‘Words from a Glass Bubble’ by Vanessa Gebbie

From the first line it is established, with warm, bustling confidence, that the words of the title are spoken by an effigy of the Virgin Mary, or VM as she becomes known. The protagonist Eva carries a heavy emotional burden and finds solace in this item of ‘low’ religious art. I was raised by women who found support in similar mass-produced plastic Madonnas and slippy-eyed saints, which function not so much as a source of power in themselves, but as a means to connect with something bigger. In Eva’s case, this ‘something bigger’ is her own capacity to transgress and transcend. 

Collected in Words from a Glass Bubble, Salt, 2008