On June 11th, while I was sleeping, I heard a roar.
“Get out! FIRE!”
I awoke dazed and confused, struggling to grasp whether I was dreaming or if this was reality.
My hands automatically went for my glasses, but somehow they didn’t go for my wallet or phone. I escaped the house; my mother carried out by a kind stranger who had bellowed the earlier command, and my father closely following him.
We struggled to get to a safe distance as we saw a truck inflamed. The duct-cleaning truck had caught fire, and that had traveled to our neighbors. Our house is semi-detached, and with the right push from the wind, the flames spread across our roof. And I watched with horror as our house was disintegrating.
Available for purchase on Redbubble, please click on the link below:
Then the fire crew came, and they doused the flames with torrents of water. At this point the roof had holes, and our entire house was soaking in water and smoke. It took them an hour-or-so to put it out, as we watched the place I had so many memories collapsing in front of my very eyes.
My mother, who is dealing with a form of Vertigo, felt everything spinning and couldn’t even sit straight. We had to take her to our neighbor’s house so she can lie and wait for the paramedics. After she was settled, I returned outside.
I kept looking at our house, unable to look away from the fire.
Later on, when they allowed us in the house, I went into my room, to see the extent of the damage. My room was relatively intact, but everything was soaked, and I could smell the smoke. I was also able to recover my phone and wallet (Thank Odin!)
Also my Tarot cards and ‘The Portable Nietzsche”. (If you don’t already know he’s the one who wrote: “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”) It was at that moment the line hit me. “Fire Above, Water Below”, like the ancient saying that described the power of tarot cards. “As Above, So below.”
Once out of there, I was also able to get my laptop and phone. I was able to recover the painting I was working on in my phone. It was an image of an Indian farmer and his wife.
This picture hung in our old house and always bothered me. I don’t know who made it so if there’s anyone familiar with it, please let me know as I want to give the artist credit as well.
I was working on it before, and after the incident, I made it reflect the words I had heard in my head. I updated it and now before you is my work. It’s littered with me, my memories, my dreams, and my fears.
The process of making this has been therapeutic, as it has reduced my stress level and allowed me to channel it constructively.
I want to use this experience not only to get stronger but also more carefree and express myself as freely as possible. Remember, we don’t have time — we can either burn from the ‘Fire Above’ or drown from the ‘Water Below.’