Lately I’ve been thinking about Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire, that mediation on angelic compassion. It has Rilke at its heart, insisting on sensual witness, on human delights that one imagines angels can only envy. Rilke wrote “Every angels is terrifying”.
This conviction is missing from the fluffy New Age vision of guardian angels– something I reject. It’s not that I don’t believe, it’s that I’m convinced seeing one would destroy you. With that said, what about hearing angels? What about that little voice that seems to come from within and without? That is real– it has a name in Hebrew: Bat Kol, or small voice– the voice of the divine.
This is my concession to the sentimentalized angel— a little Victorian wing suspended from a vintage rosary fragment– Mary’s profile worn to a glossy ghost by years of prayer, combined with the carnival glitter of Swarovski crystals and vintage mardi gras beads. I would hope Wim Wenders’ angel Damiel would approve.