FIRE: a poem by Judy Sorum Brown and a book page of mine

A couple of years ago I took a page in a book called Creativity by Matthew Fox and made a “found word” poem.

Story is fire, heat, warm, food. Creativity is essence, empowerment.

This weekend I spent some time with Judy Sorum Brown’s poem on the same topic.

I first encountered Judy Brown’s poem at the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Contemplative Retreat in 2012. That retreat was led by Dorisanne Cooper who prepared a small booklet with some poems and scripture texts. I found that booklet last week when filing some papers and decided to take it with me on a weekend trip to Austin. I knew there would be some “down time” when my son would be busy with other responsibilities and a visiting friend. I decided to take this book and to meditate on this poem and some of the scriptures.

FIRE by Judy Sorum Brown

What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would.

So building fires requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs, then we can come to see how it is fuel, and absence of the fuel together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log lightly from time to time.

A fire grows simply because the space is there, with openings in which the flame that knows just how it wants to burn can find its way.

Matthew Fox, Judy Brown and I are noticing similar things about the power of creativity and the value of nurturing it.

This weekend had “space between the logs”and the spaces made the time with my son - and my time with God - far richer.

Give the fire in you room to move and grow.

Image of Cherry Winkle Moore
Cherry Winkle Moore

Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.

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