When sparks fly
glimmering specks rise
ashes form below.
Paradox in alchemy.
Mediated by wicks
twisted threads woven
drive capillary action.
Squeezing out oxygen
With every loss
Darkness is forecast.
(c) MWere 2019
I light candles regularly for love, for loss, for safe passage, for comfort, for remembrance and for fun. The glow brings a gentle warmth and peace. There is no romance and sometimes it is in defiance to the dark. I have long been supported by the adages “it only takes a spark to keep the fire going” and ”it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”.
It is inevitable that when light is shone, shadows appear, and I find myself sometimes preferring the dark so as not to find the consequence of shadows. A shadow is visible but an incomplete reflection, it has an emptiness and is a shapeshifter, turning and changing with the elements. Long shadows are cast when you are furthest from the light. A lot of candles might have to be lit to mimic the sun and bring a shadow to heel. The dark offers freedom from the shadow equally as the light at its height doesn’t cast much of one either.
I am facing a time where light and shadow, wick and spark are dancing around me. There are invitations to light candles, sit in darkness, box a shadow, hold space for light and dark to co-exist. I am drawn to the wick. Threads with space between them to enables energy to travel and transform bringing light as it goes and forecasting the dark in equal measure. The dance won’t work without the wick, it must be lit and extinguished, sometimes trimmed along the way.
The string, dipped in wax, and the strongest ones are soaked in salt and boric acid as well. Boric acid is a wonderful pesticide especially for cockroaches and ants in our harsh Australian climate. And we all know the healing and preservative power of salt! Protection and preservation are embedded in the fuel.
I am noticing what lights me up and uses energy and in equal measure drains and descends me into darkness. The wick needs to be dipped into the salt and acid to be stronger. Pilgrimages are in the light and the dark, and to carry a candle ready to be lit and to know when to set it down is a series of discernments that come and go throughout the day and the night. The shadows are often long. The invitation seems to be for more light, not less and yet I can feel my resistance. I don’t want to see clearly all the time, to be brought into the light, sunshine that very best disinfectant. I don’t want to see all the truth, I want to turn away and towards the shadows sometimes. The hard part is to see things as they are.
I am going to spend some time being dipped in salt and acid getting ready for the steps ahead. To see clearly requires a lot of light. The wick is combustible, and inevitably sparks will fly.