Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Orthograph #75 - Aspirations

10 comments:

Moore said...

Can you explain this to the new Orthodox guy?

Teri said...

ooh ooh, can I try? ;-) Here goes... It takes longer than you think it will. You won't get as far as you think you can. And growing more hair isn't going to help.

Anonymous said...

We have occasional "random monk" visitors to our parish. One such occurrence was this past Sunday, when my non-Orthodox brother attended with his Orthodox best friend.

"Doesn't he look like he just stepped out of an icon?", asked Orthodox friend.

"No", says my brother. "He looks like he just stepped off a Harley."

Moral: It ain't all hair.

Peter Gardner said...

If I understand it correctly, as aspirations mount higher than reality, hair gets longer, proportional to the gap between aspiration and reality.

s-p said...

Teri and Peter, Oooh, I like this... its like "sola orthographs", everyone gets to interpret them. LOL!
Yeah, you got it... the higher the aspiration and the longer it takes to get to a lower rank than the one aspired to the longer the pony tail and beard get.

Anon, BIG chuckle! I've actually been to St. Anthony's Monastery when a group of bikers were touring the grounds. Put them in a cassock and they'd look like visitors from Athos. Except for maybe the gloves with the fingers cut off and "love" and "hate" tattoo'd on the back of the fingers. :)

JD said...

I never have understood the pony tails and unruly beards. Has it become part of the accepted motiff or is it role playing? The last time I went to the Sunday of Orthodoxy I realized that had I brought my five year old granddaughter she might have started crying in fear given all of the unkempt hair and long black cassocks. What am I missing?
Thanks,

s-p said...

JD, Is it role playing? Only one's spiritual father knows for sure, but if he is goofy too he doesn't know either. I'm going to tip my judgmental hand here, but from my very personal experience and from knowing a LOT of converts, priests and monks etc. AND myself, I'd say the beard and ponytail thing is probably 90% role playing for someone who is Orthodox and living in the world. For a lot of convert priests I know they are old hippies still living in the 60's. I freely admit my long beard is 60's glory days ZZ Top vanity, not an "Orthodox thing", although Orthodoxy is a great excuse, looks pious, and validates the beard in the eyes of the beholders. As the monks say, "O Lord, save us from the pious!" (which, according to the monks, includes some monks...) If I were a "father confessor" I wouldn't let a catechumen or newly baptized (male) convert grow a beard or ponytail for ten years.

JD said...

Thanks Steve, that's about as honest a response as anyone might expect. As a newbie, I don't know or interact with that many priests, deacons etc., but as one who lived through the 60s I had felt and observed some similarities with those times. Perhaps the hair thing represents "rebellion" from protestantism, or wherever one might have had a "past".

Again, you're a transparent guy.

Moore said...

I grow a big beard every winter. I asked my priest if it was OK that I still did that because I didn't want to look too converty! It's interesting how something seemingly innocuous by the world's standards can make a bold statement elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo told me once that he and bp. Barlaam were mistaken for ZZ Top people by a Turkish spice dealer in Istambule once. They were wearing long black coats. They didn't completely convince the guy that they weren't 'celebrities'.

Jim of olym