Monday, August 2, 2021

Summer of 2021 Fire Meditation / Listening to Crow Rez Radio

Yesterday was mixed overcast and cool.  Late in the afternoon I noticed that the patterns of light on my porch had taken on the faint sickly yellowish cast that I now recognize as a sign that smoke from fires near and far has filled our skies -- that the air that I am breathing has smoke in it, although I cannot smell the smoke and find myself hoping beyond hoping that things won't get worse before they get better.

This morning at 3 a.m. when I went out on my porch, I saw that the waning moon in the sky to the northeast was reddish yellow instead of white.  I've closed my windows and brought out my portable air cleaner and portable air conditioner from their places in my hall closets, placed them in my living room and turned them on for the duration.

When I went to my laptop to ask Google about where was the best place to set up my air cleaner and air conditioner, I noticed that this had appeared spontaneously.  I'm listening to it as I write this post.  

Trying to remember which year it was that we in the northwestern corner of Washington State first experienced hazardous air from wildfires, I found that it was late summer in 2015.  The red sun seen through the trees in the photo above is from that summer.

Growing up in California in the 1950s and early 1960s, I remember hearing about the season of fires in Southern California.  The home of my Uncle John Wald, a radio announcer, was one that a fire in 1961 spared.  I remember hearing my mother saying that the houses on either side of his were destroyed.  For some reason, the fire jumped over his home.

October 1967, in my weeks of college at University of California at Irvine, was the first time I experienced what is beginning to be the late summer experience here and for much of the western United States.  The sky darkens with smoke and the sun turns red.  I remembering thinking in 1967 that what I was seeing looked "like Mars." It was just as disconcerting then as it is now.


Ojibwe prophecy speaks of a time during the seventh fire when our people will have a choice between two paths. The first path is well-worn and scorched. The second path is new and green. It is our choice as communities and as individuals how we will proceed.

-- Winona LaDuke


“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time


High Romanticism shows you nature in all its harsh and lovely metamorphoses. Flood, fire and quake fling us back to the primal struggle for survival and reveal our gross dependency on mammoth, still mysterious forces.

-- Camille Paglia


So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.

-- Gaston Bachelard


If the Lord comes and burns - as you say he will - I am not going away; I am going to stay here and stand the fire, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! And Jesus will walk with me through the fire and keep me from harm.

-- Sojourner Truth


Pessimism and optimism are slammed up against each other in my records, the tension between them is where it's all at, it's what lights the fire.

-- Bruce Springsteen


I try to keep that fire burning inside of me.

-- Rita Marley


Technology is, of course, a double edged sword. Fire can cook our food but also burn us.

-- Jason Silva


I remember June 8, 1972. I saw the airplane. And it's so loud, so close to me. Suddenly, the fire everywhere around me. The fire burned off my clothes. And I saw my arm got burned with the fire. I thought, oh, my goodness, I get burned. People will see me different way.

-- Kim Phuc Phan Thi


Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.

-- Buddha

“It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice -- there are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.”
-- Frank Zappa
Bob Dylan 2021:

So many possibilities beyond what we know.  
Right here, right now.
Against all odds.


Pixie said...

"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

He speaks the truth.

37paddington said...

Such a rich collection of wisdom to chew on. Gaston Bachelard, a blast from my past. One of my favorite papers that I wrote in college was on his Poetics of Space. Just seeing the name in your post ricocheted me back there, to that class with one of my three favorites professors from back then, her name was Maire Kurrick, I wonder where she is now. She was gentle and intellectually penetrating and forgiving of student foibles. Funny how some teachers stay with us always.

am said...

Rosemarie -- O my goodness. Your comment sent me on a fruitful search with many gifts along the way, beginning with a post where you mentioned her, which eventually led me to this:

Now I'm remembering the teachers who encouraged me indirectly or directly, including a few in grade school. With me always. Thank you for sending me in such a good direction today.

Sabine said...

What an amazing collection! I've been in storms, floods, landslides and earthquakes but never anywhere near a fire, thankfully.