we hike past these cattails. and, because i have a vivid imagination, gazing into their thick darkness, i wonder what would happen if i suddenly had to run and forge my way through these dense reeds in order to be safe. david claims that my imagination is usually on overdrive; i retort, “doesn’t everyone think about this stuff?” he replies, “no, they don’t.” i shrug. for me, these cattails make me think; they make me ponder. they inspire me to make a plan. i am convinced: it would be better to run and find a less dense area of vegetation and then i might be able to find my way through to the other side, to safety. i keep watch for these less dense spots as we hike. just in case.
the magic of the 1970s un-candles was based on density. density parses out liquids which are different. because oil is less dense than water, oil floats on top of water. and so, you would fill the glass container with water and add a bit of oil on top. a simple candle wick in a plastic wick shield would be placed atop this and it would float. voila! the un-candle. a flickering light atop the water.
in the case of other uses of the word “dense”, i would revert back to maybe seventh grade. “you’re dense!” one student would verbally accost another. dense, back then, informally meant ignorant, vacuous, vapid, thickheaded, half-witted, moronic, gullible, daft. most of these synonyms didn’t rapidly come to the forefront of the seventh-grade mind, so “dense” worked. and it seemed kinder than “stupid”. slightly.
as we approach every level of profound challenge in our world today, i am hoping for an un-candle approach. i am hoping that the less-dense rise to the surface, that the less-dense light the way, that the less-dense path opens for us.