Into The Fire

April 24, 2012

Occasionally, the world seems to crash down around you. Other times it seems to put itself on your shoulders like an ugly sweater made of lead. And sometimes the world just keeping poking you until you yelp out in pain, then it keeps poking.

Different people deal with stress relief differently. Some people have to surround themselves with friends. Sometimes people need to be alone.

Most of the time, I’m the person that needs to be alone.

Even if I got in an argument with somebody or I had to make a very heavy decision, I would need to chill out.

Actually, I would need to look into the fire.

I mean this both literally and metaphorically.

Literally, starting into fire is a comforting thing to do. Almost any fire will work but most of the time it should be a campfire. A fireplace would suffice as well. As long as it has an orange flicker and wiggles as it destroys something it’ll work.

Why fire? Well, it’s pretty simple. Men like myself have always stared at fire. Way back in the day when humans were wearing loin cloths and banging rocks together men still stared into the fire. It’s a beautiful thing. The flames seem to draw you in. It’s relaxing.

It also means I can focus on the fire. I can let it cook my thoughts away. Not permanently however, only for a short period of time. As soon as that flame goes out, I focus back on the situation that put me there.

But at least I was able to take my brain off the topic for that little bit.

Metaphorically, looking into the fire could be a way of refining or cleansing my mind. It burns away all the underbrush so it will prevent a much larger fire from starting. Inside of just being a small fire in a confined area, it would spread to the entire forest. This is like a little disturbance messing with my head but later spreading to insert itself into my heart and personality.

We all need to let things burn away every now and again.

If some of these thoughts made you say something like “Wow, this guy’s really saying something here.” then you probably need to stop. I’m not really saying it. It sort of stolen from this couple who writes books for couples and relationships. The book I’m referencing is called Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Read Maps. The people who wrote it are Barbara and Allan Pease.

No, I didn’t read this book, only heard some people today talk about the subject of it. And it sort of makes sense to me right now.

Sometimes I just want to get away from everything, not just people, but from my brain as well. And just like a child being distracted by shiny keys I get distracted by fire.

Of course this doesn’t HAVE to be fire. It could be working out in a wood shop or just browsing the clearance section at Books-A-Million. Either way, I don’t have to talk to anybody, I can just focus on the pretty colors of the covers and move on to the next.

I think this explains my weekly ritual of going to the comic shop every Friday after work.  I unwind by just looking at the same comics that were on the wall last week. I don’t call anybody after work and ask them if they want to take the 25 mile drive just to got buy 8 bucks worth of comics.

And nobody in the store really questions why I’m there. They know I’ll talk when I’m ready.

It’s good to know what my fire is.

D.A.

 

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Be A Man! Man!

September 15, 2011

So I’ve had this conversation a few times with some friends.

I think men today are, as a whole, much less manly than men in the past. Of course this is true of the men who lived in 1897. In those days men were known to go to fisticuffs with any random bear or moose that they crossed paths with. Today, men are limited to working in office cubicles and “killing” people using virtual bullets online.

Since I’m fairly qualified to speak on behalf of unmanly men in my generation, allow me to list the things that I’ve never done.

  1. Smoked a cigar
  2. Skinned an animal
  3. Hunted for food
  4. Hunted anything
  5. Gotten stitches
  6. Broken a bone
  7. Been in a bar fight.
  8. Drank a beer
  9. Ordered a burbon.
  10. Grown mutton chops
  11. Played in a contact sport
  12. Worn a pair of suspenders.
  13. Camped in the wilderness.
  14. Cooked a fish over a fire.
  15. Found something tasty in my beard.
  16. Used the word “carburetor” in a sentence that I knew what I was talking about.
  17. Solder or weld anything together.
  18. Replace a battery in a tractor.
  19. Fell a tree.
  20. Farmed anything.
  21. Complained about “those fellows in Washington.”
  22. Tame a wild animal.
  23. Build my own house.
Yeah, that’s all I can think of at the moment. But all those things are something that every man 50 years ago would have had a very good shot at doing. Even 30 years ago most guys would be able to scratch most of that off their list. Today, not much.
I think the manliest thing I’ve ever done would be when I did some landscaping.
But it wasn’t like it was cool or anything. I spread mulch and dug trenches for a few days.
Why should this concern you?
It probably shouldn’t. Unless you’re a man that’s living.
Anyway, it’s just a thought. Carry on.
D.A.