Friday, October 19, 2012

Another Mystery Candle!!

By Claudia Ricci

OK, so it's been three months since I last posted on Sister Mysteries. Clearly, there's a lot to say about the hiatus. But that story will have to wait for another day. Today instead I have to write about the newest mystery in a long series of mysteries with this book -- another candle that won't stop burning.

When I lit the candle almost two hours ago, it looked like it had only a few minutes of wick left. But no. Through some process I cannot explain, the candle continued to burn brightly all during this morning's extended meditation, the flame perched on what appeared to be a practically non-existent wisp of a wick.

Readers of Sister Mysteries may recall a similar candle miracle happening once before. It was November 26, 2010. When it happened that last time, I sat for nearly FIVE hours in front of a candle that wouldn't stop burning. No matter that there was absolutely no evidence of a wick -- indeed, the wick had totally disappeared. No matter that the miraculous flame burned without any visible substance to feed it.

I sat there for so long that at one point my leg went numb.

Something similar -- another mystery candle -- has emerged this morning and it is a quite an interesting coincidence that it is happening today.

It just so happens that I have very recently started working with a brilliant new therapist who I will call Ella, because her first name begins with L. Ella and I have seen each other maybe four times in the last two weeks, but something has already started to shift big time in me because of her influence.

Curiously, just yesterday afternoon, I told Ella about Sister Mysteries, the wild and crazy novel that I have been writing and rewriting for almost two decades (I started writing it in January of 1995. I've worked on it in between writing other things.) Readers of this tome know that the book is actually two books in one: there's the inner story -- the tale of the nun, Sister Renata, who in 1883 was falsely accused of murdering her cousin Antonie (that part is contained on the blog called  "Castenata").

And then there's this outer story, the blog called Sister Mysteries, which is a kind of "meta" narrative, meaning it's the story that I'm writing about the inner story. It tells the tale of all the wacky things that have happened over the years as I've been writing the inner story.

Yeah, it's a little nutty, I agree, and sometimes I think it's more than a little nutty, but it's great fun nun-theless :) mostly because the two intertwined books sit on blogs, enabling readers to click on interlocking chapters.

As I said, this outer story has been touched by numerous mysteries, or I might even say miracles, along the way. They are very well documented in some of the book's fifty plus chapters (all available in the right-hand column on the blog, just click and read!)

Here today is just one more mystery. Another candle that is burning and burning way past the time it should have burned out.

In the Jewish tradition, a similar kind of miracle is commemorated by the winter holiday known as Hannukah, when the Maccabees -- Jewish soldiers -- regained control of their Temple, which had been defiled by the worship of foreign gods. The Maccabees were determined to purify the Temple by burning oil but alas, there was only one day's worth of oil left in the Temple.

Voila, MIRACLE of MIRACLES! That one day's supply of oil lasted for eight full days!!

When we Jews celebrate Hannukah we celebrate that miracle. We spin a dreidel that has four Hebrew letters painted on it -- "Nun," "Gimmel," "Hay" and "Shin." (Nun just happens to be a letter in the Jewish alphabet.)

Anyway, these four letters are a shorthand for the Hebrew phrase which translates as: "A GREAT MIRACLE HAPPENED HERE."

So maybe I will look at my little candle burning mystery today and decide, "a little miracle happened here." And in the spirit of purification, I will regard this candle burning as a form of purification for me and my book. A form of inspiration too.

Considering that it's been three months since I posted on Sister Mysteries, I needed a little miracle to jumpstart me. I needed this candle to light the way back to a book that is deeply personal and very special to me.

It's time to go forward with the novel. It's time to finish it since it's almost exactly two years ago that I started writing this latest version, the version that exists solamente on the two blogsites.

It's also time to thank Ella for her deeply insightful, intuitive therapy. She has great compassion and endless patience, and she displays a terrific generosity of spirit as well.

There are therapists and then there are therapists. I haven't had the privilege of having a fabulous therapist like this for as long as I can remember.

I can't wait to tell Ella what her work has sparked. I can't wait to tell her what I've written.

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