Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Before the Fire

We are all invested with hope. It’s what keeps us holding onto the
side of the buoy, as we float among the dead bodies and wreckage of our just sunken ship. It’s what allows us to stay silent, stay hidden and unmoving under a stack of human corpses as the killers heap more atop us.

We go on no matter what the disasters swirling among us, we are bred with the instinct to just get through, to just keep going. But to what end. Is it more that just about continued living. What is it we go on for. What is this wish that living entails, that makes us want more, even while in the midst of suffering.

We are lucky. For the most part we haven’t had to live in times of famine, war or pestilence, or at least we are able to turn our back toward it when it becomes too much. Our hope consequently has become much grander than just to get through. It is lucky to have a chance to conceive dreams that are not perpetually clouded with nightmare. But unfettered dreams can haunt too.

They can leave a desire for content without limit. A taste for the sensation of the right place at the right time with the want of nothing more. The dream of a place were the desire for more never comes. Those types of dreams can leave a longing that inhabits every waking moment. It is a longing for the complete filling of desire that is not bounded with time.

It’s what keeps us moving on, this constant search for that moment of content without limit. For that waking time when we inhabit what we had hitherto only glimpsed in a dream. It’s a schizophrenic view of the self from outside, without any of the separation anxiety. The viewer and the viewed are one, and distinct too. It’s like watching the watcher, or inhabiting the mirror. It’s what we do so easily in dreams, but when that flashes in waking life, it can leave gaping chasms in our rock solid world.


The window panes are literally flowing. The ancient rock houses are
all huddled together against the sunny side of the coline. Its warm outside but inside a slow fire burns. It counters the cold that lingers within the rock walls. It adds a slow sound and a warm light that repeats wordlessly ‘hearth’. Smoke rises from the chimney and scatters, sending out the scent of another time.

In front of the fire, are a man and a woman. They sit, facing each other, in straight backed chairs. They both lean in slightly, one towards the other. They are holding hands and on occasion looking into the other, the fire, themselves. They say very little, what sounds they do make are absorbed by a denser, wordless utterance which is emanating between them. They are enshrouded in the shifting light of the fire. They sit like that - silent and content. She is blissful and beautiful and he has forgotten that no story ends happily ever after.

Their love flourishes amidst the end that rages around them, she flowers in its energy, he amazes at its calm. Each in their fashion knows the end will come, yet in that perfect moment in front of the fire, they just kept going and pretended not to notice. They know that sorrow will come, but not today.


  1. Indeed. The dream of a place where the desire for more never comes. That's the hope.

  2. 只用微笑說話的人,才能擔當重任。..................................................

  3. Good reading, I truely enjoyed it. Thank you