All of the elements have powers of destruction and creation: Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and even, from our love of movies, the fifth element of Love. All of these are interconnected and even weaved into us. We hold the elements as metaphors to our being. There isn’t a work of art, a story, a song, a poem, that doesn’t draw from the well of elemental symbolism in some way. We liken our passions to the crack and snap of burning flame, our calm can be linked to the gentle lapping of ocean to shore and our tremulous times to the rolling crashing waves churning the seas, a gentle breeze likened to soft memory – a gale to rage, and Earth–the tie that binds–holds us all together and centers us.
Of all these, I love Fire the most. Fire is the base of creation in a metaphorical sense; I’m a poet by nature so working with Fire is what I do. Fire is raw emotion: love, hate, fear, anger, rage. It’s the flame that sparks hope and keeps it burning; it’s a match struck in the face of fear and dropped into gasoline. Fire destroys, yes, but it destroys to heal and to forge new. It is our passions and the fire behind them that keep us working every day to be better, to do better, to become better. It’s that flame that lives in all of us that gets us through the hard times.
It’s that flame–that Fire–which drives us to strive for more.
There will be times when you’re at your lowest point.
You are the ash of a Phoenix with clipped wings that will never rise.
You are a broken levy,
unable to control the drowning of your household,
“Strive” by Carvens Lissaint and Miles Hodges
“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”
– Charles Bukowski
“Poetry is just the evidence of life.
If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”
– Leonard Cohen
“The generous Critic fann’d the Poet’s fire, And taught the world with reason to admire.”
– Edgar Allan Poe
“The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.”
“Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal.”
– Dante Alighiere
“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
– Maya Angelou
“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame;
how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”
“Stick Boy liked Match Girl,
He liked her a lot.
He liked her cute figure,
he thought she was hot.
But could a flame ever burn
for a match and a stick?
It did quite literally;
he burned up quick.”
– Tim Burton
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories
“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
– W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire
Dive For Dreams
dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backwards)
honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at this wedding)
never mind a world
with its villians or heros
(for god likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)
If I dared write
I would carve my words from a rock;
scrape a line with a flint
sparking off malachite,
or smell the sulfur linger from a struck match
as I flare what I feel to the world.
I would give you cadences Cuillin-sharp
or rolling as the ocean;
line breaks dangerous as a
assonance subtle as the dying wind.
I would write of tears and dissolve your page.
I would write of drought
and you would scrape the dust from your hands.
The tinder of my parched heart
would spark forest fires.
I would growl a word
and you would hear the thunder.
“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
“The biggest problem for me was feeling that as I became more balanced and a better man that I wouldn’t have the fire to create from.”
– Nicolas Cage
Attached to this
Ephemeral burning house
You yourselves light the fire, kindle the flames
In which you’re consumed
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
– J. R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Thank you for spending some time here with us this weekend! Be sure to stop in next weekend when Christy will blow us all away with the next element in the series. Until then keep your fires burning bright and don’t forget to dance like you just don’t care! Have an excellent week, Jennie
Don’t miss this week’s fire-themed music playlist on YouTube:
Need even more of a music fix? Jennie and Christy’s personal playlists can always be found in the footer (when viewed on-line). As always, feel free to share your words in the comments; we love hearing from you!
You May Enjoy These Past Words for the Weekend Volumes:
- Let Go, Jump In, Love Wide Open – Vol. 3
- Spiders and Black Cats and Wolves, Oh My! Vol. 2
- It’s Time to Begin, Isn’t it? – Vol. 1
- Lots of Random Words