Something I wrote seven years ago, while I was still working on my biography of Silo, On Wings of Intent:

Teilhard de Chardin once said this: “Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.”

Fire! According to my Tibetan doctor, that’s what I need more of, since my endocrine system has been so screwed up by 65 years in this polluted, fight-or-flight roundabout. I’m working on it on several fronts.

On the physical-spiritual front, I’m taking Tibetan herbs. Today, a day of the new moon, is the day for my second white Precious Pill, a pricey silk-wrapped foul-tasting pellet containing purified essence of pearl. The pink Precious Pill, which I’m due for on the next full moon, contains gold. My kids are horrified – stuff like that can kill you! We’ll see…

Then last night I dreamed I met the second love of my life (after my sweet Jorge who abandoned me three years ago to explore the Beyond). This new guy was my age but young looking, strong and laughing with long crisp gray hair and a beard, and twinkling eyes. I was young-looking too, wearing a fetching lavender knit cap that tied under my chin. I was just about to get his phone number when I woke up. Hah! Back to match.com.

I’m also participating – if only in an admiring bystander kind of way – in the Fire Craft on third Saturdays, up at Red Bluff Park of Study and Reflection, where I go as often as possible to inhale Silo’s firey dragon’s breath of Being, the delight in life that his teachings kindle. It’s mostly the males who like to stand out there in the freezing January air rearranging fire bricks to find the best configuration for a kiln to fire our ceramic creations. But all of us, all genders, ages and persuasions, make stuff out of clay. We have a whole collection of children’s art – the fond bumblings of people who couldn’t care less about winning ceramics competitions but just want to see the world through their fingers, like a plant reaching out through the wet earth.

Now that I think about it, everything I love best is a way to produce the fire of life. Cooking for friends and loved ones, speaking out against corruption and stupidity, teaching nonviolence and joyful living to our teens, loving my two cats.

And there’s writing. Using words like trowels with a mind of their own to dredge up surprising images from the deeps; tossing words up in the air like playing cards to see where they fall; rubbing them together like precious stones til the sparks fly, til my heart opens just a crack, and the burning glory floods out.

I hope to keep this live wire, this golden thread, alive in my book about the life of Silo and his companions. It’s a major undertaking. The guy had so many friends – has, I should say, present tense – he may have “died,” but you can’t fool me, he’s more alive than ever, working his alchemy in our midst. Finishing this book may take me the rest of my life – but that’s ok. What greater good fortune could befall me than to tell the Master’s story? A story that floods through my life, and the lives of millions around the world, like the rising sun.

The Second Discovery of Fire

Trudi Lee Richards

Author, poet, Spanish-English translator; Activist and community builder. Member of the international Community of Silo's Message (www.silosmessage.net) and its Portland, Oregon and Red Bluff, California communities (www.RedBluffPark.org) Published work includes "On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo," "Soft Brushes with Death, a Jorge Espinet Primer," "Fish Scribbles," and "Experiences on the Threshold - with Silo's Message." Also publisher and editor of "Human Future," an independent review published in San Francisco, California, from 1989 to 1996. Mother of five grown kids/stepkids and five step grandkids; Long ago graduate of Stanford University; Lives in Portland, Oregon.