Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fire and Reading

It's the first day of spring. I have awoken in the middle of the night instead of to the rising sun. Unable to lie in the bed any longer, I creep down the stairs wary of awaking my slumbering family. To my delight I find the ghostly glow of the evening's fire, however, the wood pile is outside and down the driveway.

I slip on shoes like a Japanese teenager, smashing the back of them down with my heels and wear them like flip flops. I return and feed the embers the life nurturing fuel. My fire building skills are not much. Smoke appears in great volume but no greedy flames. I have time to while so I start the bread dough.

I am new to the luxury of fire. This is the first house I have lived in where I can burn wood and watch flames. There is something ancient yet compelling about the dancing heat. I will miss these flames as spring advances. For now though,  I want for nothing, locked in gaze with the fire. Maybe that is where the trouble started-- when we left off fire.

I start a new book that I brought with me, The Gutenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts. I am going to like this book. Written in 1996, it gets at my fire despair at four in the morning in 2013.
We are it seems, most willing to accept a life hurried and fragmented on every front by technology, we are getting past the prior way of things, which could be slow and frustrating, but was also vivid in its material totality. 
Sven Birkerts, The Gutenberg Elegies, The Introduction to the 2006 edition
Fire soothes the savage beast