Sunday, September 22, 2013


Campfires fulfill many primal needs.  The need for warmth.  The need for safety.  The need for human connection.

It is a rare person who has not revealed more via a text message, email or social media than was prudent.  The flicker of the 60Hz screen replaced the flicker of burning wood for most of us.  Most of the time.

Cooler weather is upon us.  Yesterday, I went for a six mile run and pushed too hard.  Today, I hurt.

Burning the pile of trash wood was a task I felt up to.  Most of the wood is the same kind that Noah used for the Ark, Gopher wood.  As in, throw an armload on the fire and Go-fer some more.

We used to have a Border Collie.  Border Collies are hardwired with the instinct to stalk and control animals.  They are able to manipulate flocks of sheep that outweigh them 500 times over by way of domination and intimidation.  They stare.

Staring at an animal is a hostile action.  It translates to:  "You will be my dinner."

Somehow, the Northern European culture morphed staring, eye contact, with telling the truth.

But our bodies know differently.

It is easier to be intimate, to risk and to share when we do not have to look into another's eyes.  It is easy to be intimate when we feel safe, when we are warm.

Campfires are the prototypical space of warmth, safety and intimacy.  Our first arch-myths were forged in monosylabic grunts beside the fire, safe from the roaring lion...those same myths were retold by Homer and are retold by Hollywood today.

The flicker of a laptop or smartphone is a sad, pale substitute for the genuine article.

I lament for those who will never experience the real thing.


  1. If you're ever lost, build a fire.
    1. It will hold you in place
    2. It will provide warmth and light.
    3. It will help the searchers find you
    4. As soon as you start building it, three folks will show up to tell you that you are doing it wrong.

  2. That is very funny. Is the idea copyrighted? I am pretty sure that I will be repeating it.

    Your method sounds far more reliable that catching one fish over the limit and waiting for the game warden.


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