Not much time to write this week; on Sunday I came down with some kind of flu, thought I was well enough by Monday afternoon to teach three periods (90 minutes each), learned the hard way I wasn't, and have been mostly horizontal since--now hoping to be well enough to teach tomorrow. Any vertical time should be dedicated to preparing for tomorrow's lessons.
But I did take a break this evening--I walked down to the Central Exhibition Hall on Chernishevsky Street for the opening of a wonderful art exhibition that filled all the rooms--"To My Home Town With Love." Saturday is City Day, and this exhibition is part of the art community's participation.
The theme of the exhibition simply indicated that the artists identify with this place--it put no limit on the artists' subjects. Thus we got a self-portrait (the artist, Sergei Karpukhin, is in the background!):
... We got the Bolkhov Valleys, by Tatiana Blokhina:
... We got a "Fairy Tale that Hasn't Been Told Yet," by Alexander Poroshin:
... And to my delight, thanks to Alexander Ilichev, we even got Chicago:
And, best of all, it was a reunion of the people who always seem to enjoy getting together at such events, all ready to tell how they survived the smoky summer of 2010, and all ready to welcome the impressive number of new artists, such as Yuliya Larina, exhibiting for the first time:
Here are some more scenes from the evening:
On another art exhibition: Next time I hope to present some reports and pictures from (what I hear was) a very successful opening in Samara, Russia, on Monday. On exhibit: the drawings and paintings made by British Quaker Richard Kilbey while part of the relief mission based in Buzuluk in the early 1920's.
Twenty years ago today, the Russian Orthodox priest Alexander Men' was murdered on his way to church on Sunday morning. The crime has never been solved.
I already knew about Men' through another Russian theologian who had visited Richmond, Indiana, but I didn't find out how he died until I read David Remnick's Lenin's Tomb. When I visited post-Soviet Russia for the first time in 1994, I found the booklet pictured at left ("To Be Christian") in many homes, and learned that it had been distributed in the millions in advance of a Jerry Falwell appearance at Moscow's Olympic Stadium. The booklet includes two moving documents: Men's last lecture in a series on Christianity, given the very evening before his death, along with a lively radio interview. I still have my copy. An English translation of the lecture is here, and the interview, or most of it, is here.
I went on to read his commentary on Revelation and several other books, but my favorites are the printed collections of his lectures on great Russian thinkers and on the Bible, published by the Russian Orthodox Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian in central Moscow. Aside from their wonderful spiritual content, the Russian language is clear and expressive, ideal for a learner like me.
Speaking of that church, their Web site currently contains several videos relating to the recognition of the 20th anniversary of Men's assassination.
Many of us grieved the recent loss of Art Gish to a farm accident. The documentary short Old Radicals was made not long before his death. (Thanks to jesusradicals.com for the reference.)
On the ongoing agony of Afghanistan: Putting the words in my mouth again, Will Willimon says "Let Jesus call the shots." And an interview with Lawrence Wright on "My trip to Al-Qaeda."
Northwest Yearly Meeting, Western Friend, and the Friends Fiduciary Corporation are working together to present a conference on "Rightly Ordered Financial Management."
Federal appeals court allows habeas challenge to deportation....
You might never know what Alfred Hitchcock lectured about back in 1939, if you don't ... click ... here! (Thanks to openculture.com)
Fresh blues from Norway: Rita Engedalen and Margit Bakken at Notodden 2010.
rita og margit - turtle blues from BO Holmberg on Vimeo.