there is the striking of a match to scorch the earth. For every part joy there is a part of suffering and for what seems a sure thing there is a leap of faith. So fire has taught me something of life and now when I meet with goodness I remember sorrow, when I see the brightest light I remember a searing darkness. And I have learned that a life without fire is like a year without summer, and that if you dance with her, or near nuclear reactors, you’ve got to expect to get burned.
What I’ve learned from fire.
FIRE AND ICE
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.