Monday, October 24, 2011

love and fire

Joan Crawford once said:

"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell."

If love is a fire, I know I should prefer the quiet ones, the fires that burn slowly but steadily through the forest, the ones that barely scorch the trees, the ones you can walk next to and do whatever it is you need to do: monitoring plots, fuel sampling, rate of spread calculations. These fires will never roar through the forest, sterilize the soil, or threaten subdivisions. In the end they are beneficial, taking away what is not needed and strengthening what is.

But I always choose the love that is like the wild conflagration, the kind you need to run from to save yourself. These are the fires that light up the sky at night from 20 miles away. They burn with a beautiful passion that consumes everything. Until there is nothing left to burn and you are left with only the memory of it.

I think Joan was only half right. Love is a fire. Which way it will go, though, you can usually tell. But still you do it. You go ahead and light the match anyway.


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