OMG, Mamas, I am so traumatized by my latest hearth experience. I was planning to go entirely natural at home and then everything was ruined by the firemen.
The story of this trauma begins with my last hearth experience. I was so uneducated that I believed all the fear mongering around fire in our society. I built my first fire in a fireplace, induced it with chemical saturated matches, and sped it up by artificial means (a Duraflame block). My husband thought that I should be grateful for a warm and pretty fire, but I felt completely violated. Where was the wildness, the raw, primeval power of fire? Where was the spirituality that our foremothers associated with this precious miracle?
This time I vowed things would be different. I educated myself by reading books and websites about natural fires. Human beings have been using fires since before the beginning of recorded history. They spent countless nights sheltering in the warm glow of fires built at the mouths of caves, safe in the knowledge that the sacred fire would scare off predators and illuminate dozens of intimate sexual acts occurring simultaneously among the many members of the tribe.
I learned that fear mongering about fire is vast conspiracy created by those who stand to profit from denying the safety of the fire experience … like Big Extinguisher and the brick manufacturers who create the bricks that line fireplaces. And let’s not forget firemen. They make 100% of their income by convincing people that fires are dangerous and ought to be put out. If fires are so unsafe, how could the human race have survived millions of people sitting around millions of fires for millions of years? If fire were dangerous, we wouldn’t be here.
I planned a completely natural home bonfire. I decided that I would not be forced into managing fire by building my fire in a hearth. No, if my ancestors could build fires in caves, then I could build one in my living room. I used only all natural materials; no matches for me. I waited until I spotted a small brush fire near my neighborhood, ran out with the candle I dipped by hand (I crocheted the wick from hemp) and capture the sacred natural fire. The I piled the branches and kindling high in a kiddie pool in my living room and trusted fire.
My husband and I caressed each other in the glow of our totally natural bonfire. Sure, it was painful when my eyebrows got singed, but I was empowered by that pain.
Unfortunately, our bonfire was one of the exceedingly rare, entirely unpredictable times that fire did a bit of damage to the structures around it. Yes, it is true that the drapes did go up in the conflagration, the whole second story of our house burned off and the neighbor’s house caught fire. Complications do sometimes occur, and that’s why I was prepared. I immediately dialed 911 to summon the fire department and that was when all hell broke loose.
Instead of respecting the sacred nature of our hearth experience, the firemen charged in and immediately started using technology. Sure, they saved the rest of the house (the second floor was a total loss) and the other houses in the neighborhood, but they used far more water than necessary and cut the parts of our house that were still standing with axes. It will be along time until we can remove the scars from the walls. And don’t get me started on the water damage inflicted on the drapes that had survived the flames.
I have been deeply traumatized that our house was violated by total strangers.
I still trust fire, though, and will prove it.
As soon as I recover from my third degree burns I plan to build an even bigger all natural fire in the living room of our homeless shelter.