Monthly Archives: November 2019

Where There’s Smoke…


A smouldering fire lingers just beyond our house. By day it burns slowly eating  through tree roots, by night we are veiled by it’s smoke, embers glowing, threatening to ignite. I just want it to end, for it to be over.

“Dense smoke resulting from slow or suppressed combustion.”* Smouldering fire, no warning, nor does it seek permission. It just lingers underground seeking my attention,  my energy, and my peace. 

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Right? That’s what we have all been told, we see the warning signs and know there’s a problem. 

As I read about smouldering fires, my internet search suggested “Smouldering Myeloma” the disease I despise. My late husbands disease: it threatened, it lingered, it sought no permission. We saw the smoke, and it was too late. The fire had spread and spread and spread. 

This is not where I saw this blog going. This was going to be my thoughts about our recent bushfires. A follow on story to the last. I guess one tragedy stirs up another, a different follow on story. 

I felt dizzy and nauseous, caught completely off guard, that’s what grief can feel like, that’s “suppressed combustion”. It can’t be controlled or predicted. Smoke rising through the cracks, kindled by memories, moments and a million different everyday things. 

I let my guard down this afternoon, I breathed a sigh of relief, surely the worst was over. Within minutes siren shrills sounded and the neighbourhood sprung into action. The smoulder reared its ugly head. Grief can be like that, guard down, unsuspecting, then an ember is fanned into flames. The fire didn’t last long but it reminded me that it’s not over. You just never know. Grief can be like that too, it isn’t ever over. 

I can’t see it now but green shoots will spring from the ash and charcoal, it will take a while. As with grief, it doesn’t always threaten to destroy. If it’s dry enough, if it’s given enough fuel, it can go up. But after a good while not all the memories produce smoke, they become a salve, soothing, because I know I once held someone close that was special, beautiful, loving. It was real and alive. 

Grief reminds me that I have loved and been loved. It’s lasting and true beyond the years he walked beside me. Love that begets love. Because I knew that love I can know new love, I know what it should feel like. I feel it still and with another I feel it anew. It’s more than I could ever have hoped for. 

Smouldering fires will end, but love, it goes on forever.


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you


Here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

EE Cummings

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