Fireplaces

“The fire confined to the fireplace was no doubt for man, the first object of
reverie…

One can hardly conceive of a philosophy of repose that would not include a
reverie before a flaming fire…

Fire is, for man who is contemplating it, an example of sudden change.
Less monotonous and less abstract than flowing water, even more quick to
grow and change than the young bird we watch every day in its nest in the
bushes, fire suggests the desire to change, to speed up the passage of
time, to bring all life to its conclusion, to its hereafter. In these
circumstances the reverie becomes truly fascinating…it magnifies human
destiny, it links the small to the great, the hearth to the volcano, the life of
the log to the life of the world… The logʼs destruction is more than a
change, it is a renewal. Love death and fire are united in the same moment…
To lose everything in order to gain everything. The lesson taught by fire is
clear: after having gained all through skill, through love, through violence,
you must give up everything.”

–Gaston Bachelard


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