A good bonfire

A good bonfire 867 867 Sybille Sciamma

“When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind (…). You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire, you should burn yourself completely.”

Shunryu Suzuki, Zen mind, Beginner’s mind

There is a memory in my mind and body
of what it is to be a good bonfire
It is playing as a child

I run and shout around the playground
and there is no me and no outside me
my whole body is the run
my whole self is the play
I am the air I breath
and I am the scream I scream
this oblivion is such intense living
yes, it feels like a bonfire!

I also remember vividly
my first dip into separateness
I’m in charge of delivering a message
to the next year’s teacher
as I walk through the class
I feel my ponytail bouncing against my head
the pupils’ looks on my back
and I pounder what they think of me

I am a little girl’s body
walking and holding a letter
delivering the message is just a task
from which my being withdrew
self-consciousness is born
and it’s a spiky reef
separated from the ocean of life
I transformed into an island
for fear and complex thoughts
built up a high wall

How I long for the good bonfire
to burn clear and high again
to engulf ramparts
eyes on my back and all sorts of fears
and to feel the flames of joy
in the oblivion of myself