Fire — Judy Brown

Quite regularly I find myself returning to this poem by Judy Sorum Brown. It is called Fire. I love it for her description of the space between the logs. For me, her poem points to the essentialness of space in living. And closely associated to that, the essentialness of pace that is not always defaulted to fast.

I’m also glad to have participated in a men’s group last night. The topic was fire, led by a very gentle man who’s heart runs deep with learning and love. Something quite beautiful about men in circle together.

Enjoy the poem. May it inspire. Again.

FIRE ~ Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

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