“If you love the truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sun will illuminate you in God.” — a trenchant saying attributed to the seventh-century Isaac the Syrian, Bishop, theologian, and monk, and regarded a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Simple words, if pondered, reveal the unseen caught in the flux of time. Key to this process is passion, whose firelight, like the sun, ignites inner worlds. But who cares to go there? To discipline unruly instincts clamoring for expression? That would be like dying. Such flies in the face of our cultural mores, entrapped in denial and rationalization. The predictable is more comfortable, yet soulless.

It does not take much to see who is truly alive among us: their quickening gaze, their resonant voices, their authority, of whatever age. Yesterday morning, nineteenth-month old Clark flew up my front walk and into my arms, his father beaming behind him.

That’s what happens when you sit in the fire.

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