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Iconography: A Small Antidote

Dear Dad,

I started a new med last week. It’s a non-stimulant that takes at least a week to start working. I feel it’s making me feel very sleepy and foggy-headed. I also am starting to lose interest in many things like reading, blogging, doing much of anything. I know this isn’t the real me. I feel like I’m being covered in a shell and can’t get out. But at the same time, I feel like I don’t want to get out of it either. Again, this is definitely not me.

At what point do I give up trying? Am I doing this to fit in with the rest of the world? Does not taking it and letting my ADHD take over in any way akin to being a fool for Christ? Well, for lack of a better way of putting it. Not to sound like a martyr, but am I to suffer for my sins this way? Or is my lot in life to be present while others suffer me? Again today, someone abruptly interrupted me to ask someone else a question while I was speaking- answering her question to me as a matter of fact. And one that definitely a thought provoking question that was not to be answered with a “yes” or a “no”. Why do people do that? I’m working so very hard on not being hyperverbal. At least I’m handling it much better though.

I do not have many alternatives left available to me. Yet, I cannot continue to put my body through all of these side effects to feel and seem “normal” to everyone else. I guess I’ll need to keep reminding myself of taking things one minute at a time, if not one day at a time.

On a lighter note, I visited a (somewhat) local church I haven’t seen in awhile. There was a small event where a Ukrainian iconographer, named Sergei, was the guest speaker. Attending this helped me get out of my stupor for a little while. Poor guy wasn’t given much to go on with his talk, but he was interesting nonetheless. He spoke mostly about techniques. I was so excited that I could easily follow along, since I had my art class. I did learn one completely new thing though. The iconographer explained that Orthodox churches are plain on the outside yet very ornate on the inside, whereas Roman Catholic churches prior to the 1300s (I think?) are the opposite. So true! It never hit me all of this time! LOL!

He also explained how the Pantocrator is made in pieces or strips on canvas and how it’s applied to the done. It takes up to 5 people to hold one strip up to put it in place! He created his own makeshift press to help keep it in place an bubbles stay out. Fascinating!

I only asked one question but I think I might have unintentionally embarrassed him. I asked if there was a certain protocol for a prayer rule when painting icons, as I had heard in the past. Since he was born and raised in the former Soviet Union, he hadn’t had much of a chance to do much with the church. He told us one time they wanted to attend Pascha at a certain well-known church. However, once they arrived there, it was surrounded by KGB agents to prevent parishioners from entering. Can you believe it?!

He does pray before he starts, but he admitted he’s not religious in the sense of going to church a lot. After his talk, he walked with us into the church and casually talked to us about the various icons there. We discussed about the Theotokos as the Portatissa (Gatekeeper) and why she is shown with blood on her cheek. A soldier came into a woman’s house during the iconoclast period and pierced that part of the icon to start destroying it. The icon started to bleed! The soldier immediately regretted his actions, apologized, and somehow turned his life around. Please forgive me that I forgot how. Lol!

Sergei showed us pictures of a couple of his more recent works on his phone. One was very complicated due to the unusual placement of a window that’s not normally in that spot in a church. I can’t imagine the reworking he had to do to make it work in that spot, even after looking at it!

What’s also interesting today was that I noticed later in the day that a couple of people on FB just happened to have asked about icons! That sustained me for a little while longer. I helped someone identify the subject (Archangel) of an icon by Googling its features. I learned some more about how they’re depicted and would like to compare that to what I’ve read in my go-to book The Holy Angels, by Mother Alexandra. Well, I better get some sleep.

With that, my Dear Father, I bid you καληνύχτα. 🙏💕☦️🕊

Love you!

G 😊💗


Published by Gia

Greek Orthodox ADHD mom of 5 wonderful blessings (2 with 4 paws) with a background in Education trying to navigate Life according to God's will.

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