Thursday, October 9, 2008

Set This on Fire

I read a book once where the characters wrote their wishes on paper and lit them on fire. They sent them up to their ancestors in the sky. Missives in the smoke.

Blogs are like that. Click delete and it disappears into the cosmos. I like that. You can write anything you want that way. Write down your wishes, dreams, secrets, rages — write anything you want, it doesn't matter. It's not real. It's not permanent.

Nothing is permanent.

Even this feeling right now. Or that feeling yesterday. Sometimes I wonder why people even bother to ask? None of it matters. Whoever has upset you today will be forgotten by Tuesday next week. The broken glass will be swept up and carried away. The ripped shirt will either be mended or tossed out.

I can write anything I want and it doesn't matter. I can write that I don't care about tomorrow. I can't care about tomorrow. I can no longer care about the economy, about my job, about the price of gas or the value of your 401K. Today I have to go home and pick up a little boy, make him dinner and sing him to sleep. All those other things make it hard for me to do that.

Today I have a job.

Today I have a home.

Today I have you.

I may lose you all tomorrow. There is joy in this. There is a sweet breath of relief. Can you feel it? Is it coming through the wires? Everything is impermanent. Nothing lasts. You and I have no control over it. We can't stop disaster.

So let it go.

Ride it out — wherever it may take you.

There's nothing else to be done. If you lose your lover tomorrow, should you spend today worrying about it? Mourn the loss in advance? My best friend is always telling me, "A fool dies a thousand deaths, the hero dies but one."

One life.

Many deaths?

One life.

One death?

I choose one. I can't fix any of you. I can't fix any of me. I can't control one damn thing in this universe. All I can do is write these words and let my heart love what it loves.

Beyond that, all is a seething cauldron of stars and shape-shifters, lies and magic. My eyes will never know the difference. So I'll write it all down. I'll settle on words to make out the murky details. I'll cry and I'll rage, I'll laugh and I'll wonder. And none of it will matter. Tomorrow we'll all forget, and play some other drama that means everything again.

Sometimes I think we should set everything on fire.


  1. Relationships are all on loan. In the end, you just have your soul. Which is why I try to live for the moment as much as possible, never take myself too seriously, and eat donuts once in awhile.

  2. Everything is on loan.

    You could lose everything tomorrow. Not a damn thing you can do about it today.

  3. "At my signal, unleash Hell"

    Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.

    ~ Bill Keane

  4. (I set) I set (my friends) my friends on fire (fire)
    well I looked at your grave I do not feel alive
    (I set) I set (my friends) my friends on fire (fire)
    well I looked at your eyes I do not feel alive.
    I set (I set) my friends (my friends) on fire,
    now I will give up
    (I set) I set (my friends) my friends (fire) on fire,
    now I will give my life.

    If I tell you now I will not feel alive,
    If I kill you now I will not feel pride,
    If I kill you now I have set those fields on fire,
    what's this? One More Time.
    Burn-Lies-Lies-one more time,
    Burn-Lies-Lies-set, one more time

    tisiv ot ecalp ecin a si lleh
    (hell is a nice place to visit)

    Yaaaaa, yaaaaaa, well I gave one more time,
    Yaaaaa, yaaaaaa, well I gave one more time now,

    "The sun came through the leaves and lit them
    up like it was on fire, right at sunset"
    Let's look the world into the eyes (like it was on fire)
    and say just one more time (like it was on fire), much less.
    Let's look the world into the eyes (like it was on fire)
    and say just one more time, one more time.
    One more time!
    Yeah, one more
    Yeah, one more time
    One more life when I pray it's time.
    When I gave one more time,
    to lie into the after life,
    One more time. I praise one more lie.

  5. One life, one death? I'm really liking that one.

    I have to start working on how to only die once, instead of once a day.

  6. That one is thanks to The Boyfriend. I forget who he said said it originally.

  7. Paper Pills. Write your troubles down on little pieces of paper, put them in your sweater pockets, coat pockets...they turn into little paper pills. All your troubles, rolled up in little tiny balls of lint.
    I write to cleanse.
    When I can't, the funk builds up.

  8. My wholly inappropriate first response is to do a Beavis and Butthead impersonation. "Fire!! Fiiirrrre!! heh. heh."

    After I grow up a little bit I'll have a second response.

  9. Now I'm hearing, "The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire! We don't need no water let the m_____ f______ burn!"

  10. i'm a fool then.

    let me have "la petite mort".

    i can't control the world, so i just masturbate my worries away.

  11. What if they filed your blogs in the Library of Congress every day? What then?

  12. There's a Stephen Levine book called "A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as if it Were Your Last". Someone else reminded me of it in their blog last week, and I am reminded of it again through this blog. It doesn't necessarily make me want to try doing that; I like your way better.

  13. Here you go:

    From someone old enough to remember. Great blog.

  14. Well written BM. I'm watching baseball now, so I will go back to being a tool, but I had to say I liked this.

  15. While that's beautiful, it's not necessarily true.

    You do have one bit of control. You have control over you and the choices you make.

    And though everything dies, you can choose to see it as unimportant, or conversely you can believe that everything matters. Each moment is precious.

  16. Hi Mandy,

    "Sometimes I think we should set everything on fire"

    Looking at the World...everything
    is on hot, depends on where you are, who you're with and how you see the world...half full or half empty.

    My two cents.


    P.S. Adding my two cents made my cup a little fuller. Thanks

  17. Even SHOES?!?!?!?! I thought I knew you....


  18. I try to walk that fine line every day between doing the right thing and not letting the things I care about fall apart and just letting certain things go. I think the problem is, I try to do it in 4" heels.

  19. God Damn...this was beautiful!

    I also loved that other one the other day...the one I related to so well (I know you know which one)...but we need not speak of it because that was yesterday...

    Today is all that matters...

  20. *striking match*


  21. Enough is permanent that it will show up should you ever undergo a thorough criminal background check.

    Sex Mahoney for President