My mother is a yogi, a natural contortionist with an appetite that obeys Ayurveda doctrine. When I was in high school, I thought it was embarrassing. I brought friends home and instead of allowing us to turn on the television or huddle around our family computer, she’d turn off the lights, light a sole candle, place it in the middle of the floor, and ask us to sit with her and gaze at the flame. My friends loved Mary, she was unlike their own embarrassing mothers, so they were happy to candle gaze for the night. I was more resistant.

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