#19: Burning Ring of Fire

     He stood gazing at the irradiating ring, now burning itself down into the wood of the table top.  He supposed some saint, having discarded the impeccable life, had tossed away his holy aureole like a candy wrapper.  
     It made him think about haloes and magic rings (how fervently he wished J.R.R. Tolkien had never penned that thousand page fairytale for his children!) and their roles as the talismans by which Christians acknowledge their according of holiness.  
     He thought about pagan rings of fire and could hear the Magic Fire music from Wagner;s Die Walkure groaning in his head .  He remembered the looming music from Das Rheingold.  He even recalled Johnny Cash's fatalistic recounting of his fall into a burning ring of fire.  Burning rings were everywhere.
     Frankly, he felt the Moslems made a neater job of emblematic sanctification with their assumption that paradise was a pearl and their belief that each of the blessed (each united with his houri) would live in a pearl.  A cool pearl seemed so much more hospitable than a glowing nimbus..