My earliest memories are more like flash cards of moments; I'm not one of those (lucky, in my estimation) who can remember complete anecdotes from their early years. Ray Bradbury claimed to remember being born. Even now, I'm thankful to remember what I had for lunch yesterday, so relatively complete memories, even though they often have no context, are precious to me.
Thus, the seminal memory I have of this incense burner is probably the fictitious product of faulty memory: Of my beloved sister performing some kind of spiritual blessing on my four-or-so-year old pumpkin head. Looking back with skeptical honesty, she was probably reciting something for Spanish class, learning by rote, and I just happened to be in the room while she did her homework and burned her China Rain incense cones, hopefully not annoying her too much while I crayoned in the margins of my Heckle & Jeckle comic books. But, in the end, does it matter? Each time I now set a cone inside this little sconce (and my wife and I burn a lot of incense) I think back to that tiny but warm moment, so long ago.
Thank you, Dena. I love you.
You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
-- C.S. Lewis