Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Hiatus Halo

I've never been a big fan of the halo. No, I seriously haven't.

I don't like to see religious artwork where the halos are so pronounced. I don't like halo jokes, like "His halo is rusty" or "Her halo seems to have slipped," etc. I don't like to see wired halos on angel costumes, coming up behind the neck with a vertical piece. There's nothing charming about it. Just go without.

Maybe I'm too literal minded when it comes to religious artwork. I expect that what I'm seeing as the observer here is an angle of what the subjects of the artwork would see in the same setting. And if a guy, one of the apostles, let's say, is standing there with a halo about a foot deep (connected to his head, not just hovering), everyone else would be staring at it. Like, What is that, a big toe nail? It's like a big Easter bonnet of light! C'mon!

Now, they do have smaller more delicate halos. I've seen those. They're a perfect circle up there, like they're made of a piece of fiber optic, then infused with the most delicate fluorescent light bulb imaginable. If the light is not burning as brightly as a typical fluorescent light bulb, like half strength or less, it's much more of a subtle thing and nothing to be overly ashamed of.

If I were saddled with a halo, I'm thinking it'd be like your shadow; you wouldn't be able to outrun it. But since it's obviously detachable, whereas a shadow connects directly to your feet, it seems like you'd be able to run under an underpass with low clearance and knock it off. We really don't have enough animated religious artwork with a guy running under underpasses to know what would happen. It might be that it would dodge and weave and slip down behind just long enough to miss being clunked.

The halo is supposed to represent the intrinsic glory of the subject. It's a cue to the viewer that this person has arrived. There's such worth and quality within the person that it radiates out. Everyone can see that you're beaming, like Madame Curie after a long day at the lab. You've got a very healthy, heavenly glow, like farm animals at Chernobyl. The sun is up in the sky, representing the highest heavenly light. And you're down here on earth, a gleam off the old block.

To that extent, then, I guess I have a halo! I'm beaming as I contemplate the glories of my life, made more lustrous by my blessed hiatus. To have this time off has given me a brand new enlightenment that radiates from me like special effects. The light bulb in the fridge is burnt out, but it doesn't even bother me when I check leftovers.

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