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Playing with fire

There's a saying that if you play with fire you will get burned.

Yesterday morning I burned my forearm while fetching hot bread from the oven. Although I was aware of the heat of the oven and the proximity of my right arm to its surface, I still allowed myself to get too close. That is, I forgot what it was like to get burned.

The instant my arm made contact, I felt the sting of the heat. But it didn't hurt immediately.

Putting ice on the burn numbed my senses for awhile. Later on, while I was jogging in the park nearby, I noticed that the skin had become red and puffy. And that's when it started to hurt.

As I type this journal entry, I notice that the pain has subsided completely leaving only a red mark, the size of an index fingerprint. In time, it will fade just like the previous scar on the same location from my teenage years.

Fire is tantalising on a cold, dark lonely winter's night. I can get lost just staring into the fire, feeling the passion of its flames, and drowning in the beauty of its colours. The crackle of wood being burned accompanies the otherwise silent urgency of the roaring fire.

The more pieces of wood I throw into the fireplace, the more fascinated I am by the shape of that living beast and its dependence on my contribution to its existence. It lures me closer with every breath it takes, until I become a participant rather than an observer.

And when I get too close, I get burned. But only then will I realise that I got too close.

The pain of a burn subsides quickly. The scars remain not to remind me of the pain but rather the heat, warmth, and danger of getting too close to something that is both beautiful and tempting.

3 April 2004 Saturday

Related journal entries:
Baking frenzy
Christmas cookies - a tradition
Banana bread
Chill out or you'll burn out
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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