Why holy and why sparkle? Most people will feel a bit of resistance to at least one of these words, or maybe discomfort with their pairing. A circle of friends helped me to arrive at the title of this blog and I admit that it is not quite what I was envisioning. I was seeking a very serious and mystical title. Of course, this is why true friends are so handy: certainly my writing can be serious, and perhaps on rare occasions it is even mystical, but I happen to believe that my best writing is both pleasing and irreverent. Like sequins.
I know that the word sparkle is frivolous, even superficial. It belongs to drug-store lip gloss. But when I stop pretending to be too adult to get it, I remember that sparkle is what the eyes do when the soul is happy. Its what the shimmering phosphorescence does at night in the warm waters of the Gulf here in my hometown of Sarasota. And yes, lip gloss and drag queens and the Papal Mitre and heirloom jewelry and fake teeth and a great many other things sparkle, too. But hopefully by claiming the word sparkle I can claim that part of myself that likes a little flair in all things. I won’t do myself any favors by professing to be too spiritual or too evolved for glitter. I come from a long line of vivacious women who love adornment: sparkling is a habit, y’all. As G.K. Chesterson said: Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him of being a camel.
But holy. Holy is lofty, sacrosanct, venerated, exalted, divine. It pertains to God, to melting wax, maybe doleful Latin, or saffron robes, smoldering incense. We know the word holy to be reserved for sacred objects and temples; it is a word that belongs to religious orders of quiet men. Holy is often assumed to be solemn; quite possibly the antithesis of sparkle! For many, holy is still worthy of whisper and awe. And for many others, the word holy is only useful as an exclamation of profanity.
While I am still not above saying “holy shit!” every now and again, for the purpose of this blog the word holy means something that is still magic: not the magic of card tricks but the holy magic of wonder. (Whoa.)
At the time of this writing, I belong to no particular religion but I think a lot about God. This blog will chart my spiritual wanderings and my questions. These wanderings might occasionally take the shape of poem. And I’m sure there will be many a brainless post about how having small children means having playground mulch in my bra all the time. I’ve set no parameters for myself here, aside from doing my very best to be authentic. This means that there will be plenty of raw moments where I struggle to find anything remotely holy or sparkly about my days. But I have to believe that God knows how to hang with that.
So sparkle forth, dear reader.