Last week the furnace in our house shuffled off the mortal coil, bought the farm, kicked the bucket. And if that wasn't bad enough, it also stopped working.
The nine circles of hell got progressively colder, not hotter, until there was little but ice in the ninth circle.
Dante knew whereof he wrote. Cold -- unremitting cold -- is hell.
I was surprised a little by this information and the evidence for it that I felt last week. Ten or more years ago we lived through a power outage due to an ice storm and were without power -- and, thus, heat -- for almost five days. But I don't recall being quite so miserable then, perhaps because my wife and I still spent our days back in those pre-retirement days in warm offices.
But this time the cold seemed to creep into my very marrow. Everything in the house was cold by Thursday morning. The socks in my drawer were cold. The toothpaste was thick and cold. The edges of the sheets unwarmed by the electric blanket were cold. The very air we breathed was cold.
Robert Frost once wrote a short poem about how the world would end -- in fire or ice. To pick between fire and ice is a Hobson's choice -- no choice at all. So I reject both. Still, if we really had both in hell, fire and ice, one might cancel out the other and the residents might enjoy a temperate climate. I could live -- or die -- with that.
(By the way, the image here today did not come straight from hell but from here.)
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IS THERE HELL IN INDIANA, TOO?
Speaking of hell, what's your thinking about demons? I tend to have a pretty low demonology. But this story about possible demon possession in Indiana raises the issue again and may cause you at least to ponder the possibilities.