It's Christmas Eve, and snow is drifting through the roof onto the kitchen floor, strikingly white among the soot and ash, various shades of black. The living room is blackest. There, snow falls through the floor as well. A candelabra on the wall hangs, twisted and warped; continues to hang, static, where it hung before all of this. Everything is static now, where once was light and warmth there are now static shades of black.
Fire leaves behind art. Standing in the middle of it, my mind shatters to cope with each of the overwhelming realities that are presented to it. Practicality swallows Emotion to keep it from taking over, like nausea. Once you start, you can't stop, so you can't start. Like Nausea. The Form to Practicality's function floats above the writhing pair. Keeping out of the fight. Analyzing. The discernment of Fire can be fascinating, and Form follows Perception, a few seconds behind the eyes, taking notes. This is the part of the mind that causes double takes. In this static world of black on black, nothing that catches the corner of the eye disappears, it sits completely still, demanding inspection, defying explanation. A canister of motor oil, melted through, not burned, not... "involved" as the firemen might say. A house fire is measured by participation. A package of marshmallows, indistinguishable from one you might find in your own pantry except for the row on one edge that is perfectly roasted, golden brown (one of the lighter shades of black that day). It is that indistinguishability that is most disturbing. These are all things that I have in my house, these are all things that could have been mine.
When I first heard the news, I was, for the most part, unaffected. It may seem callused or misguided, but the thought was "it's just stuff... You can replace stuff." Standing in the middle of that stuff, mind wrestling with itself to keep from comprehending, I realized that the skeletons that remain each have some memory attached to them. You never realize how much you liked your microwave until it's all metal bones, with none of the magic left to re-heat that midnight co-co because you were too busy talking to drink it while it was hot.
Before we left, we stretched a chain across the driveway to keep out the vultures and voyeurs. (An unnecessary precaution?) My mind pieces itself back together and I prepare for whatever might come up when Emotion is released. I was not overwhelmed with emotion, but I did learn something about my old perspective about the things we all own, just in time to never see it again.
A lens, once shattered,
cannot be reformed the same.
The old is unmade.