Breath. Fire. Both crucial to man’s survival. Yet one can give life, while the other can take it back. And yes it’s true that fire has been an important step in evolution – Darwin himself said fire and language were the two key ingredients to humanity. There is not a single documented tribe on this planet that doesn’t cook it’s food. I suppose it’s one of the things that separate man from beast.
But just as we use fire for good, we use it for evil – and the contrast is terrifying.Home is the fire crackling on a winter’s night. Fire rushing through forests destroying thousands of homes in minutes. Waves of orange, turning shades of green, to greys and black.
A fireman is a hero but a man with fire is deadly. Sometimes the line between good and bad is blurred. If you google firemen starting fires, there is result after result. Their reasons? Overtime. To show off their skills. Hero complex. I’m sure a percentage are even sociopaths and pyromaniacs. Speaking of which, did you know that of the five impulse-control disorders, pyromania is the only one that involves one of the four natural elements?
Man discovered the control of fire – not fire itself. As much as he’d like us to think. There is evidence of fire over 400 million years ago. Humans, have been around a hell of a lot less than that. This discovery was to improve life. Man used fire to feed his family, bring warmth to his children and light to his community. But like everything else he has abused it. Using it for his own selfish reasons. To create fear and pain.
Just some of the torture techniques that involve fire: Branding, boiling, rat torture, or the brazen bull. This bull was usually made of bronze and hollow. The victim was put inside and a fire lit underneath it. The best part? The bull was built so his screams were amplified. His lasts breaths sounding like a bull bellowing.
Someone. One of us, thought of that. Another famous one. Burning. Man feared woman so used fire to silence her. Man has taken every element and used his twisted mind to find new and fun ways to create pain. Perhaps another thing that separates man from beast.
But mess with fire and fire will fight back. Hard. If you google fires in Ireland the page with the seven most known: Pearse St, Stardust, Noyeks, Cavan Orphanage , Carrickmines, Drumcallagher and Central Hotel Bundoran, total 158 lives lost, about a quarter children. And that is just our tiny little island. We don’t have enough time for me to list the tragedies of the world.
Earth, water, air and fire. The four components of nature. Abuse one or all of them, and she will rise up in all her fury to teach us. Don’t be so arrogant as to think we are in control here. Nature is always in charge.
Why do you think we call her Mother?
This piece was written as part of the Tales V Tunes tour. The words I had to use were “breath” and “fireman”. I hope you enjoyed.