Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Russian Face and a Face from Russia

A great reading at KGB last night. I’ve read there before, and it is always a crowd that has come to listen, and engage. With Steve Ettlinger and William Bryant Logan also on the bill, the three of us fielded questions and doubtless turned a few new people onto our respective books. Also very cool to read the chapter from Madonna of the Toast about V.I. Lenin’s face appearing on a shower curtain, since the bar is always decked out with old communist propaganda, including a bust of the Bolshevik.

And imagine my surprise upon finding this Jesus face from Russia as I was making the research rounds today. While it is not too difficult to see the eyes and nose, I’m not sure how this rock has been decreed holy. Also interesting is the fact that these occurrences are usually interpreted as auspicious, but in the article from Interfax, the face is described as “wrathful.” Local Orthodox clergy link the visitation to three tragedies: “the mine accident near Novokuznetsk, the air crash in Samara, and the fire in the house for the elderly in the village of Kamyshevskaya.”

I don’t know enough about Christianity and how it is practiced differently all over the world, but I’d bet that the folks whom take this visitation as a warning have very different views about their faith than the folks outside of Chicago flocking to this Jesus tree.

This story is short, sweet and, dare I say, typical, when it comes to such events. I guess the crucifixion form comes through better at night, thanks to the help of a streetlight.

Unlike Twinkies, these events can be found all over the world, saying plenty about what binds us all together, and also makes us all so very different.

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