The Candle Wick Lights the Autumn Sky

As I ascended to street level from the staircase of the subway from the Grand blue line stop, the smell of candles filled my nostrils. It was a delightful smell; in fact, one of my favorite scents of all is that of a freshly-extinguished candle. It was like a glimmer of hope burning to remind me that although no longer flickering it was still there.

My birthday will come. I will turn 27 and finally celebrate this “golden” birthday for which I have waited so long. I hope I get to be surrounded by people who I love.

Although I struggle to do so, I maintain the faith that if I keep working, somehow someday I will be rewarded for all of my efforts and that all will be taken care of. I suppose I am understanding real struggle now, with five dollars in my pocket, a sinking empty stomach, recurring and persisting nausea, and an uncertain future. I wish with all of my heart that finances did not have to be an issue in my life because truly I am happier than I have been in a long time. I feel genuinely “filled up” and satisfied by the work that I am doing in a way that I imagine most people struggle a lifetime to find.

And as I ascend the staircase, I think of Bukowski and how much he drank, destroyed his relationships, constantly struggled with poverty while working awful jobs…all just to create art, just to make it work. How can we get the world to value art again? I do believe that artists are the innovators that push culture forward. At least, artists can get people to appreciate life more, and that is such a noble effort. That’s really all that I want out of my own life — to remind people of how beautiful all of this can be and to cultivate a contagious joy.

And again, I just wish that I could choose not to have money be an issue nor a necessity in my life. Because I truly do not care. But at some point I just have to.

A sesame bagel with creme cheese, a coffee (why?), some yogurt for lunch, then splurging on a savory crepe for dinner. Oh, what is my life? Hoping to go to a doctor on Saturday to help resolve the recurring stomach issues and nausea that I have had for three weeks now. I keep getting these e-mails from the dentist telling me that I am 6 months past due for an appointment. I am trying to save up every cent that I have so that I can move in with my best friend in this lovely apartment that feels like home.

Maybe my efforts would be better spent if I spent my time just writing a book, perhaps a textbook for the mind sciences. When I was sixteen I wrote a book called Letters to Humanity. I thought about how nice that was today, how sweet of a sentiment, and how I wish I had finished it.

And yet my days continue to be extra-special and magical. Sometimes I enjoy the fascination and liberation that comes with the thought that maybe I did actually die that day in my car accident in May, and maybe this is my afterlife. Because sometimes my life and my interactions with others are just so magical that they feel exactly like the Heaven that I would create for myself.

On Saturday I sat staring at a fire with my dear friend Eli. He is special in a way that I cannot even begin to describe, and I pride myself on recognizing it right away. The moment that I saw him, I whispered to my friend Adam, “That man is attractive in the most fascinating way.” At that moment, he looked up at me and we made eye contact. Later in the evening we danced on a trampoline. Then we crouched in a corner, sitting Indian-style, by a tiny light that felt like a spark, and we talked about how we got to be who we are.

Anyhow, we were sitting outside by a fire and I told him that I found staring into the fire to be very relaxing. This was very strange to me because in that moment staring at fire had a similar effect on me to staring at water, which I have always found exceptionally calming. I told him that I wished I could watch the wind blow, and suggested that maybe I we could color the wind to see the ways that it moves and blows.

“Sorry Lynda, but Disney got there first!” Eli said, referring to the “paint with all the colors of the wind” song from Pocahontas. We both laughed, but then I realized something: falling leaves let us watch the way that wind blows. Also, cloud watching (one of my favorite past times) is a way to watch the wind. In autumn, I spend great lengths of time watching leaves swirl about and dance as they fall from trees.

Sometimes I am so happy in autumn that I get scared. Because I know it will not last. And because I feel like I am sneaking into this one little stint of time that almost should not exist or that is somehow hidden and secret. After sneaking into a graveyard to lie on my back and meditate on death with a friend this past weekend, I walked and all of autumn surrounded me — the smells of crisp leaves and sweet spices, the fresh chill of the breeze, the leaves coloring and dancing, the reflections on death and dying, and the way that interiors can start to feel so safe while the outside world is still comfortable too.

This weekend was also exceptionally sunny and bright. So we had the cool chill of autumn with the bright open sky illuminating all of its charms. I went to an antiquarian rare and used book fair with a friend who refers to himself as a futurist. I must say, I really feel privileged to know some of the coolest characters in this city. The book fare made me very sad, and it was hurtful to see so many of my favorite authors with books wrapped in plastic and charged top dollar. It seemed that I was witnessing the place where all of this wonderful knowledge, creativity, and wisdom went to die — behind glass in a collector’s home, never even to be explored anymore. It really overwhelmed me with sadness.

I also started an art project. I began by sketching illustrations from all of my favorite childhood fables and stories along with poems and quotes from my favorite books. I just put the first ink to canvas, so we shall see what it becomes…

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