For a short period of time during my childhood, I had this obsession with building fans on the top of my pencils.

I had these little motors that I would attach to a #2 pencil with electrical tape. Then I would wire a battery to the motor and install a small propeller on the end of the motor shaft, which would cool my face while I was writing.

I was 9 years old and I was really proud of my ‘invention’.

One day I ran out of wire, so I went into our garage to find a spool of wire I had once seen. I entered the garage and found the shelf where I thought the wire was.

The shelf was taller than I was, so I had to stretch to move the objects as I searched for the spool. As I’m reaching into the crevices of the shelf, I accidentally knock a can onto the floor.

Boooooooom.

I watch in horror as a volcano of spray foam erupts everywhere (the sort used for filling cracks and gaps in concrete).

I don’t know what to do, so I grab the can and I run the volcano into the house, screaming for help.

My mom comes running out of the den and sees the volcano erupting from my hands. Foam is spraying in every direction.

She grabs the can and tries to cork it, but can’t. In the process, her wedding ring is covered—and sealed in—insulated spray foam.

Eventually, the can is put into a garbage bag and the volcano settles down.

My mom isn’t happy, in fact, she’s irate. Her wedding ring is on her finger, but out of sight, encased in foam.

I’m scared and freaked out—and honestly in a state of shock at what just ensued and the subsequent damage. The walls, the ceiling, me, my clothing, my mom are covered in an increasingly hardening spray foam.

I’m scared and feel ashamed for my stupidity at bringing the can inside. I call my dad and ask him to leave work and pick me up, it’s an emergency. Fortunately, he’s only 10 minutes away.

He comes home, picks me up and takes me out of the house, away from the ‘crime scene’ and away from my mom… so I can relax… and so she can cool down.

So the Spirit of Pele can settle down.

The power contained within that can of foam filler was enormous. Both the power to create (foam filled gaps) when throttled with the nozzle or the power to destroy our home, when uncorked.

The truth is, destruction is a form of creation. What I saw as destruction to the house, an artist may have seen as a beautiful creation.

Power can be used to create; consciously.

Or power can be used to create; unconsciously, which often takes the form of destruction.

Uncorked power is wild, like the flames of the Thomas Wild Fires of California, which destroyed more than 200,000 acres of land.

Throttled power is wild too, but more like the 125,000+ pounds of thrust produced by the General Electric GE90 jet engine.

For many power becomes the fuel for unconscious destruction and for others power is the fuel for conscious creation.

How are you using your power? What are you consciously creating, what are you unconsciously destroying with your raw power, and/or what are you consciously choosing to destroy, here and now?

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