The Retro-White-Laced Floral collar: a brief treatise on Reverence

In the pew in front of me a white lap dog lay at its owner’s feet as the Reverend proceeded up the aisle, flanked by a choir of two Nigerian men. My period of absence from Church had been sufficient to make the experience of a service yesterday morning a little surreal. Of course, I recognised the hymns and some of the readings but uncanny for me was the order of ritual, which unfolded like scenes from a play. The regular congregation performed their responses perfectly and they sat and stood almost before their cue.

It got me thinking about sacred spaces and how I revere them, in spite of my private apprehension of gathering with a group of people in a space reserved for those with a similar belief. It’s more than a respect for the liturgy that those quiet churchgoers have: it’s a respect for the institution.

Religion is not the institution for me but I feel I would benefit from further schooling in reverence. In fact, even when you remove all traces of God you stumble into the most awe-inspiring of places.

Today I bought a delightful dress in the Irish Cancer Society Charity shop on the Rathmines Road. I knew I had encountered the Devil of Temptation as soon as I saw the retro white -laced collar. The colours weren’t quite ‘me’ and it was a bit too big. But not even the unflattering mirrors and harsh lighting could conceal the fact that the garment itself was enchanting and that the retro white- laced collar fell around the neck like petals on a flower.

I bought it for €8, at LSB’s encouragement. It was a minute after 5 pm when I left the store. One of the cashiers was locking up as the other closed the tills. They were both elderly, cordial, wispy-haired. And I thought: they do this every day. They do this for a cause outside of their own gain. LSB and I crossed over to browse the book sections in Barnardos and Oxfam. In the latter, a lady was polishing dust off a framed picture, which she then returned gingerly to the display shelf. And for that, I revered her.

3 thoughts on “The Retro-White-Laced Floral collar: a brief treatise on Reverence

  1. I would love to have someone or something to rever to. It’s an idol or someone to look up to. The idea of that sounds good and it’s certainly an exemplary example to look towards.


    • Do you not have anything or anybody you respect, Clariice? From your writing it seems like there are a lot of thingsd you revere: nature, relationships, new experiences.. Maybe we understand it slightly differently.. 🙂


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