Years before I became a Catholic, I knew of St. Jude, the saint of impossible and desperate causes, because of the want ads. As a child, I loved to read this newspaper section and imagine all sorts of lives (two bedroom furnished apartment), jobs (I always gravitated to the Girl Friday ones because of the name -- I liked the idea of anything involving being a girl and Friday -- it seemed very festive), and of course all sorts of possessions, the cast-offs of someone's previous life. But the best section was Miscellaneous, the strange hodge-podge of the downright hopeful (If it was you I met at the corner of Main Street three weeks ago with long red hair, please call . . .) to the setting the record straight types (I am not responsible for the debts of . . . ). Every week ads for novenas to St. Jude would appear. At the end of the short novena (a nine day prayer for some specific outcome), the words Publication Promised (perhaps the most longed for wish of any writer!) would appear. So, of course, this ad would run almost every week, a love letter to St. Jude to accompany the personals. St. Jude has never failed! Want ads, sadly, are mostly a thing of the past, as current as running a mimeograph machine. I don't even get a newspaper these days because who has time to read it, except a child in a small-town dreaming of different possible lives and wondering what mysterious force never failed and glad to know hope, always a limited commodity, was always right there in those small boxes that people had paid for to advertise it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
Kind of Blue
4 parts champagne
1 part blue curracua
garmished with a lemon
Benedictions and Maledictions
First published in Edgz Magazine
When The Moon Is Blue For Once
When I die, I will be bathed in blue light
and I will ask no one for anything. Take
away the pain and see what you have
left. I have never known a thing to be
anything besides itself, but sometimes
a color is a color and the other thing,
the thing you’re not saying, and well,
I won’t ask you, and the dreams
of the dead where they just won’t
stop dying, what to make of those?
devotion, love -- we do what we can,
we hope, as they say, for the best.