Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quote of the Week

The written word is all that stands between memory and oblivion. Without books as our anchors, we are cast adrift, neither teaching nor learning. They are windows on the past, mirrors on the present, and prisms reflecting all possible futures. Books are lighthouses erected in the dark sea of time.

Jeffrey Robbins, 'A Lighthouse In The Sea Of Time'

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Monday, July 28, 2008

East-West Reunion?

But their respective claims are mutually exclusive, as the former insists on papal supremacy and the latter on the received faith of the ecumenical councils. Thus, despite whatever superficial similarities Rome and Byzantium may have, they are different ways of understanding what it means to be catholic.

- Dan Dunlap

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100 Things About Me

Got this off an ex-classmate:

1 Birth date?
Same as the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, but on the New Calendar, 92 years later

2 Place of birth?

3 Blood type?

4 Height?
170 cm (5'7")

5 Weight?
50 kg (110 lbs)

6 Shoe size?
EU 37/38, UK 7 (I think)

7 Work? Study?
Both. I work as a clerk at an insurance firm, and study media at Republic Polytechnic

8 Childhood nickname?
Ask me nicely, and I might consent to tell...

9 Average hours you sleep in a day?
Not enough

10 Time you go to bed?
Formerly 5 am, but now 2 am

11 Any siblings?

12 Eyesight – short-sighted, long-sighted or perfect?
Short-sighted, unfortunately

13 What languages do you speak?
English, Mandarin, some Russian

14 What languages would you like to speak?
Russian, Greek

15 Nickname on Messenger?
Formerly Sol Invictus, now my name in Cyrillic

16 What do you collect?
Books, various curios

17 Model of cellphone you are using?
Nokia 6070

18 What is on your shopping list?
Several DVDs, a suit

19 Favourite t-shirt brand?

20 Favourite cut of jeans?
Never wore them

21 Favourite fashion designer?

22 Favourite clothing label?

23 Favourite shoe label?

24 Favourite bag label?

25 Most dominant colour in your wardrobe?

26 Most worn-pair of shoes?
Black oxfords

27 Favourite shampoo?
Am not too picky

28 Favourite conditioner?
Never used

29 Favourite bath product?

30 Favourite facial product?
Aloe vera

31 Favourite cosmetics?
Never used

32 Favourite art movement?
Byzantine, Realism

33 Favourite artist?
Andrei Rublev, Ilya Repin, Viktor Vasnetsov

34 Favourite gallery?
Probably the State Tretyakov Gallery

35 Favourite cold drink?
Black tea

36 Favourite hot drink?
Black tea

37 Favourite flavour of ice-cream?
Chocolate mint

38 Favourite cuisine?

39 Favourite sandwich?
Roast lamb

40 Favourite cake?
Black forest

41 Favourite chocolate?

42 Favourite fast food?
Fish & Chips

43 Favourite sushi?
Ikura gunkan maki (salmon roe)

44 Favourite breakfast?
Eggs, scrambled

45 Spaghetti – tomato, cream or pesto sauce?

46 Beef – rare, medium rare, medium, well-done?
Medium rare

47 Restaurant you frequent most?
Liu Da Ma's Mutton Chuanr

48 Best dining experience?
See above

49 Worst dining experience?
Cafe Le Caire

50 Favourite book?
After Jesus: The Triumph of Christianity

51 Favourite movie?

52 Favourite artist writer?

53 Favourite actor?
Sean Connery

54 Favourite actresses?
Amy Yasbeck, Maria Poroshina

55 Favourite record?
None that I know of..?

56 Favourite singers?
Anna Vissi, Elena Paparizou, Ruslana

57 Favourite bands?
Blestyashchie, Fabrika, VIA Gra

58 Favourite lyrics?
For now, Elena Paparizou's Το Φιλί της Ζωής (The Kiss of Life)

59 Favourite TV show?
Batman: The Animated Series

60 Favourite newspapers?
I don't really have a choice here...

61 Favourite magazine?

62 Favourite flower?

63 Favourite animal?
Grey wolf

64 Favourite country?
Too many

65 Favourite street (in your country)?
Temple Street

66 Favourite street (overseas)?
Like I'd know!

67 Favourite sport?

68 Scariest movie?
Can't recall

69 Funniest movie?
Can't recall

70 Favourite leisure activity?

71 Favourite public transport?

72 Favourite weather?
Partly cloudy

73 Dream honeymoon destination?

74 Computer you use?
Lenovo 3000

75 Wallpaper on your computer?
Ostankino Tower

