Saturday, April 29, 2006

All That Glitters

I've always been attracted to shiny, glittery objects (a trait I share with cats and men). My first love affair was with a tiny tree at the mall that had leaves made out of what I imagined were gold. It moved in a mystical way with every tremor, and I longed for it. I also desperately desired a hot pink sequined tube top for the same reason. These things would make me beautiful and would make my life beautiful. Years have passed, and I still see the gold trees from time to time and smile at how such a small thing could produce such want. The tube tops, well, those have gone out of style long ago, like Spandex (shudder!) or earnestness.

Those tube tops are part of the reason I became a Catholic, the way they stayed just out of my reach and for that reason became increasingly lovely. Most of my early religious experience was about stripping away all the mysticism from God, about experiencing the purest relationship with the Almighty, without the intercession of clergy or saints, without the haunting beauty of stained glass. I've always been drawn to complication and if God sees us in the same way that we see God, then Catholicism is the religion that most closely mirrors my life. Not the conservative Catholic beliefs, of course, but the way that everything from the way that the Body of Christ has a special outfit (a monstrance) and the insistence on a crucifix over a cross. Given my choice between a plain cross or one with Jesus on it, arms outstretched for all to see in that horrible final hour, His beautiful Mother at the foot of it (all the men had taken off, no surprise there), I'll take the latter, because what is love without a little blood and some thorns?

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Your mirror, it's cracked."
"I know. It makes me look the way I feel." Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment.

Friday I'm in Love

1 3/4 oz blended whiskey
1/2 oz lime juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
lime juice

Served chilled

Benedictions and Maledictions

First published in poetrybay:

The Whole Story

Sometimes I vomit in my dreams,
those silent hours during which anything
is possible. No matter. The day bleeds
into the night where we set our own limits,
rarely moving beyond the shabby confines
of the rooms we rent. Too often the answer
to the question, what’s new? really is
nothing. I want to know the whole story,
my mother would say when she suspected
I’d given her less, but there is none, only this.


john said...

Dear Michelle,

Delightful post! You're right about attraction to the glittery, the beauty of Catholicism. A perfect match!

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld (

cindy said...


you are so funny, made me laugh for an hour. I'm still laughing at the men taking off "as usual." Of course, cats and you are preferred when it comes to liking the glitter.


kristen said...


I've got tons of shiny glittery objects to share when you come visit. miss you always,