The flame never goes out in my house.
A fire keeps burning all the time.
Yes, this is a metaphor that points to both the philosophy of my life and a physical reality based on a true story. Let’s start with the latter.
When I was growing up in Tashigang Tongling, we didn’t have matches. There were no matches those days. So the wood stove in the kitchen of the house had to keep the fire burning whole day. At night we had to cover the embers with hot ashes and lit up the next morning. The term is called “mi singsho” (Literally meaning, give birth to the fire or raise the fire). The “birth” of the fire in kitchen welcomes a new day. These practices are still there in many remote villages in eastern Bhutan – even now. If fire goes out, then we had to go smd fetch from our neighbour’s place, which was at least half a mile away. As todler that was a long walk.
Childhood memories, or traumas, follow you into your adulthood. Some kill you, some make you stronger and some just philosophical. In my case, with this thing with fire, I made it my life motto: Keep it burning – both philosophically and physically.
So a flame never goes out in my house even now. With urban amenities replacing the mud fire stove, the flame is now in the altar room, where a butter lamp burns – day in and day out.
It just reminds ne never to let the Fire die in your heart. And not to let the flame go out in your house.