Lessons From the Ashes

Fire as metaphor for destruction but also as seen from the point of view of age. I do think you can rekindle that youthful perspective with effort but that age tempers you in a different way.


One of the more powerful poems we have is the Voluspa. It gives us the sweep of the mythic past, the context of the mythic future, and glimpses of the mythic future. When I was young, the glory of it all was stirring, as a young warrior, visions of the end times, and the final struggle were compelling. Like most young folk, I missed many lessons of the Voluspa, because I saw only the fire, and looked away from the ashes. Wisdom is supposed to be the greybeards (or grey-braid) stock and trade, for with the colour of ashes in our hair, comes the wisdom gleaned from the ashes of our own struggles.

To be young and idealistic is to speak of death before dishonour, victory or death. For many, the understanding that you can one day be standing in the ashes of all that you had cherished, and yet…

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