Yesterday while driving in a dreadful storm, I saw a car with a faded bumpersticker that said, Never drive faster than your angels can fly which cast me back to the 90s, when angels were all the rage, book upon book touting their life-affirming powers -- Find Your Angel Guide, Guardian Angels Are Here, Angels For Every Occasion. You get the idea. I never thought much about angels (I'm more of a saints and martyrs girl myself) and resisted the notion that people who had died were acting as angels for my wicked soul. I figure that they act like they did in this world, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad. The one angel story I recall from my youth besides Jacob and his long night wrestling with one consisted of a woman who was walking down a deserted road at night. If the storyteller was worth anything, the road would be misting with rain, as dark and foreboding as any John Carpenter movie. The woman walked by a mean-looking dude who did nothing to her as she prayed for her safety. The next day, predictably, someone tells her that there was a rape on the same road she was walking! When she asks why the man didn't attack her, he was said to have reported that she had two huge men walking with her. She'd gasp and say, But I was alone! until she remembered praying for her angels who had appeared as men. The poor second woman was shit out of luck, I suppose. But for the story to work, there has to be someone who reminds you how lucky you are and how many bad things can happen to you if you're not vigilant.
So you can see that this story is a bit galling, not unlike a Pat Buchanan speech, which as the great journalist Molly Ivins joked, It probably sounded better in the original German. Still, I do believe in angels. The Bible was rife with them, most of them complicated as anything, some fallen, some not. Like Jacob, we wrestle with them all the time. I often have dreams that mimic the angel story -- walking in between tall buildings at night, rushing to get somewhere. Sometimes I take the time to look around, see all the beauty that the urban landscape holds. My imaginary city speaks to me in the language of neon and stray wrappers, love and loss. That sort of thing.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I have been noticing/ how everything loved must/ reach the touch of grief to the lover." Denis Johnson
Jerry Falwell Remembers His First Time
1 glass of scotch
1 copy of Hustler
Drinking novel suggestion: Veronica Mary Gaitskill
Benedictions and Maledictions