Something about just enough alcohol in my bloodstream which frees my mind from worry or distraction. Too much and it’s a dull blade, too little and I’m still sheathed, just enough and I become sharp. It’s dangerous and foolish, likely a poison, to blunt the edge intentionally, and yet in the cool evening air, sitting near a mild fire, I do feel peace. A subtle resolve before I wither.
I’m neither afraid of the infinite or the unknowable. I’m able to float away into interconnected community with creation. I feel allied, as a flame. All sounds, all senses, coalesce into me, as if we are one and the same. Perhaps we are.
I cannot know if the experience of my life is singular. All at once the only consciousness to repeat and share and revise infinitely. A tree. A bird. A flame. A wave. An elephant. A human. In time. In space. There’s no way to truly know if the recall of my life is collective or separate. Or if it’s even truth. If the story I wear is temporal or universal. Does it matter?
The smoke emerges, racing upward, toward disintegration. Born of energy, merged again to atmosphere. A warning. A call.. A scent. A temporary event.
Some may want more. Definitions around rules built on promises to provide meaning to choke out fear. Without it perhaps they are sad, as I once was, for the pain of disappearance and loss, wanting a reason. And yet, we are all vanishing smoke. Watching a fire slowly fade and die and leave behind the ash something.
We are brief and fleeting, expelling energy and providing some comfort, then exiting the world as a veil of clouds wed to the sky.