Archive for the ‘spirit’ Category

The Mystical Experience

January 30, 2009

Greek Orthodox Christening Collage

Booh’s cousin on her daddy’s side was the godmother for this little girl being Christened. A very formal affair, drenched in old traditions. The inside of this church is so beautiful with it’s stained glass windows, golden orthodox icons, candles and marble. It’s a very special place; however, these photos don’t do the glory of images inside this church justice!

When Booh was about 3 years old she went to service with her Thea (Greek for Aunt). Above the pews is a dome with orthodox icons, including angels. There is a balcony where the choir sits which can not be seen by the folks below. They started to sing and Booh looked up towards the golden angles and said to her Thea, “The angels are singing!”

They really know how to set these places for the open hearted to have a mystical experience.


Discovering Maternal Lineage Through Matryoshka Dolls

January 16, 2009

Matryoshka Dolls-1.JPG

“Mommy, where did I come from?”

By the time Booh asked me this question, she was four and I had been preparing for a couple of years by collecting Russian nesting dolls. I had been picking them up at tag sales and white elephant sales and they’ve become one of my favorite tools for addressing this simple yet complex question. I start with the big doll, her Great Great Grandmother, open her up and pull out her Great Grandmother, open her up and pull out her Grandmother, open her up and pull out her mother, open her up and pull out, well, her. It has proven to be an effective illustration.

“The name [Matryoshka] wasn’t chosen by accident… Matryona (lovingly Matryosha, Matryoshenka) was a very popular and common Russian name for a woman. Also, the word was derived from the Latin “mater” (mother) which was perfectly suited for the toy. “* The first time I demonstrated the concept of maternal lineage to my daughter she stared at the dolls, the little gears turning inside her head… “How did I get in there?” I then did it backwards, replacing the dolls, working back in lineage: this is you, you came from me, I came from Gram, and so on. It was the backwards method that got her engine going and put the concept of lineage into form, and gave me some more time to figure out how to answer THAT question.

Murder of Crows

December 29, 2008

What an amazing winter sunset we had last night!  We had been ice skating with good friends when we came outside to a spectacular view.  The air was balmy and we stood in the parking lot outside of the ice skating rink watching the sky change from orange to pink to violet.  If only the utility poles and fence (and houses and road and mounds of gray snow) weren’t in the way of this beautiful scene. 

And to add to this amazing view, on the opposite side of the parking lot , was a murder of crows.  Below I’ve posted a short video I shot.  

I had no idea that a collective noun for a flock of crows was a murder of crows.  And how lucky were we to witness them on the 4th Holy Night.  But what does it all mean? 

Singing Angels

November 10, 2006


Booh had the opportunity to attend a variety of services at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church with her Thea (Greek for Aunt). Over the past year she’s attended the baptism for her cousin’s goddaughter and a couple of Sunday services.

The inside of this church is dazzling. Iconic imagery is painted all over the church walls and ceiling, along with vibrant stained glass windows and white tapered candle sticks. The ceiling is a dome with windows and images of angels. A large crystal chandelier hangs from the center. In the rear is a balcony for the choir to sing from on Sundays.

One Sunday last year Booh (age 4) was sitting with her Thea during a typical Sunday service when the organ began to play and the choir chimed in with a traditional hymn. Booh looked up to the dome with amazement at the golden angels painted on the ceiling and said to her Thea , “The angels are singing!