Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Archaic Need for Fire?

For many, the experience of a fire is tied to camping or a 'campfire', where both opportunity and permission is given for sitting around burning logs.

This is such a recent event in human history yet it is easy to forget that for most of our species' past fire defined us.  Today, we don't need fires that we build.  The many forms of energy that are spent warming us and cooking for us have all but deleted fire.

A wood-fired brick oven returns our connection to fire and the perfection of burning what has gathered the sun but doesn't need refinement in order to give us heat for cooking.  The present popularity of brick ovens, and perhaps the consideration that a brick oven is a better addition to a house than a fireplace, may stem from our attraction to fire.  The brick oven also gives us a reason we can defend in a civilization that scorns the bother of making things ourselves, like fire and bread.

There are many other aspects to fire that have a place in our deep past; it kept the dark and danger at bay; it consumed our dead; it gave us visions.  These are still in play even when the fire is lit in the mouth of a brick oven.  You will watch it, not for the purpose of management, but for the reverie that fire has always and will always bring.

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