I have an icon of the Mother of God of the Kursk Root,
not the one pictured but another one,
have not taken a picture of it yet; perhaps later...
anyway it is on the other buffet with lampada lit
for my father-in-law.
The prayers I ended up choosing specially for him
are the ones to this icon, as
it was her feast this week.
I've hauled all of my books about Bloomsbury out now.
I determined to give them away today.
Of course then I started looking at them,
remembering how I love reading letters,
it is the letter themselves that I find the hardest to part with.
It reminds me of when I was a young teen at
a friends house,
there were not many houses to choose from and the only girls my age
were in that house; they were not Christian though the oldest
daughter went to church with a neighbour.
I remember that house so vividly; the carpet, the big TV
before they were normal;
the Mother is gone now; for years, nearly 20.
I remember her with her white towel wrapped neatly
covering her hair, clean and new;
that Mother was a woman who really accepted others
She was a bit in a tight bind herself and
sadly often despaired of life.
It is so sad,
I remember seeing the beauty of the green hills around where they lived,
before more houses were built near by,
wondering how there could be such sadness,
her tragic death, the horrid things of her struggle;
I remember wondering in my grief over it all how
there is such beauty and stillness in the countryside
and her she is gone, her children without a Mother...
The second daughter I remember crying with over
that she was not a Christian;
this was sometime before the girl's Mother had died;
she did not understand my grief;
even I cannot judge it; when is it grief for another's soul
and when is it grief over the person not seeing life as I do?
Well, I guess partly that is how I feel about
those letters of Virginia Woolf, and esp. her diaries.
She could be so happy, so aware of the peaceful days;
she loved being a writer;
that is what first drew me to her,
not just that she was a feminist of sorts;
I see that someday I must write why I left such (feminist)
thought all together; no, it was more her being a writer.
I always wanted to be one,
so it was natural to find writers who had dairies
and interesting groups of people who were like minded.
I did not realize back then how pagan they were,
or what that means, to live for one's self and for pleasure;
I barely knew in someways what being a Christian was;
though I must say that I was learning slowly
and before I graduated from my undergrad,
doing my honours thesis,
totally burnt out of school
(if I had been productive and had the strength,
I could of had a PhD by the time I was done
with my 8 years of undergrad, with moving schools a
few times, dropping courses, losing courses in transferring)...
I had learned something:
About baptism actually.
That to be baptised was to die
and I thought no wonder when I was baptised as an infant
I hollered so.
It is hard to die to one's self,
By the end of my undergrad I found myself suddenly,
on a consistent basis,
telling God that I was wiling to die for Him,
or, to be specific, go the way of the Cross,
go with Him in His Passion and pray that I too would
be at His Resurrection.
I did not know what this would take,
how it would unfold,
this willing to die for Christ,
but within a year I was in the Orthodox church,
and here I am
on this sunny day,
with Mr. Husband working in this room
where I too am here, working,
waiting to hear of his father's surgery,
and thinking about the books I am thinking to give away later today.
It is perhaps the grief of seeing
life lost or wasted;
Virginia having mental illness and not enduring to the end,
stones in her pocket ending it in a river.
It is so sad; she lived on this earth,
endured much suffering
but in her suffering she never found Christ.
And very probably she influenced others away
from traditional culture, she apparently
thought Christians as egotists,
at least in one quote I read,
and well, she was a bit blind to what love is;
or she did not have any Christians to show her;
I read that a Christian must repent for when
others do not see Christ in them;
In the end I ask for mercy,
that somehow in our blindness,
that we will be forgiven,
not knowing what we did.
I have had on my mind more lately
the thought about the Judgement Seat of Christ
and that all of us will have to give
account to Christ for what we did, thought,
what we did with our thoughts, our days, our hours.
How much mercy we need.
The Lord is kindhearted and willing to hear,
especially those with a contrite spirit.
Oh that God would give this to us,
that He would reach down and save us.