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.
I have been having some amazingly vivid dreams lately...unsure why, but it is quite unusual. Such dreams usually only haunt me when I am fully inebriated with NiQuil, but as of late they seem to be working on their own.
I was at the "viewing" (a strange special portion, seperate from the funeral, of some - fewer and fewer - western funeral services) of my grandmother who passed away a little over a year ago. Her body was not fully prepared yet and I saw it sitting on a stainless steel table in a medicinal room located next door to the room decored with all the lavish comforts of someone else's home - a facade. We were waiting, while I bounced back and forth between looking at my Grandmother and then back into the room full of waiting people. I noticed my Grandfather was there (he'd actually passed away at least a year a more before this) and though he looked distraught, he was practicing small dance moves and I was reminded that he and my Grandmother used to love to dance.
At one point I was "dared" to go into the the room and say "Hi" the Grandma, so I did. At which point, she "woke up" and to the shock of everyone present got up and walked off - perfectly not dead.
Then we all found ourselves happily strolling through the streets of downtown Findlay. I realized that one of my kids was suddenly with me...I cannot tell you which one, but I just sensed in that parental sort of way that I needed to be conscious of my child's doings. And then I noticed that everything around me was happening in a jerky back and forth fast-forward/play motion. I watched the people around me closely.
I saw an old couple leisurely walking by and then suddenly, the woman stopped, surprising her husband who took a couple more unintentional steps beyond her. He looked back at her and they seemed to have a special private moment of gazing knowingly into one another's eyes. And then the husband moved on, leaving the wife standing motionless while the world buzzed around her. I realized that she was dead.
As I looked around, I saw more and more of the same sort of scene: a young wife sadly walks away from her seemingly petrified husband, a mother mournfully continues on her way that had until moments before also been the way of her small child, and on and on it went. It seemed that we were surrounded by these sad images of death and seperation and I felt intensely inclined to cradle my child so that if he or she were to suddenly be made still, that I would go on carrying them. I would go on carrying them...
At 5:10 this morning, I awoke with this ongoing feeling and before getting the coffee going, I checked on the kids, kissed them, and asked God's protection and blessing upon them. And then a prayer for Grandma and Grandpa as well, I expect they are dancing.