It’s not often that a work of art stops me dead in my tracks. This one gripped me like few have. It’s a dance by contemporary whirling dervish Ziya Azazi. I first saw him perform in the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Paralympics. I had never seen anything like it—a flaming Sufi!
I had to know more and found this incendiary performance by Ziya Azazi on YouTube. Ember is a meditation on the pain of awareness of mortality, and the cycle of life that ends but cannot be escaped. As a chronically ill person who frequently feels my physical frailty I often contemplate this one-way ride we all find ourselves on. We don’t ask to be born, but once we are there is no escaping death, and as much as we might speculate and agree (or disagree) with our fellow passengers, no one really knows what our final destination is. Azazi asks, “where does fire stand in this cycle; for a beginning or an end?” Watch, and wonder.