Poem upon Firewalking

June’s firewalk was almost cancelled.  Six last-day cancellations drove me to fear that I would not have enough attendees, so I called the local attendees I knew, and asked them if they wanted a small firewalk or a rain check — they opted for the rain check.  I glumly accepted my disappointment.  Then I went out to dinner.  My cellphone rang at 7:01pm — a couple had driven from Rochester, 3 hours away, to firewalk — and where was I?  They had registered months ago and I forgot.  I told them to stay put, promised them a firewalk, had the restaurant pack up the food from the table, and got on the phone.  I reassembled my team, got my local friends back into the game, and we were on!  I drove fast.  It ended up as a wonderful, rich evening.

Alison Taren participated in the workshop.  Following is a poem she wrote about it:

*********

Firewalk

small split logs
carried piece by piece
to the waiting earth
already scorched and knowing
like an old man, wise

the fire is lit
by many hands
sending hot red spires
into the evening air
eyes squint, wondering
the scene is set

over cold, wet grass
we walk indoors
where the one who’s guiding
tells us to pay attention,
play full out, and
let it be easy
his words hit deeply
like the arrow we later break
against our soft throats
awakening places in me
too long asleep

boards are broken
as are fears
taking me back
to the first time
falling
into others’ arms
catching
having to catch
then blunt arrow tips
into throat hollows
greensticking the shaft
never thought I would
never thought I could

warm hugs all around
lots and lots of hugs
even the one
who cringed at the thought
now hugs and hugs

we walk back to the fire
burnt down low
red glowing embers
like an angry god laughing
daring us to tread
more threatening
than I had imagined
I close my eyes and listen
to the one who’s guiding
bless and chant
bringing me into a space
where I know I can
I know I will
walk across fire

******
’nuff said.

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