For the bulk of my childhood heating in our house was provided by fire. We had a stove in the kitchen that afforded both heat and an always-on cooking surface. The fire itself was safely tucked away behind a little door that was opened only when a draft was required to spur on the flames. But in our sitting room we had an open fire, and this was the one I loved. I could sit and stare into that fire for hours on end as another child might watch TV. There in those orange flames I saw rabbits and fish and ghosts and princesses and endless other creatures. It was an ever-changing story dancing before my eyes. It fuelled my imagination at a time when I was still reading fairy stories. I’m sure I wrote some of my own, at least in my head. We haven’t had a fire in our house for a long time, so these days the only time I get to stare into the flames is when we cook šašlykai (Lithuanian barbeque). I’m sure people think I’ve had one beer too many as I gaze into the flames and smile at the story that unfolds before me.
In these flames I see a golfer, a runner crossing a finish line, a dancer in a dress with flowing sleeves, a man reading from a book, several masks and a fish-dog with long blonde hair, to name but a few. Anyone with me?!