Wednesday, March 7, 2012

EASTERn Orthodoxy, & Sure, I Like Daffodils. . .

... popping up in all the secret spots I poked them into throughout the summer; beauties all, Christopher Robbin's daffadowndillies.

Accidentally DELETED all.  

Instead, iPhoto churned up a different spring 2012 yellow, and one purple:

Standalone Volunteer

Proud to make center stage,
Datura (?) seeds also sprang up 'sorta everywhere,
here, yearning to be outside in the company of dapper daffodils

What ISN'T EVERYWHERE is an entire roomful of young, hip, gypsyish college aged and post-college age families worshipping old style. I finally visited and saw:  Orthodox Celebrants in ancient garb, leading their young charges in an Ash Wednesday Ceremony of Forgiveness.

The guest of my eldest, I stood all the way in back, taking it all in as a first time observer. This child used to ask if she could be Jewish when she grew up, and spearheaded our first Passover Seder (mainly by escorting me into Ben Yehuda's to buy a very cool egg and shank platter).  I tried to reserve judgement, but, let's face it. I am sure I'm missing the need-to-be-liturgical gene.

As the pungent incense transported me back to Catholic Days, I gazed around at all the rows and rows of Eastern Orthodox icons covering the walls, and all the 60's holdover congregants sporting armfuls of tattoos, nose rings, sprouty hair, and wearing scads of babies on their backs.  This is what I thought of:

You know what I mean?
Those huge cuffs that the teens and twenty-somethings seem to think are the essence of cool, but which, when seen on a forty-something, seem slightly ridiculous?

Such were the thoughts spinning around my head at the sight of Ancient Everything: incense, garb, art, language, bowing low, signs of the cross. . . it seemed so over-the-top-counter-cultural that I couldn't possibly join in, despite my daughter's insistence. I was too proud. And too reduced by such solemn, outsized Pride.

But as the ceremony flowed, the celebrants and celebrating all exchanging vows of humility and pleas for each and every other human in the room, one at a time (!), to "forgive me, a sinner," I was impressed by this daughter's ernest Love.

Her love for the beauty of simple things, of artful worship, artful speech, artful scholarship, artful crafts and vocations, artful spending, artful soul searching, artful fasting, artful goals. . . they humble me.

Our previous hour had been spent at a birthday dinner where she sewed and sipped her hot Thai shrimp and fish sauce on rice, in the half light of Panvimarn Restuarant.

Spy The Scissors

And I knew as I watched her multi-focused stitching and chatting, that TheSaviour was prompting me to accompany her to her new church.  She hurried off before the meal was through. I hurried off after her.

[Dear M,
Now that you're moved out and moving on to your next Life ChAPter, I am grateful anew for your example of faith and patience, my Dear One. 

May the head coverings catch on. And when your church very smartly markets Orthodox bathing suits, sign me up. I'm buying!]

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