Skip to main content

Carrying Fire

 I started carrying a lighter a couple of years ago. Reflecting on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, it struck me that most of the soldiers carried matches. Imagine being in a trench, under a cold rain, the only source of heat now rendered useless in your pocket as the rain continues to fall. What would a doughboy have given for a small, reliable source of flame with which to build a fire to warm himself and his fellows? All the roses in Ireland, I suppose. 

My carry began with a Zippo that belonged to my late father-in-law, but I decided it had too much sentimental value for everyday use. Also, Zippo lighters have a habit of leaking or evaporating fuel. This isn't something you want when your lighter is needed, so I put the Zippo away for safekeeping and picked up a mini Bic. 

Tiny, almost unnoticeable in the pocket, the mini carries well. It has also came in handy on many occasions, such as at a child's birthday party when the time comes to light candles and the host realizes there's no lighter about, or when lighting charcoal to grill dinner on. Not the desperate Great War scenario that inspired my decision, which I hope to never encounter, but useful purposes nonetheless. 

The lighter served its purpose most recently on a warm Saturday evening. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed the day before and memorial gatherings were taking place nationwide, even in my small town. My family and I went to the county courthouse and found only one other person there. However, there was a small placard reading "Rest Easy RBG" and a candle that had lost its flame. I relit the candlewick while the other gatherer, one of the millions of young women the late justice had inspired during her years on the bench, played a recording of a speech made before her passing. Although the wind picked up, the candleflame held strong until it was time to leave. 

Carry fire, reader. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The World In Which We Live: Pandemic Edition

What a year 2020 has become. As the federal government (particularly the head of the executive branch) dithered, a microscopic killer grew in strength and swept across the globe. A novel virus; one which humans have not been exposed to and thus have no immunity from. No effective treatment, no vaccine at this time. The possibilities are horrendous. At first it was a China problem, then an Asia problem, before it became a global problem. In my home state of Georgia, it has become a human behavior problem. The state has been partially shut down for a matter less than one month, yet is set to reopen in days. Never mind that our governor claimed he was unaware that the virus could spread via asymptomatic persons, earning himself a place on the Dumbest Governors list. The state is reopening with a mind-boggling list of businesses: hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, bars. These are the last  businesses that should open, yet Kemp, doing his best impression of a son

The World In Which We Live: Premature Reopening Edition

I don't even know where to begin. Despite there being no effective treatment, vaccination, or the much-discussed herd immunity, many states are relaxing social restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. My home state of Georgia was among the first to do so (my sense of timing and location is impeccable). Instead of a state economy charging out of the gates like a racehorse, we get this: An 83% increase of confirmed cases in my county, which is mostly rural with a small industrial base, 90 miles from Atlanta. But freedom, amiright? I find it utterly amazing that people find being instructed to stay in their homes and take extra precautions to prevent becoming infected with a fatal disease a form of tyranny. When did "Wear a mask and wash your hands regularly" become equal to tanks in the streets? I understand wanting a haircut; Hell, I need  one but don't want to kill my barber, a nice guy who fits nicely into the at-risk category. Do

April Fool's Day, Distance Edition

Ah, April Fool's Day, the day in which a middle aged man such as myself gets to clown around at the expense of friends, family and colleagues. Not this year. The world is on edge and there is palpable tension in the air. Everyone is feeling anxiety, about the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crash, shortages, physical distancing and more. Speaking for myself, it doesn't help that the Empire State Building is lit up like an emergency vehicle: This year, I'll go home to my family. Instead of pulling a prank, I'll ask how the day went. My son has piano class (over FaceTime for the foreseeable future) on Wednesdays, so I expect to hear a song or two. Dinner, a little TV, then end the day. 2020, you win. But I'll be back. We'll be back, We always come back.