"My body may be a temple but I am the God to whom it is devoted. Do not presume to tell me how I may adorn my altar."-Anonymous
When I think about fire inevitably its in terms of literature. Fire is seen as cleansing, strong, dangerous and as humans we are either forged in the fires of our tragedies or consumed by them. Browning captures the cathartic properties of fire but not necessarily the finality of it, once the journals are burned they are gone forever however Browning seems to shrug off that because of her fear of the past and the secrets it held, "That so unnerved me that I stopped reading. I didn't want to wade back into those depths, where a powerful riptide still churned,"
Should we be fearful of our feelings?
Have we been made to be ashamed of the power of our emotions?
I refuse to burn anything I write. I refuse to be ashamed of what I write, how I feel. I have written musings, poems, and memoirs since I was ten and when I look back at pieces I can compartmentalize. Are they perfectly written? No. Are they still poignant? Absolutely. I walked through hell and I survived.
People forget that failure and success are a couple that walk hand in hand, without the other it does not carry the same power. As a society we are so terrified of showing our "flaws" and that's the real tragedy. We create illusions because we can't deal with reality. Browning in her Chutes & Ladders section talks about how she wants her sons to see her as a climber not as a slider and how she is constantly editing, "Readers never get it all. They get some of all of it. Everything I write is true. But I don’t write about everything true. I shape, I cut, I feint and dodge." This ability to "edit" our lives allow us to craft the image we want others to see which is a powerful tool. However how do we really analyze ourselves if we aren't looking at our true selves but the edited version?