An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
My wife will assure you that I have two major phobias: dirt and spiders. I hate the appearance of dirt, I hate getting dirty, and I cannot rest in an easy chair if I can see portions of Killick on the carpet in front of me - sometimes I can agree with my wife it is almost pathological. As for spiders? Well they are nasty little things and I could not care less about their place in the beautiful circle of life, may they go extinct and then we humans cn engage in a good dose of Saddam like chemical warfare on the insects of the world.
But country life has forced me to change, at least somewhat. When we first moved in, the property was virtually draped with fat spiders in their webs. Normally, I would not suffer them to be in my presence, but something told me that those days needed to be gone. And so I left them - even those that I could see from our windows. And I find, as time has gone by, that the mere sight of them (though precious few are here now) no longer sends shivers down my spine and I am beginning to appreciate the work they do around our little farm. But don't get me wrong: if they stray into the house, they are given a death sentence.
As for dirt? Well I still cannot easily relax in the presence of obvious (to me) dirt. However, as I type I am on my way to work for the third day in a row wearing a jacket that is covered in ugly blotches of sap from trees. In the past I would not wear the jacket, but I find myself adopting a more: "Ah, who the heck cares" attitude. Given the daily work I usually need to do around the farm (mainly - for now - chop and collect wood from the shed), I had better get used to collecting a bit of dirt...or, as the case may be, sap. And with the weather being as it is, well, mud is just a normal part of life in the country. And with the ongoing immigration of other livestock, it's only going to get dirtier. That's okay.
Rubber boots and wool socks are two of my newest best friends.
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 10:25 AM [+] +++
Dirt and Spiders are both your friends and common in your neck of the woods, I'd think.
It should help some to know that spiders are special friends of the Theotokos, because on the night her Son was born, He was cold, so the spiders spun a blanket for Him. At least, that's what the Polish legend says. ;-)