Every night for the past eight nights, as I lit my Chanukah candles and watched them burn down, this quote from philosopher Alan Watts rattled through my mind:
Just as the flame of a candle is never a constant; a flame of a candle is a stream of hot gas. Only you say “the flame of a candle” as if it were a constant. Well it is a recognizably constant pattern. The spear-shape line of the flame and its coloration is a constant pattern, but in exactly the same way that we are all constant patterns and that’s all we are.
The only thing constant about us at all is the doing rather than the being. The way we behave. The way we dance. Only there’s no “we” that dances. There’s just the dancing. — Alan Watts
In a year where it seemed that everything was out of the norm, it reminds me of the truth that everything is always changing. Life is like the flame of the candle: from a distance it may appear to be a constant, but up close we see that it is dynamic : constantly in motion, and vulnerable to being extinguished in any moment.