Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inform, Form, Transform

It's been a difficult week. More visits from my old friend, Acedia. And just old-fashioned fatigue. Or as my Mom used to say, "the blues."

Haven't been able to put my finger on the main culprit... probably just too much introspection. Waiting on some news all week and finally got the disappointing verdict today. (A writer's residency I applied for.)

At any rate, I've spent some time just slowing down. Napping (yes). Reading. Praying.

And then I found this amazing documentary, "Icon." It lasts an hour, so set aside a little time if you want to watch it. Or just pause it and watch it in segments. Either way, it's amazing on several levels:

If you're an Orthodox Christian, it's one of the most beautiful and informative videos I've ever seen on Orthodoxy and iconography. I love Anthony Vrame, author of The Educating Icon, who talks about iconography throughout the video. At one point he talks about how icons "inform, form, and transform" those who venerate them.

If you're Romanian, you'll be right at home, as much of it is filmed in Romania. The monastery I've visited many times in Michigan, Holy Dormition Monastery, is Romanian, and the iconographer there, Mother Olympia, is from Romania. (That's her, helping me with my icon of St. Mary of Egypt and Saint Basil the Great, a few years ago.)

If you're neither, but have an inkling of interest in iconography and eastern spirituality, you're in for a treat.


Jasmina said...

Thank you!

writememphis said...

I had to do a little research on the word Acedia . . . I was familiar with the word, but not its exact meaning: "describes a state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one's position or condition in the world. It can lead to a state of being unable to perform one's duties in life. Its spiritual overtones make it related to but distinct from depression. Acedia was originally noted as a problem among monks and other ascetics who maintained a solitary life." (Wikipedia).

Such an interesting state of being. I suppose we all have a visit from that state of being from time to time. You've given me some sermon material - this Sunday the Gospel is about the Kyphotic woman, and her healing. She had become a spiritual "pretzel". I'm thinking that's what aceticism can do to one - bend us in ways we don't think we can go, but we do. Thank you! Now to write my sermon. . .