In this shot, I'm doing the rosary before going out to dinner with my dad and sister a couple of years ago. The rosary is something I came to late in life, having always loved the thing itself, but never being aware of the meditation. It's complicated to learn, but once you have it, it's lovely in its simplicity. There's the unchanging meditative part of it and the mysteries which shift depending on day of the week -- the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious. During Lent, all your rosaries fall into the sorrowful mysteries. I've had many sets of rosary beads over the years, most of them gifts. My favorite set is small plastic baby blue one with a picture of St. Ann as a devotion. I gave this to my friend Hank many years ago where he kept it in a cigar box with all his prized possessions until he died. His mother returned it to me at my daddy's funeral. Hank and my dad were great friends, and the clearest image I have from Hank's funeral is my father setting his hand on Hank's casket before it was lowered into the ground and saying, goodbye old buddy. Both my dad and Hank were extremely funny and could keep a joke going forever. At the dinner table they'd often pretend to be old-time British explorers going off to see exciting new worlds like Tanzania or Africa. I like to imagine that's where they are now, having a great time in what they used to refer to as "parts unknown."
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I have lost you my brother/ and the springtime of my happiness./ There are no thoughts of love/ or poems in my head since you've died." Catullus
The Agony in the Garden
1 part Mandarin vodka
1 part lemonade
This is to be served chilled, as a shot.
Benedictions and Maledictions
I have said I am sorry to you and to God,
for not loving enough or too much, and by
my third martini, I am asking Jesus to crucify
himself again for my sins as if He didn’t get
enough of that the first time, and I remember
a crucifix I once saw over a bed, the body
of Jesus was the cross, and how I focused
on His suffering instead of my own while
in the act of love or regret, what passes for
a connection, and then I excuse myself
and next to the restroom, there is a shelf full
of unopened gin bottles with the afternoon
light streaming through them, so beautiful,
and I stagger inside the ladies and throw up
all over the floor because I can’t find the toilet.
Deep obliteration has loveliness no one can take
away from you, I think, as I wash the vomit out
of my hair, telling myself that I can fix myself
up so that it looks like nothing has happened.