I was never much of a pyromaniac as kid. I never set fire to a toothbrush, a beetle, a shed or even my grandma's pants.
But, I have to say that I became a bona fide fire-groupie tonight as I swam down the local mountain among a school of bamboo-torch-toting locals.
It was the annual mountain festival, celebrating Mt. Daisen's rebirth in a new season.
Looking up at the hundreds of flame-carrying bodies descending in the dark mist, I was mauled by paralyzing beauty (and, apparently, cheap clichés as well!).
I wish I could describe the brilliance of this trail of fire through the trees that made me want to stick a hand (preferably someone else's) down my pants and stenographize.
This is as close as I can get, though:
Just imagine a caterpillar.
Now imagine the caterpillar's smoothly winding path along a recently rain-pecked forest floor.
Now, imagine the forest blind-folded in drizzle.
Now imagine the caterpillar again.
The caterpillar is steadily shitting out 200 families of fireflies per meter as he travels.
Yup. That just about explains it.
Now, where's my lighter? My toothbrush is begging for a barbeque.