76 Screen saver on your computer?

77 How many hours on the internet a day?
Too many

78 Favourite blog?
Orwell's Picnic, The Western Confucian

79 Favourite news site?

80 Favourite site?
Probably Facebook.com for now

81 First pet?
A terrapin named 'Michelle'

82 Favourite cartoon from childhood?

83 Favourite toy from childhood?
Robocop action figure

84 What makes you smile?
The children I babysit

85 What makes you cry?
News regarding Kosovo and Metohija

86 Which celebrity would you like to be?
Dennis Kucinich

87 What colour would you be if you are a crayon?

88 If you can go back in time, which period would you want to be in?
Late Middle Ages

89 If you can have your own business, what would you venture into?
Precious metals, energy

90 What TV program would you like to go on?
«Женский взгляд Оксаны Пушкиной»
(en: Oksana Pushkina's Woman's View)

91 How satisfied are you with your current situation?
Not very

92 What would you rather be doing if you have a choice?

93 The most important thing that has happened in your life?
Knowing my friends

94 What do you think you’ll be doing 5 years down the road?

95 Most desired now?
Her love

96 Biggest worry now?
Falling ill

97 Most unforgettable incident?
Too many

98 New Year resolution?
To actually make one next year...

99 Your motto in life?
'Nemo vir est qui mundum non reddat meliorem'
(What man is a man who does not make the world better?)

100 Who do you want to answer “100 Things About Me”?
Let's try Francis & Karen for starters



So it has been nearly a month since I last posted, and while much has happened since, I'm disinclined to discuss them in detail. Though, I will let readers know I've been working at insurance firm for slightly less than half a month now. Seeing as how it essentially consumes half a day, posting will continue to be sporadic. Anyway, enough of idle chatter; on with the post.

OK, we've all heard about the time-honoured Roman Catholic custom of 'penitential walks', from the centuries-old Way of St James and the Chartres pilgrimage to the smaller, but no less fervent pilgrimages springing up elsewhere in the world. Questions abound about the existence of similar practice in the Christian East.

That said, Memoirs is once again proud to bring you yet another fascinating piece from Photo Polygon; from the lens of Sergey Kozmin.

Pilgrimage - not just for Roman Catholics

In the 14th century, so legend goes, an icon of St Nicholas miraculously appeared on a pine in a forest by the river. Attempts were made to bring this wonder-working icon from the small village of Velikoretskoye to Khiynov (modern-day Kirov), but they all failed - it was only after numerous prayers, as well as promising sincerely to return the icon every year to Velikoretskoye, was its transfer possible. And so it began, the oldest annual pilgrimage in Russia, which begins at Kirov and ends at Velikoretskoye.

The icon leaves Kirov

Since the 1990s, the pilgrimage has been revived after years of Soviet suppression. Pilgrims walk 180 kilometres (approx. 112 miles) for 5 days through the countryside, woods and bogs. Every two hours, the journey stops for a service by the roadside, as well as 30-40 minutes' rest. The day ends at 9 o'clock, and pilgrims spend the night in schools or the huts of local villagers, but most find rest only in the streets. Between 1:30 to 2 in the morning, the pilgrims awake to yet another service. The journey continues shortly afterward.

Pilgrims endure muddy forest paths...


...and rain.

This year alone, over 20,000 pilgrims participated in the walk from Kirov to Velikoretskoye, and despite every trial nature sends along - snow, heat, rain, hailstones, mosquito swarms, callouses, tired ankles, sleepless nights and unbearable weariness, the majority of pilgrims nevertheless arrive at their destination.

The pilgrimage attracts the young....

...and old

...and monarchists.

To an Orthodox Christian, undertaking the journey to Velikoretskoye is a special act of contrition and purification of the soul. To walk on this pilgrimage is to truly grasp the soul of the Russian people.

More photographs available HERE.

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