New Hampshire campfire

Why is fire so hypnotic? Hours evaporate whenever I sit before a burning log. I stare and stare like it’s my favorite television show. Perhaps it’s something hardwired and limbic that’s magnetized by the uneasy combination of sustenance and danger. Maybe it’s an ancestral memory of bearing witness through the night while tending to the flames. A friend suggested we’re attracted to fire because it moves upwards, a rare phenomenon that defies gravity.

The desire to bear witness is a noble urge that’s been hijacked and warped by our screens. But sitting here tonight and watching the embers burn, I have no desire to look at the news or refresh my feeds. Monitoring headlines and scrolling through the opinions of strangers seems like a ludicrous way to spend my limited time on the planet. Yet I already know this clarity will fade.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – We Drift Like Worried Fire

Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! | Constellation Records, 2012 | Bandcamp
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related Reading
January 27, 2020


I closed the book and watched everyone on the subway swiping and scrolling, hunting for something. Or escaping.
December 9, 2020


His gaze leaves me questioning my life choices and entire personality.
December 30, 2020


It's almost like a new form of weather, this atmosphere of everyone waiting for this wretched year to end.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x