fire! in a good way!


Aerin's young man got torches for juggling, and hadn't tried them out yet, so we all piled outside to help. Aerin brought her fire poi too, and let Alice try them. It turns out juggling in the dark is hard, and juggling flame in the dark is really hard, because you can't see the handles, and you tend to focus on the flame, and it all gets pretty exciting pretty fast. The third picture is AYM working with one torch. The first one is Aerin noodling with one torch but not letting go, so it works more like poi. 

The poi, in contrast, are on the ends of chains and you spin them, so seeing them is a smaller issue, but the potential for whacking yourself in the head is higher. Which hurts like whacking yourself in the head with a (largish) superball, and chars pieces of hair and smells bad. But you don't run the risk of catching the wrong end of the torch in your hand. 



Journey of the Magi – T.S. Eliot

– T.S. Eliot


A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

I love the word epiphany, and the meaning of a moment of brilliant insight or understanding. So today, Twelfth Night, is special for me outside of the religious meanings it carries as well.