Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fire, Phoenix, Fork

I'm not going to set anything on fire. Not in real life. It's a figurative fire, we're talking Meta-fire here. Maybe.

Astrology is not nearly as cool a word as alchemy. Everyone knows, speaking Zodiac, what their sign is. An April 8 guy like myself, Aries. But if you change glasses and look into alchemical signs, you're exploring things a bit differently. Alchemists go back to the elements: air, fire, water, earth. An Aries like myself is fire as an element, fire representing action and creativity perhaps.

Once you've got your element figured, you look at modalities: beginning/initiation (cardinal), middle/sustaining (fixed), and end/change (mutable). So sticking with Aries, you're talking beginning of the spring season, Aries is Cardinal Fire. Maybe that explains me getting divebombed by cardinals during my runs? ;)

It's funny to think of fire having spent most of my life by the water. Then again, I intuitively feel like an outsider almost anywhere I go, on the fringes, the edges, looking in, looking out. Just out of place. Fire at a water party.

But fire has been on my mind a lot lately. Creative fire, but also destructive fire. And the way I've been pondering it, is best embodied by a legend/myth I learned as a kid: the phoenix. The phoenix is a great fiery bird, who is born of the ashes of the one before it. It is created from the ashes, the death of the one before it. It rises, is reborn. But you don't have the fiery new life without the incineration of the old one.

That is what this spring and summer has felt like. The ending of something, the rebirth, the beginning of something else. And so I'm thinking shit like that, minding my own business, and the album of the last few months for me has been Audioslave's first album, self-titled. And I'm driving to work, listening to "Show Me How to Live," and snag this thought from Mr. Cornell:

And in your final hours I will stand, ready to begin

And I happened to be pondering the phoenix (which will be a future tattoo by the way) when I heard that, and the cycle, the end and ready to begin. So there's that.

The other album that's been getting some air from me is Jack White's "Lazaretto." Typical White: lo-fi, raw, uneven, Nashville in places, tangential in others. Guitar and piano and lyrics that frequently make you think. And as White is singing along, he throws this gem out there as a way to woo a lady perhaps:

Put a fork in the road with me.

And, hold up, what? Instead of choosing a direction at a fork in the road, PUT a fork in the road. And man, I dig the hell out of that. Let's create possibilities. Let's expand things. Create choices. Not limit ourselves, expand ourselves. And I dig that.

So that's what the coffee says the last couple mornings. Cardinal Fire. Beginnings. Endings. Beginnings out of Endings. Phoenixes. Big-ass fiery mythical birds. Screaming guitar riffs. And putting forks in roads. Possibilities. All towards the creative unfolding of how things go. Set it off.

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