“I really wonder if it is possible to watch a fire without deriving a certain fire from it.”
—Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Possessed
5 am this morning after a period of sleeplessness and a dream of the Illuminati trying to recruit me, I heard someone behind the apartments throwing stuff around. I thought they must be chucking garbage. A little while later, after dozing some more, I heard the sound of fire and saw golden light through window. I assumed it was a bonfire but got up to check anyway. The abandoned shed two doors away was burning wildly. I woke M* up and we watched it for a while – a beautiful sight. M* called the fire dept while the fire spread to the abandoned house next to the shed (on the side away from us). By the time the firefighters had shown up after 10 minutes it was a truly apocalyptic blaze. As we watched, they failed to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent building, a dry cleaners (situated between our building and the burning shed). Flames were licking up the corner.
Long story short, after some deliberation as to what to save, if anything, I went back into the apt and filled a suitcase with books, dressing gown, letters from kenneth grant, and grabbed my guitar. So now I know the answer to the question, “What would you save in a fire?” (not much). Since it was clear that they’d be at it for quite a while, we came to the bookshop where M* works (bringing G*). M* gave me some solstice gifts. I told her I’d been planning to build a fire for the solstice this year, but that now we didn’t have to. She pointed out a burn in my sweater, right over my solar plexus.
Having gone back to check on the status, the fire is mostly out but the general opinion is we’ll be lucky to get back in today.
Burning down the house!! (The symbolism of the Talking Heads song is destruction of the false identity.)
And this occurred 3 days before solstice, for which the traditon is to light a big fire to call back the Sun. If this was our divinely sent ceremony, it looks like 2014 is going to be a hell of a year.
I’m disturbed about the cat, however – especially since we could have done something to save it, had we known, or even had we been thinking more clearly.
Our prayers go out to the cat, and blessings from the fire zone