I’ve written about The Holy Kiss on Mrs Metaphor in the past. I’m reminded of this concept again today as I consider the idea of the veneration of icons. This practice is one that we did not employ in the Catholic church and so the “awkward” factor kicks up a bit more around this issue.
I don’t have a problem with the idea of venerating an icon, I really don’t. It might be because I’m an artist, because of my work with DoxaSoma, because I’m Mrs Metaphor, I don’t know. I understand the transfer between image and person. This makes sense to me. I also find the icons of Eastern Orthodoxy profoundly beautiful even though they terrify me even as they draw me in.
I think of it this way, if Lauren Bacall was my grandmother I’d feel this way about her: terrified and attracted all at once.
The part that is hard for me is breaking the physical wall. I’m hyper aware of the way my body moves in the physical world, which is not a bad thing, in the best of circumstances, when I am at ease and feel confident it’s a very good thing. When I am uncertain and embarrassed, afraid to make mistakes, afraid to offend, it’s paralyzing.
This leaves me in a weird space around the veneration of icons. I’m at the shaking hands stage with them right now, maybe the kind hearted chuck on the shoulder stage at best. I need time, I think to feel comfortable with this practice. I don’t want to be disingenuous in this gesture, I want everything that I do and say to mean something, because it does mean something.