Monday, March 10, 2014

Two Years

Today is the second anniversary of this blog. It's funny because I thought it was the third anniversary. I guess it was just a really long two years--or maybe just a very eventful two years.

Many thanks to those of you who have stuck around even when I went long periods of time without posting, and thanks to all the encouragement I've gotten from readers--mostly NOT on the blog. And many, many thanks to those who have made comments.

When I started the blog, I wasn't really sure what it was going to turn out to be, and I'm a bit surprised at what it has turned out to be. I don't think I had any intention of it's turning out to be so serious, or so frequently spiritual. And I'm not sure what it will turn out to be in the future.

You may wonder what that picture has to do with the anniversary of The Three Prayers. Well, I was thinking that I would like to find a saint whose feast day is today so that he might be a kind of patron of the blog. There are many saints to choose from, none of whom I have ever heard of before, and I didn't recognize the name of the men above, either, because they are listed as The Martyrs of Armenia, and I have always known them as The Martyrs of Sebaste

I first learned about them when I was a little girl and I always loved their story. In brief in case you don't know them, the 4th century Roman Emperor Licinius demanded that these soldiers renounce the Christian faith or be killed. They refused, and were made to standing in a freezing lake until they died. When I was little, I always pictured them in full armor lying on the ice, which may have been even more uncomfortable than was actually the case. I had a very vivid picture of them. To tempt them to apostatize, there were warm baths by the side of the lake. One of the men gave in and ran to the bath, and immediately dropped dead. Later, one of the soldiers guarding the martyrs,  after witnessing a miracle that took place and remembering the man who died, ran out to take his place. You can find more about them here--and on many other websites. If you go to the link, you will see that the feast was yesterday, but that's in the East. In the West, the feast is March 10.

A few years ago when I took an Art class, I wrote an essay about the icon pictured here, which was then on exhibit in a Russian museum. This is the best image I can find online now, but at the time the museum had a wonderful website featuring the items in the exhibit, and there was a very clear and detailed image of the icon. It's a portable icon, and I seem to remember that it was about 12" tall, or even smaller, maybe 8". The pieces of glass that make it up are very tiny, and you can see even on the rather blurry picture, how intricate the picture is. Everyone of the forty faces is different. It is truly amazing. When I see works of art like this, I always think, "That's what people had time to do before television and computers."
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On a completely different note, if you look on the sidebar, you will see that I have added a widget that gives the current stage of the moon. As I write, it is waxing gibbous and 72% full. I think the man who offers this widget to bloggers is trying to sell something else, but that's okay. I find it rather exciting to watch the moon change and can't wait for it to be full. When I added the widget, it was at 58%, and then 63%, and now we are so close!
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I will close with this poem by e. e. cummings because it's the way I feel today when, after a miserable winter, we are having a perfect spring day.

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees 
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay 
great happening illimitably earth) 

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no 
of all nothing–human merely being 
doubt unimaginable You? 

(now the ears of my ears awake and 
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
                                         e.e. cummings



  1. Thanks especially for providing the moon phases widget and reminding me of that e.e.cummings poem.

  2. Happy anniversary! I like the moon phases widget, too.

  3. Thanks. 77% full. I love it.


  4. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for the 40 Martyrs and the further links which I took advantage of ---- can't believe I have never heard this story before---simply amazing.

    1. Thanks. And you're welcome.

      I really haven't heard anything about them since I was in grade school, so maybe they don't get taught about any more. And their memorial isn't on the liturgical calendar, although they used to be on the old calendar. I'm going to try to write a little something more about them this afternoon or evening if I get the chance.