Ruthless Furnace

What will scientists call this era? Historians? It’s an epoch of fire, torches, flames in the heart, of waking to a smoldering world whose multiple conflagrations never seem to go out completely. Our earth catches fire from increased warmth in the climate, our grass and trees tinder awaiting all-too-easy sparks. And our hearts, our minds, now awakened, now inflamed with protective aggression for our fellow man whose neighborhoods and lived were turned to burned-out husks by the repeated firebombs from these fellow people, fellow humans, fellow hearts whose own fires of hatred and anger have consumed them and now move outward in search of more fuel.

It is an age of fire.

Even in the wake of the hurricane, fires rage from sodden chemical plants, cooling equipment shorted by floodwaters. State law changed to benefit corporations at the expense of the citizens, so the plants can be built right next to schools and homes. People aren’t even allowed to know what chemicals the companies are producing. Crude oil plants give off carcinogenic plumes into the air circulating too close to Texans. They didn’t sign up for that.

Another storm (and on its heels, two more) brews in the Atlantic, the radar map lit yellow and orange and red in danger. Get out. Leave now. The state of Florida may succumb to the roiling hurricane in the next few hours. South Carolina won’t be far enough away.  More damage, more disease, more devastation.

And in the Pacific Northwest, we are on fire. Eighteen fires burn in the state of Oregon, several more in Washington and California. Devastation. Destruction.

It’s hard not to despair in the face of this ruthless furnace.


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