I have returned to the world of normalcy. Slightly battered. Slightly bruised. Exhausted in the best of ways.

It was a long, tiring drive crowned by a pair of days surrounded by friends and family, or rather, friends as family. It was one of those trips with a purpose and no purpose at the same time. The journey is more than just the adventure.

If I’m not making any sense, well, that is because I have not yet fully recovered from the driving. I love driving, and I managed to dictate several thousand words while driving. None of them are really any good. They definitely do not facilitate a story, but they are words… that is something.

My brain is still a little in the recovery mode. I’ve been silent and pensive (and heavily influenced by a Lovecraftian Public News Radio Show). I was given a lot to think about while in Springfield.

Epic poems have been penned about the revealing nature of fire. The light burning away the darkest and deepest shadows. Illumination on the dark corners you hide from.

I think those epic poems were all about campfires.

I didn’t realize how much I missed the time spent around a campfire. There is something about the combination of wood smoke and cool night skies that rips away inhibitions and self-denial and lets me be open and honest. It springs from the calm bonding of camaraderie and, perhaps, a little bit of alcohol.

Sitting around a fire well into the night and laying your soul open. It is a potent and heady release, and I recommend it to anyone. Especially those long lost in the denial of their own feelings and beliefs. Let your friends flay you open and expose the lies you tell yourself. They aren’t judging you. They aren’t condemning you.

You were doing that to yourself.



I could go on and on about the nature of the campfire, but I won’t. That is baggage I’m not willing to lay at the feet of the public world anywhere but in fiction. Still, if you ever find a chance to sit around a campfire with your closest friends, you may be surprised at what bubbles up to the surface, fleeing the shadowy corners of your psyche and crashing out into the safe light.