In the New York Times the other day* there was an interesting article about Norwegian firewood. Apparently the subject arouses considerable passion in the Land of the Midnight Sun. There is a bestselling book – Solid Wood – and a twelve hour television documentary that, through its course, catalyzed a string of invectives via text of which half complained that the firewood was stacked bark side down and half worried about what they saw bark side up. Uhm, the denouement of this program was a live, fixed, close take of a hearth borne conflagration log after log after log.
Thinking that perhaps related emotions were cathected into the Beatles’ tune Norwegian Wood, I investigated. Probably not. The lyrics most likely refer to cheap pine paneling in allusion to a venue of illicit love. John: “I’d always had some kind of affairs going on, so I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair…” Really great melody in the key of E Major and was their first song to employ Harrison on the sitar. Rolling Stone placed it #84 on the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
But back to the bark. If you need some firewood, let my little black angel help as she did in the photos above and below. At top you see a kitchen chair she dispatched to the woodpile by gnawing through all four of the lower horizontal cross members. It still stood, and I would have kept it, but wife was concerned for embarrassment should it one day collapse beneath a friend or relative. Pulling apart its back I felt like how I imagine a surgeon does while making way through a ribcage. In contrast, the seat fell with measured grace to my Scandinavian axe.
The scene at bottom is another of creative firewood procurement and this one is special on two counts. First, the painted shingles shorn from the front of our house add a certain sparkle to the fire made all the more special with the knowledge that they are no longer available. Second, notice the exposed TV and Internet cable at lower right. Service has lately acquired a special intermittency.
Oh well, she has my heart and as per Pascal: “The heart has reasons of which reason knows nothing”.
** This is a wood cut by daughter of her friend Max