Friday, April 27, 2007


Thanks Stacy I'm nerdier than you are!!!

I am nerdier than 55% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thoughts on Syncretism

A post by Stacy over on Orthodork Cafe got me thinking about this question. I replied to the question about when something becomes syncretism by suggesting that our culture is too self-absorbed to develop real syncretism. I now take that back. Not the self-absorption bit, the syncretism bit.
"If syncretism is the development of new religions based on combinations of existing ones I wonder if we have the cultural depth required for it. It strikes me that the postmodern capacity for (and level of) self-indulgent consumerism is more likely to produce individualistic dabbling in many religious practices rather than a serious commitment to something more than oneself (albeit an amalgam of several other religions).
Perhaps this is because the desperation we feel is not a desperation rooted in physical survival issues. Ours is the desperation of ennui in the face of overabundance of physical goods combined with a spiritual and social vacuum unparalleled in human history."

In the above-quoted text I think I actually describe an "in" for syncretic thought.
It is the abundance and desperation together that make the unique combination for a new syncretism. It must be a religion based on materialism or material self-expression. While every religion has its own set of symbols and rituals, ours is a generation that sees the continual generation of new symbols and rituals as its religious vocation and practice. It is a new kind of disorder and it is the result of having all of human history and culture to draw on with no real belief in anything. So history is seen as a repository of material on which we can draw to "make our own meaning" by changing, mixing and matching symbols, rituals and ideas from various religions, eras and places. I have more thoughts on this theme but they are as yet 'ungelled' and so I welcome conversation to help with the process.

what is left?

We deconstruct everything
like milkdrop photography run amok

Freeze any frame, capture any moment
pare down life, find the empty core
We have emptied ourselves
This very paring and pixelation
has brought us down to nothing

who knew that our inward gaze
which started out so fondly
would become the basilisk's glare?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Southland of the heart

Yesterday. I felt
Today I ache
like a bad tooth has been pulled
Empty space where there was something
something poisonous, but something I knew
knew in candid, clinical terms
keeping out the grief and loss
while leaving the wound open

How do I live now without my anaesthetic pain?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The burning of this moment

I am living this second and all I can do is reflect on its passing

History already
What is in our gaze that deadens all we see?
converting it into past and never seeing it NOW and HERE

I suppose it is only faith that gives us the present
by seeing with the eye we only see what was
by logic and calculation we see what might be or what might have been

By seeing with the heart we see what is
or at least we trust that there is an is
This act of trust is all that remains to us

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

For Holy Week

As Adam sought to hide his wretchedness with leaves;
So I have sought to cover my own sins by blaming others.
As in your compassion you gave to our first parents garments of skin;
So grant me, gracious Lord, the garment of repentance.
As the brothers of Joseph ruined the garment meant to rule over them, soiling it with the blood of their sins;
So I have ruined the gift of my baptism, seeking to hide my sins from my Father by presenting Him with a lie.
O most gracious Lord, who used the wickedness of Joseph's brothers for their own salvation;
Leave me not to myself, but transform the wicked passions of my flesh, that I might serve you with my whole heart.
The Roman soldiers gambled for Your garment that only one might possess it.
Grant me to receive the seamless covering of Your love which none may possess alone.
As the veil of the temple was rent at Your fulfilling of the law,
So let my fleshly thoughts be burst like an old wineskin filled with the new wine of Your love.
As You left in the grave the winding sheet, grant me to leave my love for death behind me;
That this garment of mortality might bring me to yearn for true immortality which is found only in You.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

In time for Pascha!

Our parish just got the altar and solea floor redone and the new icon screen went up this past week. Very beautiful!

We also have two beautiful new fresco/mural icons of the Crucifixion and Resurrection to the left and right of the icon screen