Susie Q, the Dancing Angel

Giovanni di Paolo (Italian painter, 1403–1482) Angels Dancing in the Sun

Medieval theologians---so goes the cliche---spent a lot of time arguing about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. (As with much medieval theology, you had to be there to get why this mattered.) I know an angel who has been dancing on the points of pins, of nails, of knives all her life. And now, thanks to another angel---a podiatrist!---her amazing dance will continue with less pain. We were in high school when Susie Q was born. I remember how her twin sisters, my friends and … [Read more...]

Adios, Wretched Hive of Bile and Gluttony

Personification of Bile, with its heartbreaking bitterness, fire, lion's rage, and organ-gnawing eagle

I've been tag-teamed this month by a deadly sin and a medieval disease. I think this stuff is going around, like measles among the uninoculated. So let's consider this a health advisory. In my case, the deadly sin was gluttony. And I'm ashamed to admit it took me by surprise. You'd think a fat woman would see that one coming . . . and going. But since moving to L.A. to address my depression and hoarding, I've been pretty good---better than I can remember for a long, long time---at making … [Read more...]

“Dante-esque”: Train Crash Near Compostela on the Eve of the Fiesta


Santiago de Compostela, patron of pilgrims and of Spain, pray for us. Please pray for those killed and injured in today's train crash outside of Compostela, and for their families. The head of the surrounding Galicia region, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, said at least 45 people were killed and round 70 injured, more than 20 of them seriously. "The scene is shocking, it's Dante-esque," he said in a radio interview. The train was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol on the Galician coast when it … [Read more...]