Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 5, some signs of relief


I haven't taken a single picture of what I am seeing, and have seen, at home and on the way in and out of Sonoma. It somehow seems disrespectful, or something.

I don't wish to speak (or write) too soon, but it seems as if we were spared, at least for now. The winds helped push the fires north and east, which is much better than the south and west they were heading. 

Here was the closest the fire seems to have come:

That same map shows less activity near us today. The human reports are either horrible, heartbreaking, near-misses, or just boring old survival. 

Is it wrong that I am fascinated with fire's transformative capacity and possibilities? If my house burned down I thought that maybe I would move back to New York. Then I'll ask myself, Why wait for fire? I'm not quite sure. I can't quite answer that question. But complete and total destruction of place (not person) contains a liberating component. Some portions of your life you might only truly start over when absolutely required to do so, so there is an odd sense of invitation to the idea of it. It's not as if I get aroused thinking about it, but something happens; some floating sense of the excitement in possibilities.

Perhaps it is wrong to talk about this in that way while so many people's lives are going through such enforced uncertainties. I will write more about the dynamic of my mild case of pyromania some other time. 

The fires have taken their psychological toll. We are all emotionally drained, on edge at times throughout the day, sometimes unexpectedly. I am trying to focus on work, which has been helpful. I do not wish harm on anyone, of course, but am relieved that the fires seem to have moved elsewhere for now. It has been since early Monday morning that we have lived under these burning uncertainties. It feels as if everything everywhere is made of nothing but dry leaves.