Fire. So simple and elegant. So fragile and yet so strong. It has molded our lives in such a way that you cannot imagine our civilization without it.
From art to religion and science, it has engulfed our thoughts and shaped our minds.
A moment in the muzzle of a gun, a cry in the consummation of a pyre, the amazement that a Bunsen burner brings, the vivid imagination fire creates while it helps propel a spaceship to new horizons by devouring its fuel, the light it creates is the constant that has reshaped our knowledge and its speed is our biggest discovery yet, the feeling of peace while a big ball of fire crosses the sky day after day.
For me fire always represented the inferno, the place of anguish where our thoughts run like rivers, condemned to flow into eternity.
“Of four infernal rivers that disgorge into the burning lake their baleful streams;
abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,
sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
Cocytus, nam’d of lamentation loud heard on the rueful stream;
fierce Phlegethon whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
Far off from these a slow and silent stream,
lethe the River of Oblivion rolls her wat’ry Labyrinth whereof who drinks,
for with his former state and being forgets,
forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.”
(John Milton – Paradise Lost)
Mourning is a time where we reflect on the lives that were lost and the ones we have yet to pursue. As a remembrance we light a candle, for nothing lasts more in our memory than a flickering light, making sure it will never let us forget.