Damn the cold! He shivered violently while waiting for the nurse to return with more blankets. Why is it a good idea to push two liters of room-temperature fluid into someone who already feels like they are going to die?
On a normal day, he embraced the crisp winter air of the North Country. The pristine landscape inspired him, and even the labor of dumping shovel after shovel of freshly fallen snow made him feel so alive.
That was different. This was a soul-sucking chill from within. Layers couldn’t be worn to shrug off this icy embrace. His veins ached, his teeth chattered loudly, and he nearly longed for the sickness that brought him to the emergency room in the first place. How many blankets will it take to make this go away?
From the WordPress Daily Prompt
There will never be too many metaphors involving fire. I like to imagine that our fascination began when lightning struck an animal down, probably a deer since those damn things are always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some proto-human got a whiff of nature’s latest dish and, in spite of his instinctual fear of lightning, kept an eye out for electric Bambi flambé (minus the alcohol—those poor souls wouldn’t experience the arrival of the beer gods for a few million years) in order to create the means to cook on his own. Cooking leads to condensed protein ingestion which leads to brain development which leads to metaphor after metaphor about fire.
Here’s one that has been on my mind lately: in order to stay excited, you have to keep your coals in the fire.
If you’re still of dreaming age—I don’t believe there is such a thing, but a sample of American culture would suggest that, tragically, the large majority of people here give up on their personal goals and dreams by about 45 years of age—you have to be excited! Big goals aren’t achieved solo, and in order to get people to believe in your dreams, you have to have … wait for it … a fire burning inside of you that other people can warm themselves with.
Being excited is easy! I’m excited to be writing this morning after a two years of ADHD induced paralysis. Staying excited for a long time is not as easy. It requires discipline, tenacity, and a real hunger. If that sounds like work, it’s just because it is work. Here comes the metaphor to help you break it down and make it easier to swallow, like Bambi.
Imagine a campfire that’s been burning through the night. Some of your group has gone to bed, the stars are out, and all the stories have been told for the night. You’re staring at the fire burning low. Something gives way, and a coal rolls out of the fire. You watch as the ember’s bright orange glow begins to fade until it’s vanished into the darkness away from the fire.
As you’re looking at the thing, you realize that it has changed. A few minutes ago it was a hot coal in the fire. Now it’s a beat up and burned chunk of wood. In a way, it’s reverted to its former self. This is what happens to us when we stop feeding our fire! We go back to the life we were living before we were excited, usually with the addition of regret.
If you were to pick up that stick and put back in the fire, it would begin to glow almost immediately! Suddenly it would be unrecognizable as a stick, to you or anyone else, and the fire would grow and attract more bodies looking for a place to get warm. Growth and attraction.
Keep your coals in the fire. Don’t let them roll away and die. Do the daily activities that produce results in favor of achieving your goals and dreams. Experience personal growth, and attract the kind of people that will support you along the way. Get excited, and stay excited!
That is all.
From the WordPress Daily Prompt
I was drinking some Kool-aid a few days ago—Kelly Starett’s Kool-aid, to be exact—and now I find myself pouring glasses for everyone.
Sitting on things is just unnatural. I know this is hard to hear, but just think back to the days before chairs. We all sat comfortably back on our heels in a deep squat position. If the thought of getting that low sound unnatural to you, well … let me get you a glass of this delicious drank.
The reason you can’t squat down with ease like your middle eastern brethren is because you’ve been sitting in a chair your entire life. As a result, the muscles that run across your hips are too short on one side, pulling you in the wrong direction when you try to get low. Enjoy your aching back and inability to take full steps when you’re in your 80’s.
Okay, that’s an exaggeration. The aching back will be there by your early thirties.
There are so many benefits to moving your chair out of your office and into the hallway. Find out for yourself! Read Deskbound by Kelly Starett. I know I’m going to.
Seriously, self. You own two of his books. How did you not know about this one until you asked the google Gods to provide you with content for this post?
I’m going to stand up and walk away from this computer. Right. Now.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Undo.”
My first ten years were spent in southeast Texas with cracked dirt, yellow hay, and cottonseed. I’m much more apt to remember sights and sounds, but there are a few smells that will always take me back to the place where Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets blow in the wind.
The putrid smell of horses and cattle churning fields into mud are sickening to most. Stetson, the legendary fragrance of the American West—that is, of course, disregarding any imaginable timeline—is a cheap fragrance at best. Grease, oil, gasoline, other petroleum products … please, just take a bath already!
They’re not the most pleasant smells, but they belong to me as much as any set of Regina lyrics, a few clumsy notes on the guitar, or the first road trip in brand new (old) car.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.”
Roy Miller offered this profound statement in Patrick O’Neil’s Knight and Day, and it has haunted me ever since. I was immediately struck by those words, and my obsession continues to grow. Someday is a filthy word, the soot and ash from dreams tossed in the burning pile out back with so much garbage. Should the word ever accidently leave my mouth, it takes with it all moisture and leaves behind only the sour taste of metal and disappointment. I have such a passion for ridding someday from my existence that I have spent hours scheming, planning the day a cookie-cutter revolution is revealed in its name.
Perhaps ironically, that day has not yet come.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Silver Screen.”