In January I had the honor of recording the narration for the audiobook of Fire Monks with the pros at Live Oak Studio in Berkeley, California. There’s a nice write-up by the studio here.
It’s been more than a decade since fire raced towards Tassajara, but the subject of wildfire and how we humans live with it is only more pressing today. Eighteen million California trees died from drought and beetle infestation in 2018 alone—and that’s a decrease from 2016 and 2017—making ready, upright kindling. The Camp Fire of the same year tore through the community of Paradise in the early morning hours, typically a slow-burn time of day, and became the deadliest wildfire in California history. These days, wildfire records don’t last long before they’re surpassed. There’s no fire season anymore; it’s fire season all the time.
We’re living in a changed world, a world we humans have changed with our behavior. More of us live in fire zones, or right next door, than ever before. There’s a reckoning coming. There’s a reckoning already here.
The people featured in Fire Monks had the presence of mind to meet whatever came at them with grit and grace. They make good & relevant company for the moment.