The Candle-maker’s Diary

Week 11

Semi-late greetings from semi-quarantine, a borderless landscape where projects can bloom and expire in a day, or take over an otherwise unoccupied mind for weeks on end. Or inspire one to spend a torrential rain-day in a chair doing nothing. Like our fellow quarantine-heads, the Mad Scientist and I are accessing our Inner Primate, experiencing an itch for the companionship of our species, one that cannot be scratched—or groomed—right now. 

Thus, craving company after months of solitude, we drove to nearby Kingston the other day, where celebration of our governor’s move to Stage Four Lockdown Relief was in full swing. The promenade alongside the docks of the Rondout Creek—once a busy 19th Century transport hub for the coal and cement industries along the great Hudson River waterway—now snakes along docks filled with leisure craft. Merry-makers on board raise their glasses to the waning afternoon; couples on benches smile at us behind their masks. The outdoor bars and restaurants are full. Wow! People! How their presence lightens the burden of quarantine! It was good to be among our kind even if we couldn’t hug or scratch. Driving home, we wondered if a new sense of camaraderie would take hold among us after the danger had passed, or would it be “business as usual?”

Well, our candles are still being invented and made, piece by piece. For us, our art is a passion that drives us some days and disappears other days in favor of the omnipresent chair. So our work continues, with no end in sight to the new reality, demanding our attention with no clear production goals in mind. My latest project, decorating arrangements of flameless candles, is a work in progress. I want my mandalas to be less like spirographs and more like works of original vision, so no pic this week; maybe two next week.

Wishing you love and light—especially light, Wilda

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