Saturday, 21 June 2008

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Single tree church

A monk once dreamt of an old Byzantine icon showing the Virgin Mary to be hidden in an old oak trunk. He found the icon and on the same place he built a small church using only that oak's wood.

I've been wanting to see this place for years. A quiet valley on the edge of a centuries-old oak forest. Unchanged for hundreds of years.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Between England and Scotland - Hadrian's Wall

Some say it is a symbol of Roman power; others say the wall was a symbol of failure of the empire even when it was first built. As a child I used to believe the world ends here. I might had heard the stories about the Roman emperor who dreamt to rule the entire world and who believed he can build wall to divide this world into Romans and barbarians :)

I know it is just a misuse of the Classical past... but I just can't give this story away. The stories you weave in your heart are far more charming than the reality. And I'd say: keep weaving!

One more thing: the purpose of Hadrian's wall was at least as much symbolic as practical. And I wish we could learn to link the symbolic and the practical in everything we do.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

At the first look I definitely thought it was ugly. Without any doubt.

And then I learned more about it. About its story and about its designer.
Antoni Gaudi worked on the project for over 40 years; it is said that during the lengthy construction period he has remarked, "My client is not in a hurry." ;)

And I learned about Gaudi’s devotion to the Temple. Even when he was going through a hard convalescence, he still had the strength to design the Passion façade. When the deficit threatened the construction, Gaudí was against suspending the works and spent most of his time in the workshops of the Temple, to whom he devoted the last 15 years of his life. In order to raise funds, he became the main apostle of the construction, and tirelessly explained it in detail to anybody that would visit it. Occasionally he would personally go out into the street to raise funds among the passers-by.

Today is still unfinished; construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Money from tickets purchased by tourists is used to pay for the work, and private donations are accepted. And yet we are still not sure how long it will take to be finished.

And now I take another look at the Temple. I bear in mind that someone devoted most of his life to its construction, that he was dreaming and constantly improvising, that he put passion into designing, buiding and raising money for it... and I can now say Sagrada Familia is absolutely beautiful.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Scotland and Scots do come from the late Latin word Scotia "the land of the Gaels". But which Gaels? The Irish Gaels! What I learned today is that Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland!
Things do change! ;)

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The Color Purple

Dear God, 

I know it pisses you off if we walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and we don't notice it.

I also know you walk by and you notice everything. And I can't understand: why do you allow this to happen?

The Color Purple, Alice Walker