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This was just an effort to get rid of the writers' block. I did not edit it otherwise I would not make the choice to post it....

- July 5, 2010

There is something about the fireworks on Independence Day that never fails to lapse me into silent reflection; although I receive thorough enjoyment gazing up at them, they always bring with them some bout of sadness as well. For most of the early part of summer, people await the celebration with much excitement. The day comes, and everyone knows it has arrived and they are thrilled as they all meet together, share food and company, and pull their seats out to enjoy the upcoming show.

Amidst the crowd of onlookers, the dark sky finally sets the stage for the performance: One can spot the tiny rockets shoot hurriedly into the air with a whistle that most can hear, their bursting makes young children shriek in surprise and car alarms sound – and everyone notices their existence as the small flames burst forth and expand into bright budding colors. The display is small and timed at first. But it grows; it gives birth to something bigger. Under hungry eyes the climax reaches and the explosions of fireworks in rapid succession mix separate rockets into one another – and together they create a loud and beautiful display. The chatter of the onlookers is spiced with “ooh” and “ahh” and yelps of excitement, laughter and surprise. Would the fireworks’ show and short life span still mean as much if there was no one to cheer them on? Does it make the show any less beautiful? Do they still have a purpose if it is not to parade their beauty – their intermingling? Is it their sole purpose is to exist with each other in the midst of curious onlookers?

The summer afternoon still clings to the bodies of the audience as they are chilled by the night breeze. As the show comes to an end, the bursting is more intermittent, the co-mingling of colors and fire happens less and less, and a quiet starts to creep in between the dispersal of rockets. The onlookers are getting sleepy, and disappointed that the show did not last as long as they had liked – that it did not last indefinitely perhaps. Chairs are folded up even before the last rocket explodes, the cold has gotten the better of the crowd – and last attempts at viewing the rockets’ warmth are abandoned.

I stay and linger behind and watch the last of the straggling fireworks climb into the air to salvage what was left of the show. Should they even continue? The warmth has gone out of the show; there are no longer multiple rockets with which to dance, with which to create a multi-colored and passionate display. Their attempts are futile as the end is imminent. For all the hurried and built up anxiety of Independence Day, the show is short and the hollow silence brings in the end of the evening. All that’s left of this short story to prove of its existence is the sulfuric smell that clings desperately to the night air as the breeze tries to carry it away, and other lonesome survivor is that of the outlines of smoke forming the temporary imprinted memory of fire bursts in the sky. Soon they too will be gone. The hurried, long awaited, passionate and excited show of the dance of fireworks has ended much too soon, and the memory of their anticipated arrival has disappeared into the quieting bodies of onlookers now retreated into their homes.

At last, it is time for me myself to retreat. I reflect upon the evening’s parade of lights, and of how short a love story theirs was. How anxiously it is awaited, how much it is loved, how entangled the fire and colors are, and yet how very short lived and soon forgotten it all was.

What is it that we prefer? Surely we would care for the bright and vibrant display to continue on loudly and indefinitely. Our passions would succumb to the attention with much pleasure. Would we still choose the wild and public display though it lasted only a short time? Or would we abandon in favor of a more faithful and longer burning fire that is contained within a fireplace – even though it’s conversation to the audience is nothing more loudly than a steady crackling? Even upon its hearth, that contained and cozy fire – warm and glowing and steady – still excites upon the audience the threat of it having potential to burn wildly and consume all in its path. Just because it is quieter than the paraded fireworks display does not mean it lacks its passion. It is a fire that burns hours – it brings with it faithfulness and a fulfilling commitment that it will be there to meet however many diverse requests we make of it so long as it is fed and kindled. It is centered – the light, the warmth and the color are all thick and concentrated. The fire within a hearth can be transferred – bring an object close to it and let it move forth to climb upon branches or pages; it will spread and exist further. Unlike the sulfuric scent that lingers in the air after the theatrical show of fireworks, when the fire in the hearth dies out, the evidence is more apparent and longer lasting. Charcoal remains and smudges leave a semi permanent mark – any future visitors will know what happened in that location. The somber audience that departs from an enclosed fire will carry with them the smoky smell that remains in their clothing. It will last until deliberation causes them to wash away the evidence of it.

How should we make a choice between the two? Which would we prefer? The robust, excited and hurried show of something beautiful but yet short lived, or the steady and yet quieter burn that endures much longer? Neither type of display of fire is any less fire because of how it exists. Consider it a safe assumption to say we need both in our lives?


  1. andave_ya's Avatar
    This is beautiful! I love your writing style - thoughtful, steady, soft. I would only suggest that you go on. It doesn't seem done yet. How did you come to the understanding that we need both? Is it a metaphor for something personal?
  2. grace86's Avatar
    Thank you Andave...I do plan on continuing with it...but I'd been having a lot of writer's block lately so it was just an inspiration that kind of happened, and I ran off with it. I figured I would write so long as I felt I could. So it will be something further expanded upon later. Thank you for your compliments and suggestions!!! <3 I'm trying to cultivate my writing.
  3. Virgil's Avatar
    I've never been a fan of fireworks (I know, I'm a rare person ) but I've never thought about it quite this way. For me they make too much damn noise and it rakes on the nerves after a while. Next time I see fireworks I'm going to wish for a hearth.

    Glad to see you're writing Grace.
    Updated 07-07-2010 at 06:30 PM by Virgil
  4. grace86's Avatar
    That did not fail to make me burst out laughing! "They make too much damn noise!" lol....I feel ya Virgil!

    Yeah I will continue my writing, even if it is just experimental like it is above.

    (Oh hey...I'm not going to Guatemala anymore)
  5. mtpspur's Avatar
    For once no fireworks stories from me (fireworks in an Air Force dorm keeps an Orderly Room clerk hopping put it that way). This was a nice introspective side of you that was delightful.