A Candle for Your Thoughts

August 22nd, 2015, 2pm

Right this very moment, 2626 kms away from where I’m standing, there is a very high possibility that a candle is burning for me and my wellbeing. Day and night, I know that it burns so that I will be okay, by the power and grace of one of the Saints my mother deeply worships… I forget the Saint’s name, shamefully.

Every since I moved away into what my mother calls The Unknown (known to other mortals as simply “another country”) that she lights up a small candle by the kitchen counter, next to a 12cm statue of this local Saint. I used to find it silly when I’d visit home and find it there, burning. Being this non-religious radical, I often told her to stop doing it because I didn’t identify myself with this practice. How selfish of me, I now realise. As if it was ever about me.

Now I’m again on the move, venturing into more of The Unknown. Unexpectedly stumbling upon this beautiful old church in Berlin, seeing all these candles burning it hits me that each and single one of these is burning for someone: for love, for good luck, for… a reason. It’s a thought of good intention expressed in a physical manifestation.

I don’t and I won’t believe in a god. But every man needs a certain kind of faith, even non-believing is a faith in itself, which probably contains a sense of belief just as strong as a traditional religion. But this is lacking only the needle in the compass. That day, for the first time, I lit up a candle for my mother. I missed her, and for once I decided that it was okay to admit I was craving a needle for my compass.

Aparna, Philippe, Peter, David Wade and 9 others said thanks.

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Ricardo Magalhães

Doing whatever possible to soak up what the world has to offer. I try to give something back. Currently working as a web developer in London, but it's the walking, the getting lost, the words and the photography that keep me best company.

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