Deep Thoughts

A Coal

Kanincheneule. I don’t want to engage. Atrocities piling on atrocities, no end in sight, and I suppose I’m old enough to think this will not change things, if it has not by now.

The Princess is full of youth and fire, the same fire I remember from my own teenage years. When I thought the world could be burnished, made better.

There’s not much one can do, though. Small incremental changes, mostly centred around the people in one’s daily life, are the best one can hope for. If aging (what little of it I’ve done, and note I don’t call it maturing, that’s a Step Too Far even for me) has taught me anything, it’s that being decent to one’s immediate sphere is, for most of one’s life, all one can do.

Do I want to save the world? Well, yes.

Do I think it’s possible? I…don’t know. I haven’t edged over into “no” yet. But the more I see of profit and power dancing on the backs of the bruised, and of people being seduced into working against their own interests, well, it weighs on one.

It may not be possible, but the urge still exists. I nurture it, a tiny red seed, all that remains of the deep, endless fire of my youth when I still thought miracles were possible. Before I found out that miracles are more luck amid thankless hard work than anything else.

Still, it’s a coal, and I keep it banked and safe inside me. Someday it might start a forest fire…

…but until then, it will keep me warm.

Notify of
Elizabeth L

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m 24 and my coal is barely an ember, and my peers think I’m a nihilist. I believe in individuals, I just don’t believe in collective humanity to do what’s right and fix ourselves. I just don’t.

Wolf Lahti

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead (1901–1978)


I think if we had better mental health care treatment we could prevent these mass shootings. And if a person is over 18, there should be a law like Nevada and New York have already where parents and a psychologist can have this “adult” committed.

I know what might make you feel better. Write a sequel to Steelflower and immerse yourself in a fictional world where guns don’t exist.

Dear Ms. Saintcrow, I have spent the most part of my day reading through your site. It all started with a co-worker reading me a bit from the SquirrelTerror. It is easier to give up on hope, on people in general due to the negatively minded world in which we live. This is even more underlined at this time of year when people finally do the right thing because its Christmas. Then to have such deplorable things happen like the deaths of so many innocents makes the world skew even further on its metaphorical ear. You have come through so… Read more »