You Are a Candle

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When candles were the way we brought light into the darkness, everything looked different at night. There was no glow from a streetlight outside or a city miles away. When the sun went down human activity shifted because it had to. If you needed to be outside in the darkness, your candle was a lifeline.

If you woke in the middle of the night, you’d likely rely on your sense of touch to guide you through your home. By candlelight you’d see some details of things that were close to you and maybe contours of things farther away. You’d still need to move slowly and carefully, because your vision would be limited to a small sphere of gentle light.

Even as the inky black night began to dissolve in the glow from gas lights, candles were steadfast and dependable. The portable flame. The iPhone of fire. So what would a candle observe about the passage of time, and its own changing role in the human saga?



Vanessa Lowe


Vanessa Lowe

Music: Nocturne theme music by Kent Sparling
Additional music: Kent Sparling \\  Jeffrey Foster

Producer: Vanessa Lowe
Episode artwork: Robin Galante

Elder Candle was played by Bob Muzzy. Young Candle was performed by Leela Hensler. Helen Zaltzman read the words of Fanny Trollope.

Inspiration for this episode came largely from two outstanding podcasts that I highly recommend you check out, if you don’t listen already - The first is called Everything is Alive, and the second is The Memory Palace. Find them wherever you listen to podcasts.

Some of the research for this episode comes from the book, In the Watches of the Night, by Peter Baldwin