Beltane 2017: Fire and Darkness


In the imagination, the very word conjures images of fire and dancing, of May Poles and bonfire jumpers.  I dream of a feast of lovers, come together to share our sacred joy in flesh and intimacy.  My body aches for wine, and for warm sun that the Midwestern climate might deliver or deny at any moment.  At this moment, I am denied all these things, and coffee will have to do.

I want to share images of luxuriant, lustful flesh, but my friends who would model for such images are few and all far away, and I have been too impoverished to hire professionals.  I want to announce the precise date when my novel will be available — when my first “child” will be “born” — but the last edits are going more slowly than I had hoped, drug to a crawl by conflicts in other corners of my life, to say nothing of the miasma of exhaustion and depression which has lain thick over everything for the last six weeks.  I want to be reborn in the sacred fires of Beltane, but in this moment I do not know either who I am or who I want to be.

The fire in my heart has guttered, and the embers have all but gone cold.

All that remains is the fire in my belly: hungry and wrathful, a beast with many enemies, few friends, and fewer qualms.  That beast has devoured my life before.  It stalked my childhood, baited and provoked and trained by monsters that I mistook for my friends, until I did not believe that love or friendship were things that existed outside of fiction.  It reigned over my Failed Life in Saint Louis, devouring one relationship after another.

I know what needs to be done.  I must reignite the fire in my heart.  But the fuel it burns is in short supply, and all the harder to find in the darkness.

Fuel for the other fire, by contrast, glows in the dark.  It’s practically self-igniting.

So I stumble through the darkness.  I strive to remember where I came from and where I’m going, even as such thoughts fade into shadows, themselves.

Who am I?

Who do I want to be?

How do I get there from here?

How do I find the answers before the fire in my belly devours the questions?

* Some asshole will surely read this and try to tell the “Native American story” about two wolves and which one you feed.  That asshole can fuck off and die.  First off, Billy Graham came up with that shit.  Secondly, I use the fire metaphor for a reason: once lit, a fire burns so long as there is fuel and air, and if those things exist in the environment, it need not be “fed”.  If you can look at the world and not see a fuel-rich environment for rage, then you are a fool.