One photo a day until I meet Jonathan Harris

3rd April

Ashes to ashes.

Today while cutting the wood for this fire I accidentally stepped on a huntsman spider (Sparassidae) and squashed it flat. Occupied by more pressing matters at the time, I rather offhandedly pushed its body aside and kept chopping.

Later in the day, vague feelings of remorse at this unhappy accident kept returning to plague me. I went and found the crushed and neglected corpse, deciding that a ceremonious cremation might assuage the rising sensations of guilt.

Upon committing the unfortunate huntsman's body to the flames I was immediately horrified by the hissing sound that must have been burning spider flesh. I had wanted it to be over quickly, but never imagined it would take so long. I had wanted to forget, but after several agonising minutes, instead of anonymous ashes I could still make out a body and eight legs.

Bizarre thoughts ran through my head. I imagined I understood why they burnt Joan of Arc not once, but three times. I thought of Lady Macbeth and her 'out damned spot'. I also thought of Bill Drummond burning his million pounds. Waiting patiently for all those banknotes to disintegrate into unrecognisable cinders must have been quite torturous too.

Fires are quite sophisticated things. They might not classify as living, but are certainly more 'alive' than say rocks or stones. Each fire is different and some can to be more tenacious than others. You might even argue that they are capable of reproducing via sparks carried on the wind. Certainly however, the big default of a fire is it's worse-than-goldfish memory. Fire's don't ever learn and they don't seem to remember that if they burn everything up now, there will be nothing left for later.

Maybe its because fire is so forgetful that we also use it when we try to forget.

Rest in Peace Sparassidae.