Light and dark have long been a favorite topic of mine. Even when I was little, I was captivated by scriptures and stories that use “light” as an illustration. I think that has translated into my work. I love dramatic light and shadows.
Today I saw a photo of an epitaph that is on a tombstone in Atlanta’s infamous Oakland Cemetery.
It says “She burned her candle at both ends, but it made a lovely light.” Don’t you love that?! When I read it I thought I might like to have that on my tombstone whenever my time comes. And then I thought, “But wait, is my light lovely?” Oh sure, I create paintings and some would say that is lovely.
That is what I feel called to do and it is definitely an easy way to shine this little light of mine. But its the burning the candle at both ends part that got me. (1 John 1:6) When I am running around frantically busy…carpooling kids, painting for deadlines, worried about you-name-it, driven to distraction and sometimes irritated…do I shine a “lovely light”? I chuckle as I type that, but it is the truth! What kind of light do I shine under pressure?
The ones who get the brunt of any of our frustrations are often times the ones we love the most. So thank you “EsVM” of Oakland Cemetary, whoever you are, for your epitaph that led to an epiphany today.
P.S. I’d like to thank Paula Gabriel Futrell who shared the origin and inspiration behind this quote on my Facebook post:
Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892 – 1950
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!