?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Solstice Celebration 2004

« previous entry | next entry »
Dec. 22nd, 2004 | 04:09 am
mood: contemplativecontemplative

Thanks to reinaness and solractwin for welcoming me (and a great many others) to their home to witness this.

What is it?
We light hundreds and hundreds of candles
and watch them till they burn out and try not to burn down the house.
It can be very meaningfull or spritual or it can be just a lot of fire.
Whatever you need.

What is it for?
For the past several years I have taken time
out of the busy holiday season to honor those people
who have been important to me in the past year.
This is not a party.
It is a gift I give to you because
you have been a part of making my life
the wonderous thing it is.

In return, I offer this:

"Since early this morning I have been in the living
room with my candles—
a tasteful bouquet of burning candles

—hundreds, possibly thousands of them—
as well as rolls and rolls of angry, rattling
tinfoil and stacks of disposable pie plates...
a flat surface covered with tinfoil trays of candles, with a row of people, holding individual candles. We don't see their faces.

...I've been placing candles on every flat surface available,
the foils not only protecting surfaces from dribbling wax
but serving as well to double the candle flames
via reflection.
more trays of candles viewed through the giant twisty flame of a several larger candles burning together

Candles are everywhere: on the piano, on the
bookshelves, on the coffee table, on the mantelpiece,
in the fireplace, on the windowsill....
candles are everywhere

Have you ever tried to light thousands of candles? It
takes longer than you think.... I light them all, and
I can feel the room heating up....
more blazing candles, looking quite hot

...I can see that [my family] have rounded the corner
and can see and feel the buttery yellow pressure of
flames dancing outward from the living room door....
buttery yellow candles casting an unaltered yellow glow everywhere

...the three of them enter the room, speechless,
turning in slow circles, seeing the normally dreary
living room covered with a molten living cake-icing of
white fire, all surfaces devoured in flame—
an overexposed photo of blazing white candlelight

giant flames wavering upward from bundles of tall, thick candles, towering over trays of tealights

a dazzling fleeting empire of ideal light."
—Douglas Coupland, Generation X
dozens of candles viewed fuzzily through a wineglass

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {12}

Emerald

(no subject)

from: sea_of_change
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 02:10 am (UTC)
Link

Wow! Yay! That's beautiful! Thank you for that!

Reply | Thread

(no subject)

from: lockle
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 03:24 am (UTC)
Link

I loved Generation X... Good book... and sounds like you guys had a good time

Reply | Thread

NobodobodoN

(no subject)

from: nobodobodon
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 05:33 am (UTC)
Link

That last pic is my favorite.

nosugarsadded and others did a wick-count. It was over 1200. I think it was 1279 or thereabouts.

Reply | Thread

Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
Link

That last pic is my favorite.

Mine, too. paniolo99 smiled at me (or at least at something close by) as I took it, and the owner of the wineglass said "everything looks better through a wineglass!"

nosugarsadded and others did a wick-count. It was over 1200. I think it was 1279 or thereabouts.

Ooo, my half-assed Fermian reasoning was close!

Reply | Parent | Thread

(no subject)

from: nosugarsadded
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)
Link

1293. You were amazingly close. How do you do it?

Reply | Parent | Thread

Triple Entendre

Some answers

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC)
Link

Hand-waving explanation: Fermian reasoning
One-word explanation: chunking

Layman's explanation: figure out what a "bunch of candles" looks like. Now count how many "bunches" there are. (Visually, it's kind of like using a cookie cutter on an irregularly-shaped blob of dough.)

In practice, it takes a few small test runs to check your accuracy. The round pans held about 20 candles. I figured that out first by counting "fives" and seeing how many fives there were in several pans. The human brain is wired to count 1-5 things instantly in the visual field. You can look at a pack of predatory animals, and immediately know if there are 1,2,3,4,5 or get the fuck outta there. The tied bundles of candles tended to be about 5 candles per bundle.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Triple Entendre

Re: Some answers

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 03:24 pm (UTC)
Link

(oops, I accidentally hit post before I was done.)

After counting pans and bundles, I made a third pass counting all the strays, counting by fives.

Reply | Parent | Thread

dr. pangloss

Re: Some answers

from: denshi
date: Dec. 24th, 2004 11:05 pm (UTC)
Link

Wild. I used to count by threes, but count by fives now.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Re: Some answers

from: nosugarsadded
date: Dec. 25th, 2004 09:00 am (UTC)
Link

I tried counting by fives at times when it was convenient, but because the candles were rarely in rows, I ended up doing it one by one most of the time. It was strangely trance-like. :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Triple Entendre

Re: Some answers

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 25th, 2004 11:55 am (UTC)
Link

Nothing wrong with that. It's not an option for me; I lose count. I actually had to start over twice even when I was counting by 20's. ;-)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Oye Feathers

(no subject)

from: chickenmoon
date: Dec. 22nd, 2004 09:17 pm (UTC)
Link

Awesome, the first photo is my creation...

These are beautiful!

Reply | Thread

Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 25th, 2004 12:34 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you, on both counts!

Reply | Parent | Thread