We evacuated a few days ago. God refused to help sort what to take but rode along in the tiny spaces available in the car and winked at me as the fire officials at the station explained that the wind had shifted. The fight was going another direction. If we took the back roads, we could go home. As we turned around, God disappeared and I was glad to see him go, even though his absence is as much of an illusion as his presence. At least with him ostensibly gone, I could avoid thorny conversations for a while.

Who wants to talk with the God of fire during an evacuation? The God of suffering, loss, and apparently random events? It never goes well. The book of Job for example; an elongated poem, a chorus of voices and views, Yahweh and Satan in a cosmic pissing match, Yahweh’s praise of evolution, and a lesson in pointlessness. Sure, there’s the veneer of a happy ending, but not if you realize it will all end again. Who wants to lose everything twice? Thrice? Forever?

“Do you think the key is to have nothing to lose?” God asked as I sat by the window, breathing smoky air, waiting for another evacuation notice. I didn’t mind that God had swung back around. He was better than the meager offerings on Roku.

“I don’t know about that,” I said, scanning my accumulations; books, art, a sheepskin rug, my yoga mats, special rocks, blue glass, a cedar jewelry box filled with trinkets, a stack of incomplete gardening journals (we start a new one every spring). Of what consequence would their loss be? Little to none. Of what consequence has my life been? Or anyone’s?

God nodded, noncommittal. Listening. I grieved and tried to be brave about it all. I wanted to imagine I was of great consequence; something other than one of the trillion dominoes God has gleefully lined up, waiting and watching to see what might set off the next run, gently drumming his fingers, offering substantial odds to anyone willing to bet against him. I wondered if I could step out of line. Redirect the future of my particular genetic strain, remain standing, and win.

“Of course,” God said. “Be my guest. I like winners.”

“But I thought you liked losers,” I said. Conversations like this give me vertigo of the soul. Winning isn’t definable, and I don’t actually know what kind of consequence I want to be. It’s risky business to have God along in an evacuation because no matter what you take along, God knows what you’ve left behind and will circle back. God always circles back. This may be a good thing, but I’d rather have the promise of perpetuity or at least a direct way home.

13 thoughts on “Wildfires

  1. I love: “Conversations like this give me vertigo of the soul.” I can relate. I’m sorry you are in the midst of the wildfires. Global warming isn’t Her fault but I know you know that. Be well. Be safe. Thank you for continuing to write through it all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I perceive the Almighty as not being in humanoid-singular form nor with gender.

      As far as Christian monotheism goes, I feel that way too many ‘Christians’ have created God’s nature in their own angry, vengeful and even hateful image. Often being the most vocal, they can be terrible examples of Christ’s true nature/message, especially to the young and impressionable. Christ was all about compassion, non-violence and, most notably, absolute charity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like we have a similar spiritual sense of divinity, and the incomprehensibly vastness of the creator. It has been badly twisted. Hate, greed, cruelty, judgment….all NOT part of creative evolution!! Thanks for your comment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Forgive me for flattery, but you are a gift. Please let us know at some point that you and John are back home. Oh, I’d sure like to see those gardening journals. The notion has inspired me to start one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, the gardening journals….such great hopes every spring. An nice, organized approach that somehow goes veering off the tracks as we forget to check, over-plant, double-plant, and experience (again) the size the squash vines by August. And we’re back home. That particular fire is now quashed. And I kind of like flattery. Thanks, Lew


  3. I really feel for the many bone-dry-vegetation areas planetwide uncontrollably burning. As a lifelong resident of southwestern B.C., the unprecedented heatwave here in late June, described by meteorologists as more of a ‘stalling heat dome’, left me feeling I could never again complain about the weather being too cold.

    To date, there clearly has been discouragingly insufficient political courage and will to properly act upon the cause-and-effect of manmade global warming thus climate change. Neo-liberals and conservatives everywhere appear overly preoccupied with vociferously criticizing one another for their relatively trivial politics and diverting attention away from the planet’s greatest polluters, where it should and needs to be sharply focused.

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    1. Agreed. I think there is a strong possibility our species will go extinct (deservedly, overall)…or our offspring will live far more difficult lives. Very sad. Perhaps there will be divine intervention, but likely not. God’s got a lot on their hands.

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      1. I believe there’s still some hope, mostly due to environmentally conscious and active young people, especially those who are approaching/reaching voting age. In contrast, the dinosaur electorate who have been voting into high office consecutive mass-pollution promoting or complicit/complacent governments for decades are gradually dying off and making way for voters who fully support a healthy Earth thus populace.

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