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Raking over old coals


From looking back over our past or "raking over old coals" something magic can happen, it's a matter of perspective. Fire, passion, beauty and a special kind of understanding and appreciation for regrowth and what we can learn from the ashes of our past.

I have been in a reflective mood today. It has been drizzling a beautiful fresh rain for days and this harbours well for days of writing and daydreaming. Each morning as I rise I rake over the coals from the fire of the night before. This is just a trippy little chore I like to do. I make patterns from the ash and coals , preparing the hearth for later in the day when I will build a comforting fire and stare at it for hours on end as the flames dance before me. It is mesmerising.


Writing memoir is akin to "raking over the coals" . I pondered this analogy in the early light of the morning as I had spent all of yesterday rewriting my manuscript. I have a tendency to go off track as new memories and parts of the story push there way in. Some of these memories that form part of my story are like the slow burn of scraps of kindling , when added to the fire they entice the flame and quietly wait for the rush of air that will fan the fire, fuel the story. Other words and ideas shine bright, then just as quickly fade away when suffocated from oxygen and thought. Some parts of the story are constant , they flicker, hiss and sparkle keeping the fire burning, the story alive. I have revisited, rewrote many parts of my story that have been like the sudden burn you get when the coals are simmering away , the dull ash betraying the hidden heat that can cause immediate pain. Writing ones memoir can have the same effect. At times I have been burnt by the memory or paradoxically the memory has been burnt into my brain like plastic melted in the heat of the flame. And yet other times like a roaring fire that dances and shimmies with heat and colour my memories have been one of comfort and joy a constant reminder that from the ashes life returns.


May your flame burn bright xx






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