Stream of Consciousness

The Fire I Let Burn Me

Face to face with:

  • My mortality.
  • I didn’t care if 1/3 of my stuff burned.
  • The unknown.


What occurred to me:

  • Fire is cleansing.
  • I’ve already taken suitcases, packed my life into bags, and lived in a 9x20ft. room with my entire family.
  • I was not frozen in fear.


What I did:

  • Packed my dog a bag.
  • Packed 10 bags/tubs for me.
  • Made a list of what to do if fire hit my town.


What went on inside, chronologically:

  • Fear.
  • I need a purpose.
  • I can and will survive no matter what happens. And not only that. We will be okay.


What fires?

Last week in Northern California fires broke out. Everywhere. Overnight.

People just miles from me were awoken by a neighbor pounding on their door, yelling for them to run. They walked out their front door and saw fire eating toward them. Grabbed their families, their pets, jumped in their vehicles, and did just that. Ran for their lives.

And lost everything.

There was a fire about ten miles in front of me. A fire twenty miles to my side. A fire fifty feet behind me. (those are my rough estimates)

I was waiting.

To see if my apartment would burn.


A funny thing happened.



I threw out old, huge paintings. I threw out clothes I never wear. I threw out clothes I loved but never wore because they were itchy or constricting. I threw out loads of books I no longer wanted to read again or that were lukewarm.

I decided I was tired of lukewarm.

I went through my entire room and got rid of things I never used. I got rid of one-third of my belongings.

And it felt good.

Scratch that.

It felt great.

I took everything off my walls.

I have a bag full of papers I’m going to burn (in a safe way, don’t freak out).

It was this insane burning inside me. This sudden, intense urge hit. But it didn’t just hit me. It ran through me. It brought me to life. It let me look at everything I owned and see it as a part of myself.

Some of me was cankering, old, dying. A piece of nature needing to be pruned. Weighing me down.

So I pruned.


I’ve changed.

In the past five years, since moving up here. I have changed. Insanely. Beautifully. Messily.

But my physical environment had not.


Somehow, I took the instant fear due to these fires, and let it almost just as instantly change into something purifying.

Something purposeful.



I re-organized my entire room.

The place in the living room where I write. (my version of an office in an apartment where I share a room lol)

The wall next to me in the living room.


Let me tell you.

It feels good.



The point I’m trying to get across (mostly to myself, but hopefully, your eavesdropping can help you) …

I let it





I didn’t run from what I felt. Even though what I was feeling was quite scary.

I gave myself a purpose tied to what I was feeling.

I did not deny.

I did not ignore.

I did not justify.

I did not make excuses.


I felt.

I decided.

I did.

I created.

2 thoughts on “The Fire I Let Burn Me

  1. Your words ring true for all of us that “stuff pruning” is healthy. Often I will keep clothing much longer (and not wear it) then needed. A friend who was reading a book (I don’t recall the name but it was about happiness) told me a trick. The trick is to look at the article of clothing and say, “Does this bring me happiness?” and will I wear it? As s result my Goodwill pile grows on. Now I say this when looking at items to purchase as well. Usually I would just look to see if it fit the purpose not does it make me happy.
    Thanks for writing and thankfully the fire didn’t hit you literally.

Speak and be heard...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s