morning fires

Heating partially with wood has led to my own system for recycling newspapers. I throw them in a wooden box by the woodstove so I can crumple them up to start the kindling, which ignites the firewood. I usually pull the newspapers out of the box to burn in the reverse order that I threw them in there.

Pulling them back out in the chilly, pre-caffeine mornings, I occasionally find myself caught up momentarily in past news stories, in reverse order – of course – of the way they unfolded in real life. If there’s been a warm spell, and I’ve just thrown papers in the box but not taken them out, I may come upon a good long run of reverse reporting when I finally go to light a fire.

This particular morning I’ve gotten caught up in the reverse-order reporting of a local high school basketball team – they started out as underdogs – and their pursuit of the state championship. They played all the way to the finals, ultimately losing to another city. I’m not really a sports fan, but I can identify with kids who’ve worked hard as a team and are trying to win. Even though I already know who has won – because I’ve read the final story first – as I re-read the accounts I become absorbed in the team’s regressive successes along the way and for a few moments get caught up in the fervor of the engaging sports journalism, naively thinking the results might be reversed.

This old two-dimensional newspaper story starts taking on a life of its own, becoming three-dimensional: my fingers are smearing the newsprint onto the handle of my white porcelain coffee mug.

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2 Comments on “morning fires”

  1. kathleen busch Says:

    Interesting, life that is. How sureal it all is. Life takes turns every day that can change a persons life, just like that! It is what a person does next that really counts. Will they look up or down, move ahead or stay back. Will they remember or forget. Will they embrase the good and the bad, letting both motivate them or just let life pass them by. Rich, your blog is a great idea, I look forward to more reading. Good Day My Friend!

  2. Lee Vester Says:

    Hmmm…. that second last paragraph was a quiet zinger, Rich, in the midst of your typically colorful mind depictions, which often slap me awake. You are a master at creating anticipation, quiet expectancy–even about the seemingly mundane.

    You say you feel ‘more like an observer than a participant of life’?
    Only you can assess that; but I would have to say that you certainly participate ‘more actively’ in your ‘observing’ than do most ‘participants’ in many of their ‘interactions’ . Many are simply participating in the accumulation of their own goals… and stuff.

    May you find the deeper life participation you seek, through your blog…. it can only be ‘Rich’, given the gift of observation you will bring to it!

    Cheers! on your new BLOG, Rich… Lee 🙂


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