Fire Pit Method
Early in the spring of 2016, we noticed neighbors and friends were hesitant to talk about politics in any substantive way. Behind the hesitancy was fear. Fear and anxiety over a gathering national political storm.
In this storm any normal conversation about politics, even between friends and neighbors, had the potential to veer into the antagonistic and surreal. As sociologist Jean Baudrillard described in his book Simulations, the melt down of media, institutional, and leadership norms leaves people feeling uneasy and afraid.
Basic neighbor-to-neighbor interactions across the back-fence were impacted. The culture is in the grip of a constant "discourse of crisis" where language of all kinds is "weaponized."
Fire Pits: an inclusive gathering
As a fundamental gathering place, fire pits are down-to-earth and friendly. Fire pits are also universal through out all cultures. They represent a gathering place of safety and power, as well as inclusivity and a beacon for the future.
Fire Pit Renewal: One America
This is why we've described our gatherings - online and in the real world fire pits - as, well, fire pits! And it is there we step outside the latest "crisis tweet" and share our hopes, dreams, and thoughts. We envision an American renewal-point, which we call One America. Realizing "people" like ourselves, not political parties, are the starting point for renewal we created this web resource.
We also created the Fire Pit Method as a tool. We continue to gather together and share what we've learned about resisting, pushing, and giving birth to an American culture where courage, hope, and pride prevail over exclusion, fear, and crisis. A place that is fundamental to the best of the human spirit, a simple place - the fire pit.
Build a fire, gather some friends and some strangers. Talk.