Fire does not burn what it is familiar with

Surely Fire will not consume thee,
Will not burn his youngest brother,
Will not harm his nearest kindred.

Also available as a paper presentation


My sister, who was in primary school, decided to civilise her four year old little brother and offer him a memorable cultural experience. The Soviet-Finnish-produced Sampo film was being shown in the gymnastics hall of the school. The Kalevala characters unrolled upon the screen, leading finally up to the culmination of the story – Sampo’s forging. The flashing flames, the banging of the hammers and the black soot-covered men in the centre of  the red flames was, however, too much – the education dropped of from the little spectator and he escaped to the school’s kitchen. Something was,  however, achieved - the experience was indeed unforgettable. Even when not thinking about the details, I still reach for the same atmosphere, which made its mark on the little boy's consciousness. 

Now, when I think about it, it gets a new and deeper meaning, a great deal can be explained in what has happened and what has not happened. Why did I choose textile work in high school, when the other guys entered metal work - why did I however become a master blacksmith, who travels around the world, carrying the Kalevala fire on his travels, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Many things have opened up, many are still covered and perhaps they will remain so. But somewhere, a nail has been struck, to which the thread of life has been bound and from which it slowly unwinds.