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Reflections and offerings from Orthodox writers, iconographers, and artists.
On our way to the coffee shop, Zoe kept slipping into random stores and announcing to the strangers she met that she had a “boo-boo.”
I had a conversation with a fellow writer the other day about our work. She’d said that she could only write if she was “in the mood”.
My granddaughter has recently taken to making a crying fuss about being put to bed at night.
The poetic story of Job from the Old Testament of the Bible is great. Recently, Job’s story was knit together in my mind with thoughts about my granddaughter.
God loves us, and we can find this to be so in the beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes we are watching and listening for it. Sometimes we are not.
“How can you not like a color?”
Until my recent retirement from iconography, I painted Byzantine-style icons using the traditional materials from antiquity—egg tempera and gold leaf. For Orthodox Christians, icons aren’t “just art”—they are liturgical art, and they belong to the spiritual realm. Sure, there are people who collect icons for their artistic value alone, and I hope that once they hang them in their homes they discover another dimension made available through the icons.
The Sounding is delighted to present Jessie Beddoe, the youngest Orthodox writer to be featured in our Orthodox Writers, Readers, and Artists series, and (as far as we know), the youngest writer ever to contribute to The Sounding. Jessie is 13 years old. She wrote the following short story as a fictional account, but it is based on a real person and a real event.
And grant rest, O Master, to our souls and bodies as we sleep; preserve us from the gloomy slumber of sin and from the dark passions of the night. Calm the impulses of carnal desires, quench the fiery darts of the evil one which are craftily directed against us. Still the rebellions of the flesh, and put far from us all anxiety and worldly cares. Grant us, O God, a watchful mind, pure thoughts, a sober heart and a quiet rest free from every vision of the devil. Raise us up again at the hour of prayer, strengthened in Your precepts and holding within us steadfastly the thought of Your commandments. Grant that we may sing praises to You through the night and that we may hymn, bless and glorify Your all-honorable and majestic Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
The blog format here requires "teaser text." I'm not sure what to put into "teaser text" for a little poem -- 6 feet wide by 9 lines long, 75 words -- On the Dormition of the Theotokos.
Perhaps I'll tell something basic about the feast day, in case someone is not familiar with it. (If you are familiar with it, there's nothing left here in the teaser to see.)
The Dormition of the Theotokos, August 15, commemorates the "falling-asleep" of the Theotokos. The Apostles gathered "from the ends of the earth" for her funeral, and Christ took her soul to heaven. Oh, and there's a tradition of bringing flowers to the feastday Liturgy to be blessed (in former times for the making of incense), and the prayer of blessing mentions the blessing remaining with the flowers.
Now I've put more words into the teaser than into the poem. But I took a lot of words out of the poem, so maybe that's OK.