cracks in the surface

Fire is big, destructive, burning, hot, and powerful. It can spread rapidly like forest fires and house fires, consuming everything and leaving a dark charcoal in its aftermath. But it can also be small, like the flame of a candle, flickering at the slightest breeze or exhalation of air. It can be snuffed out with fingertips or when there is no longer a wick for it to burn.

Watching my candle today at the candle light vigil, I thought of how fragile the human life is. Humans are strong creatures, capable of dividing and conquering the weak, logically persuading the self to pursue a certain track in life. But like a candle, humans are easily conquered by forces greater than them and then their lives are cut short. The will may not always be a pillar of support.

Have you ever truly looked at a candle? It’s beautiful. First there’s the flame–a golden yellow with flickers of orange when it twists in turns in the wind and then there’s almost a feeling of empty space around the blackened wick but around this area of nothingness is blue fire, the hottest and coolest of flames. The flame will dance and move around, but when it is sure of itself it stands upright and grows larger, eating more oxygen, little bits of smoke rising off the top and racing into the atmosphere. Then there’s the puddle of wax, slowly dripping down the candlestick forming clumps of hardened wax at the bottom. It could light a person’s clothes on fire or burn your hand if you hold it too close while you’re trying to protect it from the wind. Fire is an entity that bites the hand that feeds it. And yet, it can die so easily. The flame is at our mercy.

Perhaps this is why moths are attracted to fire. Fire signifies life, but it can also take that life away. Maybe it all depends on luck.

———

I lost what I was trying to say.

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