A Glimpse Through the Arches

Just after I graduated from college, I took a trip to Moscow.  I ventured beyond the iron curtain to visit Jacki, of course, who was working at the US Embassy.  It was January.  It was very, very cold.  I was very, very bundled up.  I felt very out of my element, since I could scarcely move under all the layers, I didn’t recognize the climate and I only knew a couple words in Russian.  One day, Jacki took me to church.  It was a Russian Orthodox church in Moscow, in January.  There was standing room only, and I remember the building being a beautiful stone church with the high arching ceilings.  There were little hallways on either side of the main room, and secret doors at the front that had painted screens in front of them.  It was very dark, and shadowy. In spite of the fact that I already felt out of my element, I had never been to Russian Orthodox church before, and I was still a little jet lagged. 

I have distinct memories of the anticipation of what would happen next.  There was all kind of activity up the hallways, and behind the screens.  You had to crane your neck to see what was happening, at times and I was so anxious I would miss something when it happened. There was heavy incense, and there were men in ornate robes swinging sterling orbs full of the incense. The door would swing open and icy air would blow in.  It was fascinating and hypnotizing.

After a while, I started anticipating what would happen behind the arches – which arch would have the incense swinger, and which arch the chanting man.  It felt more comfortable as time went on, as you learned what to expect and began to recognize what was happening.

Today I was thinking that life after death is kind of like that.  I still feel disoriented, and fuzzy, but every now and then something appears behind the arch when I am looking.  It makes me wake up a little more each time.

Maybe it takes a thrilling glimpse into life, real life, to remind me that there is still a lot to see, and surprises behind the screens and arches.  Even if I don’t understand exactly what is happening, it is happening, all around me.  It is time to start paying attention again, I guess, so I don’t miss it.

UPDATE:  Ok, well first, I barely remember writing this, and second, I just realized I haven’t balanced my checkbook since March.  Turns out maybe I am still just staring at some Babushka’s back.  I hope she moves soon.

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1 Response to A Glimpse Through the Arches

  1. where am i able to subscribe to the news or news feed?

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