During my sessions at the Perth Theological Hall, while training to become a minister, we often had a single candle burning on the table in the centre. Towards the end of my training I often became entranced with the way the flame danced in an apparently still and sheltered room. I was captured by the fragility of the small flame as it darted about. At about the same time I was playing with images that might be appropriate to have on my ordination stole. The fragile, dancing flame grew in my imagination almost inviting me to live my life in the same way. I was privileged that Rev Viv Larkin captured my ideas and was able to translate my image into material. Below is a poem that I have written that tries to express what the dancing flame means to me in my ministry.
A teardrop flame sits in perfection
weeping for lost opportunities.
As she burns with precision
protected from threatening breezes,
no wavering she makes.
Flawless, she longs to quiver and sway,
to dance with delight in the currents of life.
O, fragile blaze that flickers and quakes,
teach me to bend and shape with the tides.
Banish my fear of those who may douse me.
Picture-perfect placement upon her wick.
Stifled in conformity, while daring to dance,
her soul cascades with the falling wax.
She is contained and held,
yet she screams in agony at her trappings.
Her heart finds no beauty
in still and faultless forms.
O, fragile blaze that trembles and skips,
speak to me of vulnerability.
Lead me into open zephyrs
where my depths can dart and dance in joy.