Watch that Dirty Mouth!

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s consider the four basic elements, earth, air, water, and fire. Have you noticed that I start a lot of my posts with the word “consider?” Well here goes another one. Sorry, but it’s my favorite word.

What do we really know about these four mysterious elements? I’m glad I asked that question, for we shall perform a comprehensive in-depth examination on each in turn starting with fire.

Fire, it’s hot. Simply amazing, and no we’re not stopping there. Let’s continue, shall we?

Water, it’s wet. …fascinating stuff, just fascinating.

Air, it has the unique quality that we all wish we possessed at one time or another. It’s invisible.

And finally earth, it’s dirty.

Now consider (there’s that word again) the end result if these elements were to interact with each other. First, if you expose fire to water contained in a vessel, the water will boil. If you expose fire to water without the containment vessel, the water will sizzle and the fire will undergo a dramatic change I like to refer to as, “going out.”

Air, what can we say about air that hasn’t already been said? Well, since we haven’t said much so far, probably quite a bit. If air mixes with water, you will have bubbly water, which by the way is great for hot tubs. Air and earth will produce dirty air. Fire actually needs air in order to properly operate. And we mustn’t forget the all important fact that life would not exist without air.

We will now examine last but not least, earth. Without earth we would have nowhere to stand. If you mix earth and fire, you get hot dirt. And finally, we come to the end of this scientific journey of discovery. If you mix earth and water, you have mud. Mud, you say?

You brought us on this magnificent exploration of the basic elements of life and end with mud? I understand your disillusionment, but look at the usefulness of mud down through the ages.  It was used to build housing and hold bricks and stones together. Jesus used it to restore sight to a blind man. It’s been used for wrestling and for a spectator sport as trucks tried to make it through massive mud holes called bogs.

If you apply this concept as you write, you will find that you will be able to keep your reader in suspense until you choose to cut through the mud and expose clearly the path you led them down. Just make sure the uncertain areas which they travel through in your writing are not so muddy as to confuse but muddy enough to maintain curiosity.

So clean yourself up, you look a mess…and don’t forget to wash behind those ears!

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