The Colorful Bottle and the Genie

Some called it a lantern,
When a candle was placed in it
To set off its colors like errant rainbows

Cut glass sapphire blues, ruby reds and emerald greens
Once reflected
A room’s lit chandeliers and flickering candles

Others called it a vase
When it held rare flowers
On the mantle

But really it was just a colorful bottle
Whose undoing had been one great fall
Damaged just enough

Discarded in the woods
No longer receiving long gazes
Drawing ‘oohs,’ and ‘ahhs’

Glass pieces chipped, scratched, and missing-
Its once shimmering gold outlines and filigrees
Dull and corroded in the outdoor elements

Former eyes
Greedy for beauty
Turned away in a huff

For a long time it lay on the ground
Not fighting its change of fortunes
Not moving at all

One day, in the warmth of the sun
A powerful genie, like a gentle cloudy vapor,
Filled the broken bottle

The genie carried with it a lovely light
That shone through the chipped colored glass pieces
Now even its gold seemed less dull

“A lie!” swore the bottle

The bottle rolled back and forth in the winds
To unsettle and dislodge the genie
The genie stayed

“Obnoxious!” thought the bottle

It thought it heard the genie laugh softly
But having no ears to hear,
It wondered how it had heard

It rolled itself under the brush
A worthless bottle

Fall rains came,
Dead leaves collected in the brush
The bottle was buried alive

The bottle dared not move
Lest it encourage the genie
The genie stayed

Cold winter days came,
Dark winds
Heavy snows froze the bottle

Spring thaws came
The bottle thought the waters that filled it
Would drown the genie

But the genie stayed firm.
The bottle began to admire
The steadfast genie

One day it was the bottle that laughed softly
With admiration for the genie
It heard itself, and knew that it had ears to hear

It saw that the genie
Made the bottle
Beautiful with its light

The bottle, plain though it was, took its place out in the open,
Marveling at the genie’s light
That shone through its brokenness.

Michele Marie

6 thoughts on “The Colorful Bottle and the Genie

  1. This is what I thought of when I read this, and reread it: imperfect human beings imaging God and what is below. Don’t sell the movie rights to this too cheaply. Guy McClung

    “Each Person as Soul Body
    Each person is a souled-body, an embodied soul. In the venerable terms of the Baltimore Catechism: “Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.”4

    A variety of definitions and discussion stress that a person is not a soul that possesses or that uses a body. A person is not a body which has a soul in it. To John Paul, a person is “a complimentary combination of ‘body-life’.”5 The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes a human being as “a being at once body and soul.”6 The Catholic Encyclopedia presents a clear concise summary:

    Together with the body, the soul constitutes the substantial unity of the human being . . . Human identity is … constituted by the unity of soul and body. The relation of the soul to the body is not an instrumental one, but a real, substantial one.”


    • Guy, the bottle is a broken person, a sinner, perhaps, and the genie is the Spirit of God with His grace…… Often we have to hit rock bottom before we are open to the promptings of the Spirit of God, to being open to the deeper more real reality that exists once we are separated from either our materialism and/or worldliness and finally are open to higher things.. However, I love your definitions too!


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