Monday, June 18, 2007

Camp Fire Psychiatry

So, Doctor, we’re camping; it’s around 6:00 in the morning and I’m trying to get my first cup of coffee happening. Meanwhile, it occurs to me that the way I am with the campfire is, I think, a pretty good illustration of the way I am overall.

Above all, I demonstrate impatience. I have a hard time letting the flames do their flaming thing. I’m constantly compelled to rearrange the logs, blow on the coals, and otherwise—as my dad used to say when I could even leave the little flame of the candle at the dinner table alone—“potch” in the thing.

The is probably some kind of attempt to overcome some vague or unresolved feelings of inadequacy regarding fire-making, right, Doctor?

Even though right now, the flames (albeit abetted by lots of paper and kindling) are licking merrily at my coffeepot, I still view the process as little short of a mysterious miracle. It’s difficult for me to accept that the fire will light, burn, and keep burning if I don’t constantly mess with it—of course, exactly the opposite of what I should do.

What does this mean, Doctor?

And why do I go through so much wood so quickly? Is this, too a metaphor, Doc?

But then, perhaps everything is a metaphor for something, no? We are fractals in all we do: the pattern is the same at every level.

Take anything we undertake: dish-washing, shaving, bike maintenance, they’re microcosms of the macrocosm, are they not?

The way I brush and floss is the same way I approach the world: quickly, with a minimum of effort, and usually before anyone else is up.

Such breakthroughs I am having here, Doctor; would you not agree? Is it the bracing morning air, here by the beach? That I slept in a tent last night?

That I’ve finally got my coffee poured and can now sit back and enjoy the fire—with just one more log?


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