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 Candle, 🕯️, ‎️‍🔥, 🕊️

Sat Mar 30 2024

I often bought brightly colored candles from the basement spice shop around my corner on 2nd avenue. During that time, I woke before sunrise, ate breakfast by candlelight. I’d light this meditation candle and prep for 6am bikhram yoga. I had a lot of uses for candles then. I’d light them over dinner or before a working studio session. I stared at it’s flame, inviting whatever would come as I drew, ate, made, danced, filmed, or burned things. Later I learned I had also been practicing trataka; a meditation technique where one uses a candle as a single point of focus- sitting before it like a student.  It is a melting timepeice. A few years later I suffered a major loss and my body went through a process of grieving. During this time I picked up a different type of candle. On the bottom shelf of the grocery store at the corner of Halsey and Malcom X Boulevard. Between the airfresheners and ziplocks, I found them. Tall unmarked Santeria-style votive candles. Pulling out a paint pen I’d don them with a mantra, whatever needed to get me through to me those next couple of weeks. When the candle runs out-- maybe I absorbed the learning? The candle made me feel less alone. Kundalini was another concept absorbed into my candle studies. Birthday candles also. Before my 35th I drew the unstoppable years pressing on me in a Marina Ambromovich-style crucifix. There is something about a candle as a creative force or a spirit. The flame “this little light of mine” that can be extinguished. The Chicago Cultural center had a cool multi-teired mosaic candlelabra. I found it somewhere in the buildings ornate floors. It is occult-looking and reminds me of the brass 6-pronged candle holder I had recently bought from my dead grandfathers estate. The candelabra that sits on my table now. 


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