So back to the regularly scheduled programming.
Throughout history, we see a motif of great/triumphant returns. The Phoenix rising from the ashes, Christ rising from the dead (or… in this case, maybe he’s just the first zombie…. SORRY FOR THE BLASPHEMY!), the bank account of a literary idiot housewife who loves glitter and vampires and…… oh shit… it’s turning into another Twilight tangent…
And then you look to nature. Some of the most fertile ground is that which has been charred and burned. My old church in Cedar Falls used to have a controlled Prairie fire as part of the 5 am Easter Mass. Everything would regrow and it would be even more beautiful.
Finally (because I could go on and on), there’s the myth of Prometheus. He snuck fire away from the Gods and gave it to his creation: Man. Zeus was already afraid that humans would overthrow him but even for an immortal being, that is still a really long way off if they JUST got fire. What about it makes it so dangerous that he chained Prometheus to a rock and made an eagle rip out his liver every morning?
I’ll take a leap and suggest that it’s the “purifying” nature of fire. The symbolic resurgence that follows burning. You give a creature a way to make itself better and there will come a point when the pain of burning is seen as only temporary compared to whatever else they are going through. Sometimes, things need to burn. Prairies, Phoenixes, and even friendships or past histories. Sometimes it needs to happen for us to become better people.
AND if Zeus knew ANYTHING about physics, there’s the Law of Conservation of Energy. (Remember E=MC²?… Energy is, in a way, synonymous with “Mass” which is synonymous with matter). Energy/Matter cannot be created nor destroyed. The existence of said energy/matter simply changes states. Just because something burns and turns to ashes does not mean it’s gone for good. It doesn’t mean there won’t be something useful to come of the ashes… and if you believe mythological stories, don’t stick your nose right over the pile, lest a Phoenix shoot out and take your nose off. (I was so close to making another Michael Jackson joke at this…)
So maybe somethings need to be allowed to burn. Somethings need to be lit on fire.
Before you ask, this was all brought about by one of my dear friends/coworkers buying me the most unique drink I’ve had in my life. It’s my new favorite and I’m saving it for special occasions and times when I need to be reminded that fire isn’t always that awful thing we first think of it as.
I’ll leave you with a song. Take it away, Mr. Bowie.
PS! This all applies to writing too! Don’t forget to let the worlds and people you create get a little toasty every now and then. They’ll surprise you.