Guardian angel, anyone? What I sometimes think about when I’m having crappy days.
So you know how we all have crap days? After having tons and tons of those at regular intervals, and letting them get me down each and every time, I got around to thinking about the values I was taught as a child.
When I was little, I was brought up with a clear spiritual idea of good and evil. Whether my parents signed up for it or not, being in a school run by nuns meant that heaven and hell were introduced pretty early. You did good things, you went to heaven, and you did bad things, you went to hell, they said, and we believed. Well seriously, who wouldn’t? That’s pretty impressive stuff, God, and the Devil. Ain’t anything we were messing with. No, sir!
As we grew older, we started to ask questions. ‘It isn’t quite that simple is it?’, we asked suspiciously. And the gray area was introduced. Bad things sometimes happen to good people they said, but it’s just a test. If you’re on the side of good, the other side will try to get you, they said, and the harder the troubles you overcome, the bigger the rewards. That seemed reasonable. (Over the years, I’ve become quite used to the idea of paying my dues. In a completely non-spiritual context.)
And then came the awesome concept of the guardian angel. One of the original minions. Of the ‘power that is’. Right there watching out for you. Making sure that what is dished out is what you can take. That gave me goosebumps. In a good way. I guess that in my head then, I’d made that angel out to be this good, protective, benign force that watched out for me. With a shining cherubic face, halo and everything….
And then I went to Rome. To Castel St’Angelo. Bloody hell (not literally)! What a place. For those who don’t know, it is originally a tomb of one of the emperors and now a museum of sorts. What it has though is the most brilliant sculpture of an angel with a sword out of its sheath. It looks like he’s about to go into battle. AND WIN. Mindblowing.
Call it spirituality, call it art; it is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen! Legend has it that he is sheathing his sword, but not in my head :)!
There’s also a bridge with various sculptures of angels; again all intimidating. That place took away all bland and boring images of rosy-cheeked, smiley angels, which I hadn’t realized lived in my head for about a quarter of a century.
Do I believe all this anymore? I don’t know. I’m confused. All I know is I get tired of the shyte days and need something to remind me of the good and the beautiful.
What I’m saying I guess is: if I am to have a guardian angel out there fighting for me, I’ll take this one, please!
This piece was originally written a few years ago on a blog called Diving in Eyeliner that I wrote while living in Dubai. Some days bring back sentiments that I know I’ve had before and have learned to manage a little better with age. Today, something made me read this post, and I wanted to share it. So here you are!