Thursday, November 9, 2017

Heat and light

If I have a big woodpile, I don't have a fire. Even if I have a fireplace and matches and bellows and kindling and firestarters and a fire extinguisher and the chimney was just cleaned and inspected and I have a paper saying "good to go," I don't have a fire. Would wrought-iron fire tools on a cool rack help? What about a stained-glass fireplace screen, so no sparks can get out on the floor? I could subscribe to magazines for fireplace owners. I could join a yahoo group and a facebook page to talk about fires. I could be receiving catalogs with all kinds of fancy flameproof rugs and indoor wood racks and really cool slings for carrying wood in, and Ooh! What about a beautiful mantle?

Still no fire.

Meanwhile, the neighbors might have build a real, operating fire, in a little hole they dug and lined with scrap bricks or rocks, with wood they found in a vacant lot, and kindled it with old receipts and fast-food wrappers they found blown into the alley. Their fire has heat, their fire has light, if they're sitting around it talking and laughing, they have the benefit of the fire.

Some people want to look like they're interested and that they intend to hone their skills, but they don't actually want to do it, if it's going to involve any real combustion or change in them.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of a fire in our own back yard,
not in a hole, but quite make-shift, 2012

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