My window is an altar.

A remnant of colonial America and originated by the Irish Catholics, the practice of leaving a lit candle in a windowsill signifies safe passage, providing shelter and food for those who pass by.

It symbolizes openness — it’s an offering, willing someone to come.

Or return.

The candle is my prayer, and the window is my altar.

My doors are locked shut, but the candle is lit.

Perhaps it’s cruel — selfish of me to express desire without acting on it; extending this gesture for them to stand outside for me to watch, knowing they will never again be granted entry.

Is this desire, or a desire for revenge?

Why would I open my doors if I know what could come for me? What I want is no longer what I will get, but that doesn’t stop me from longing for it anyway.

Were the faithful not scared of what would walk through their doors?

Faith can only go so far — what happens if it was broken long before?

Were they allowed to kick people out or was there a rule like the one with vampires, where if you let them in, you would have to face the consequences of your actions.

I know I have.

They probably opened their doors regardless of whether or not they actually wanted to.

I wonder how many Catholics performed their faith. Nobody wants to be burned at the stake.


How long should my candle burn? Do I let it go continuously, until it fizzles out and dies? Or do I blow it out and relight it every night, refueling it and egging it on — coming back to it again and again and again.

Is it safe to let the candle burn on? What will happen if I leave it to its own devices? Will it take control, burning everything down and consuming all that I have with it?

Why should I keep going back to the candle when I know that the door is never going to budge?

If it all burns, there may be no house, but at least the door will have burned too.