Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Fireside Ephemera.

The cold wind is strong and in the east tonight. In such circumstances my office becomes uncomfortable, being haunted by a frigid wraith which will insist on stroking my face, arms and legs incessantly. And so I repaired to my living room, built up the fire, and having read a chapter of Siddhartha, spent a long time being mesmerised by the mystery and magic of flame.

I asked myself what it is, and settled on the prosaic explanation. It’s the energy of ancient sunlight, trapped for millions of years in a tree and now being released.

OK, so where does it go next? Does it get trapped again in my furniture, my carpet, my body? Does it go up the chimney and begin an endless journey to the farthest reaches of the universe and beyond?

It doesn’t seem quite enough, somehow, or maybe it seems too much. Maybe it was the confusion that kept dragging me down to the verge of sleep. The weight felt irresistible, and yet the need to resist was paramount. I was mostly successful, but not quite totally. Three or four times I succumbed, but only briefly. Several fragments of potential dreams presented themselves for a second. I stood behind a woman and said something. She laughed. I didn’t hear what it was. And I was reminded of that curious fireside incident last night, when the hazy outline of the Brooklyn Belle materialised on my sofa. It stayed for only a couple of seconds, but it quite startled me.

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