April 27, 2008
As Christians we assemble to celebrate and share in the Eucharist. This heavenly meal is at the heart of our Christian experience. And being good Orthodox folk we always enjoy a common meal afterwards. As a society, as a people, as fellow travelers the breaking of bread together is perhaps the most essential of all our common rituals. The space between us as we sup together shrinks and our defenses fall. Strangers no longer seem so strange and families and friends strengthen/renew their bonds. Meal time is where we share not just food but stories, hopes, dreams, disappointments, burdens, memories and most importantly, love.
For the elderly couple this lunch was a simple meal much like the thousands of others they shared over the years. But this was much more than the sharing of a simple sandwich. The man’s response spoke volumes about their relationship (I am sure they were husband and wife). He knew exactly what she needed and expected from him. She in turn trusted him to know what she needed. Here was love in action, here no explanation was necessary and no questions need be asked. No words but very clear communication.
When they finished eating he tidied up then helped her to stand. She slowly began walking away (with the help of a walker). He spoke softly to her urging her to be careful. All the while he kept his hand lightly on her back in case she slipped. They disappeared around the corner most likely on their way to more tests, to more uncertainty. No matter, he would be there with/for her and they would face it together.
April 20, 2008
All this means that deeply understood, fasting is the only means by which man recovers his true spiritual nature. It is not a theoretical but truly a practical challenge to the great Liar who managed to convince us that we depend on bread alone and built all human knowledge, science and existence on that lie.
Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Great Lent: Journey To Pascha
April 19, 2008
These photos were taken earlier today after the Divine Liturgy. They don't really have much to do with Lazarus Saturday but I like how they turned out.
April 11, 2008
It is an old bridge that was repainted and refurbished just a few years ago. The steel bridge is a landmark in the community, a literal bridge to the history and heritage of the county. Only once have I seen it open to river traffic. It is hand cranked and pivots in the middle until the entire span is parallel with the river.
I really like this photo. The surface is fractured yet the structure of the bridge is still reflected. Perhaps this is an apt metaphor of us all as we our journey through life to salvation. We may be cracked, scarred and imperfect yet we are still becoming the image of our Maker.
April 8, 2008
This is a video of Billy Joe Shaver's song "Get Thee Behind Me Satan" (he's joined by John Anderson). He is in my opinion one of the top two or three country and western artists ever. Billy Joe is a good singer and performer but his real talent is songwriting. His life is an amazing story which often finds its way into his songs. After losing his son and wife in the space of a year he found consolation in the welcoming arms of Christ. I know this is not Orthodox but put the theology aside and enjoy a song by a man who feels very strongly about his convictions.
April 7, 2008
April 5, 2008
Tried for the warrior-poet, I am neither. Notebooks, journals full of words pressed together in the dark. Words words words. A mouth full of clichés. A lifeboat caught in a maelström, a compass with no north. Memory closets cluttered, the bone dry rattle dancing in the dust. Hallways that lead nowhere, barred doors, opaque windows. Too much seeker, never enough doer.
I think often on death. Not death as an abstract concept, death as absolute/concrete reality. My own death. To what greater purpose have I put my life while waiting for the deus ex machina to show? We cannot all do great things, but the little things count.
I feel it
Perched high up on vision’s periphery
The blue black bird,
Stranger to me.
Down drops death
The drop fast, the trauma blunt.
A controlled fall
The hammer blow
The shock to the system.