Fun fact about me: I’m a bit of a pyro. One of my hobbies is fire spinning. Fire dancing, fire twirling it’s all the same thing, except fire Breathing. That’s a different thing. I don’t do that. That’s dangerous! (ha…) But, I love to dance with fire. There are a variety of props you can use like poi that originated from the Maori in New Zealand. There are also fire staffs, double staffs, fire sword, and fire hula hoop. I’ve seen props get even more creative. I’ve seen people make a fire wicked dress, fire fans, a fire cape, fire jump rope, fire parasol… the list goes on. I’m more proud to say that our fire conclave has created a fire dragon as well as fire octopus. These become more showy toys vs something to dance with but they are still art on fire. The point is, I like to play with fire.
The best part is once I found out that I like to play with fire, I found other people who also like to play with fire. It’s a bond that is created when you met someone who has the same specialized interest as you. One of my best friends is the person who taught me how to spin fire and introduced me to this special community of people. And yes, whole communities of people across the world exist and our common bond is our love of fire. I’ve met people from across the world who don’t speak the same language but we are able to connect because we both spin something. That connection is a language of its own and afternoons are spent skill sharing, teaching, laughing and spinning fire. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.
Because it’s so much fun getting together with your fiery kin, weekend festivals have been created by some amazing people. We all get together, camp somewhere beautiful, have a full schedule of classes offered and at night everyone gathers in one large circle to spin fire together. It’s basically circus camp for fire spinners. They are so much fun. I’ve been really lucky to go to a few of these festivals especially when my love for spinning fire as well as taking fire pictures go hand in hand. This year a lot of the bay area crew made a big effort to head up to the Oregon Coast for PacFire. Naturally Nick and I decided to end our road trip there, in a fire filled camping weekend with all of our friends.
The venue was just west of Portland. It was beautiful. Just stunning. An ancient forest towers over you as ferns and ivy cover the ground. You can see through the trees the ocean and there is a large lawn and lodge where classes are being taught. The fire circle was down by the beach. We were graced with the best weather I never imagined occurred in Oregon. I was expecting rain and fog and cold northwestern weather… but not a cloud showed its face. It was 80 degrees and sunny the entire weekend with bold stars at night. Such a magical place I hope I’m able to return next year.
Its so amazing to see all these talented people from across the world innovate with different props and skills, teach others, have fun with friends and share a special time and place.
A special thanks to all the Pacific Fire Gathering crew, here a few snaps from the weekend.
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