bluetippedhair: (Daybreak)
I've seen candles used as a metaphor for life several times by now.

A candle's "life" begins when it is lit. Like a baby, it sometimes requires care and nursing until the flame grows to its full size. Candles may have different life spans depending on their size and shape, and yet all eventually will "die" when they are inevitably snuffed, whether by force or by the wick simply burning out.

While lit, a candle can do many things. It can bring cheer, light up a dark room, or ignite just about anything. It can be a sign of worship, a beacon for a lost loved one, or just be used for practical reasons. I know that second one was used with me, not that I had any way of responding. Still, like the candle, people have many different ways of being in their lives. People are diverse, and between jobs, hobbies, and interests, there's got to be as many different ways of life as their are individuals.

But it's not a perfect metaphor, is it?

I mean, when the candle is "dead", the flame is extinguished, leaving a body but no soul. That is what most people can accept, what they can prove, within the real world.

But our souls don't disappear, do they? They may be ripped from the body, but they can't just be extinguished like that.

So where do the flames go?

If we were to extend the metaphor, would there be a ball of light to which the extinguished flames fly until they are needed again? Was it disembodied flames -- ones without a candle -- that ended up over the heads of the apostles in that one bit of scripture from the bible?

Are the flames gone? Or can we just not experience them anymore without a vessel, the candle, to show us that it's really there?

They said that my candle, my light, helped to light up the life of others. They spoke to me as if I were there listening, and yet they'd think Cass crazy if she were to insist that I've really been there all along. So what do they think happened to my flame, and how the hell do they reconcile the mixed messages and metaphors?

...and I guess this is another reason why so-late-it's-early posts are interesting things. Apparently I go all philosophical.
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December 2013

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