The following and all of the other episodes are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky, and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman, and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE TWO HUNDRED FOURTEEN – MY FORGE
A forge is a type of hearth used for heating metals or the workplace where such a hearth is located. The forge is used by the smith to heat a piece of metal to a temperature where it becomes easier to shape by forging or to the point where work hardening no longer occurs. – Wikipedia
We are born in a forge.
All of us.
We leave the womb, hot and bloody, screaming. We are placed on a scale in a gory mess to see our weight.
So begins our first day in another forge.
As the clock, the internal and external clock, ticks by, we are forged inside and out. We are cast into the fire of what our parents teach us, what our friends teach us, and what we conduct ourselves. We begin to think for ourselves and get banged up as we start to walk (the coffee table, the sidewalk, going down the steps) and before we know it, we’re running and skipping steps or leaping down the staircase. We’re still getting bumps and bruises, but we tend to cry less about it.
We build up our toughness. Or try to.
Then the forge bends us and folds us with lessons learned and the bangs and pounding of the hammers. We hope they shape us without cracks that allow us to be sharpened to a razor’s edge.
I’ve been forged in a certain place at a certain time, and the heat-strengthened me to a certain hardness. I didn’t follow a lot of friends down the path of sports, NASCAR, or partying. And I didn’t follow down the path of some of my friends that got into heavy drinking, drug use, or major crimes. I’m not saying I’m perfect and that I didn’t step foot onto those paths for a step or two. I’m saying I didn’t turn down those roads and stay there.
I had my own path to follow. The heat of the forge I was in bent me toward books, movies, and being creative. It wasn’t easy. I found myself alone at times with nothing but a handful of action figures and my stacks of books. Not to mention finding late-night movie watching after my parents went to bed so I could catch a glimpse at a set of breasts of a beautiful woman on HBO.
All these things forged who I am today: the good, the bad, the uncomfortable.
I regret nothing.
And I find myself at fifty, still being forged every day. I’m still learning and attempting to be sharpened, to be honed. And there are days that it’s easy. My mind is on point, and the fires are bright and hot. But, then some days are not easy. The fire is not high but just a smoldering red ember. I find my metal cold and too stiff to bend. I have to find the power to get the fire hot again.
I sit here and type this and wonder where my fire is today. It’s not as hot as I wish but since I’m writing this, it’s more than embers. For me, it’s difficult to get my forge hot with worries and uncertainties filling my head. I have to push those out before the fires of creation can breathe.
This life forge we all find ourselves can shape us or burn us. It can sharpen us or melt us. We all have to find that happy place where it does us the best. And it will be that way until we find that our forge has become cold forever. We have to hope that we helped someone else’s forge get hot with influence. One fire can lead to another. One forge can help ignite another.
Our fires have only so long. Our forges only have so long before it’s stone-cold forever.
Go get your fires high and bright.
Forge your forge, and keep it burning.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
May 13th, 2022
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else, but it might help me.