“The word is always a word for others. Words need to be heard. When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to. A speaker needs a listener. A writer needs a reader. When the flesh – the lived human experience – becomes word, community can develop. When we say “Let me tell you what we saw. Come and listen to what we did. Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us. Wait until you hear whom we met,” we call people together and make our lives into lives for others. The word brings us together and calls us into community. When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people.” ~ from the Daily Meditation of Henri Nouwen
As we think about the words of the wise Henri; we as Christians have a responsibility to create a community of peace, love and sharing our words through our experiences; in our case – through the practice of iconography. Gathering together in this community brings this sense of peace which we can then carry to others. We are all connected as threads in this beautiful fabric called Life. When we receive the words of Christ, paint the icons to the windows to Heaven, we begin to see things with a different perspective. We share these perspectives with others and pray others are called to this community.
It is not always easy but we are given an other day to reflect on what we’ve learned, put it into practice and carry forward with joy in our hearts and through this joy, enhance our own experience. We are always looking for pathways to community; through paint, through books, through the spoken word, through meals shared and through invitations to join together to explore “community” – one of the topics of discussion at our gathering was to truly understand what we are creating when writing the icon.
One of the books we have will help to understand the image you are writing can be found in the book titled “Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church” from Alfred Tradigo and translated by Stephen Sartarelli and can be purchased through Getty publications 1-800-223-3431 or www.gettypublications.org One to two pages describing icons in a simple format will encourage the reader to dig more deeply for information. This book is an invaluable guide to read through your own journey, giving you insight to what symbols mean, colors used and why this is important not to change the icon into what you think it should look like. Oddly enough, I had two copies of this book on my bookshelf, one my Mother had given to me many years ago and one I bought for my self and never opened! “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” I cannot remember who said this, but in my life, I find this to be true–when our minds, hearts, eyes and ears are opened (and our mouths shut?!) we are ready to absorb knowledge others have to offer! Sharing+ Giving+ Receiving + Commitment = Community in action!
Our prayers and practice dates have changed until further notice; we will meet the last Sunday of each month beginning with Sunday, September 24. 12 Noon until ? Many times we work on our icons until nearly midnight with a break for dinner which is served at 6:30 (salmon or other fish) with participants bringing a side dish or salad of their choice. We will meet at 1906 Hatboro Court in Severn, MD. Please RSVP Mick on 410-303-2392.