September 13, 2010


What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, is a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would. So, building fires requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood. When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs then we can come to see how it is fuel, and the absence of fuel together, that makes fire possible. We only need to lay a log lightly from time to time. A fire grows simply because the space is there, with openings in which the flame that knows just how it wants to burn can find its way.
Judy Brown

This reminds me of the resting space in the midst of a conversation, a busy day, before a meal, and even, between breaths. There, right there, between the in breath and the out breath, is a space to rest.


Jon said...

Reminds me of the Tao Te Ching: Thirty spokes make the wheel, but the hole in the axle makes it useful.

Meredith said...

...or the space within the pot is what makes a pot useful. I love thinking about this.