The Match

to strike the match
and then another
to light the fire
and watch it burn
to see the hour
turn back to cinder
the ash upon 
the lesson learned

if it's patient
if it's kind
if it trusts
it just takes time

it just takes time
it just takes time

to strike the match
and then another
to light the fire
and watch the flame
to see the day 
turn back to cinder
to know tomorrow
you can try again

if it's true
if it's strong
if it hopes
however long

however long
however long

to strike the match
and then another
to like the fire 
and watch it burn
to see the hour 
turn back to cinder
the ash upon 
the lesson learned

to strike the match
and then another
and then another
and then
another
and then another
and then another...

From MIRA: "This song came from the prompt "patience" - so, the idea of a match - striking and striking again, trying to light, was an image that resonated with me. There is this incredible untitled poem by Susan Stewart from her collection The Forest that I've loved for a long time, and it was definitely an inspiration for this song - to me it speaks to the interconnectedness and circular nature of things, and relationship between creation and destruction:

"We needed fire to make
the tongs and tongs to hold
us from the flame; we needed
ash to clean the cloth
and cloth to clean the ash’s
stain; we needed stars
to find our way, to make
the light that blurred the stars;
we needed death to mark
an end, an end that time
in time could mend.
Born in love, the consequence–
born of love, the need.
Tell me, ravaged singer,
how the cinder bears the seed."

When Chuck-e and I were in Oregon this past summer (for the Sisters Folk Festival Inc. and Americana Song & Arts Academy) we spent a few days venturing into the area surrounding Caldera that a few years ago was engulfed by a forest fire. The thing about it now, is that the trees are these ghostly spires, skeletons of their former selves, but the forest floor is green and thriving with new life. And there is this incredible sense of peace and healing. So, it felt like a lesson in perspective - that this bigger world and beyond that we're all a part of knows better than we ever can perhaps...because it operates on a different scale, and it just interacts with time differently..."