Skip to content


Better to light a candle, they say,

and so we do.

Light them and send them out

into the world.

But not until we’ve checked their homework,

until they’ve brushed their teeth.

Until we’ve taught them how to cross the street,

or walked them, till they know.

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, they say

But when your candle is put out

oh, the darkness.

We trip, we fall, the landscape that we knew

irretrievably altered and strange.

We curse with pain, and then we cry –

we reach for each other,

and in doing so,

light our candles again.


  1. Linda Stump wrote:

    You are amazing! Beautiful words for very difficult thoughts.
    I am blessed that you are my sister.
    Love you,

    Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
  2. claudia wrote:

    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness…i love that…and if we trip and fall..we light our candle again…and again… that’s the way to do it…so encouraging..thanks for this

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  3. brian miller wrote:

    so true…it is only in the coming together that we will get through this…and through much of anything…like lighting the darkness…smiles…nice piece…

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  4. Wow, you took us full circle. What an incredible poem. Written so clean and smooth. Your voice compassionate and strong, commanding our attention, like a good school teacher. This is one of my favs today on a very unfav topic.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  5. I love so much about this piece–that it takes us full circle to our humanity–that we need each other–that light leads the way and darkness compels the light–lovely

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  6. Mohana wrote:

    Wonderful piece, Lydia. Love the way you talk about the candles being lit again when in the darkness we stumble against each other…

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  7. Kelvin S.M. wrote:

    ..smooth and a delicate to read… rich in truths… great write… smiles…

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink
  8. dani wrote:

    how do we make sense of any of it?

    in spite of the sadness, i wish you some joy and peace in the coming holidays, sweetheart!

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink
  9. Kim Nelson wrote:

    Yes. We light. And relight. And then light again. Because this is the only way to combat the darkness…

    I leave you with this:

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *