May 28 2008
Christ is risen!
It’s hard to believe the end of the feast is fast approaching. Quite a lot has been packed into the festal period for us at Anaphora Press. With our first releases now officially no longer “new” we’ve begun looking ahead to the next projects on the docket. Although some planning and envisioning has been going on, there hasn’t been a lot of time for work lately. However, I did finally finish up the typeset music for the “Cherubika” album and it is now for sale.
Besides running Anaphora Press, one of my “other” jobs is directing the choir of St. Herman of Alaska church in Port Townsend, WA. And like all the other Orthodox singers in the world, nothing much got my attention during the last half of Lent beyond the bright string of services laid out before me. Life is just going from one service to the next, it seems. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! Along with a lot of typesetting, I was especially grateful this year to work on some texts for Holy Friday in znamenny chant. That genre requires a serious level of concentration and prayer, for me, at least. My husband could not believe I was up until the wee hours of the morning at the beginning of Holy Week working on them. But I couldn’t help it. Even though I knew it was not the smartest thing to burn my candle at both ends on Holy Monday with Holy Thurs/Fri/Sat. looming up ahead, I was too inspired to let it go. I wanted so much for this glorious text to have a fitting musical vehicle. I don’t have this urge to compose very often, and it’s really grand when it comes to me. The climax, of course, was to sing it in church with a full heart. Thanks be to God!
The other exciting thing on our docket is a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage coming up. We’ve saved our airline miles for 12 YEARS and finally have enough for the whole family to go. Christopher, of course, is going to Mt. Athos with our priest. The children and I along with my mother, are going separately, first through Rome/Ravenna for a week and then on a grand tour of Greece for 3 weeks, meeting up with the men for 1 week of it. There’s been a lot of planning and preparation for that, especially as we need to do it on a shoestring.
Right before I got married I had a 3-month soujourn, briefly through England and the rest of the time in Greece, staying in monasteries most of the time. It is not an experience to be encapsulated in a few words on a blog. I have longed for years to see my husband, and now my children, have their own experience of our roots as Orthodox Christians. It is transformative. I am really overwhelmed at the great blessing of my whole family going. Even my mother, who is not Orthodox, has decided to travel with the children and I.
I did have to stop and think awhile for my own part. My young son is only 3, and the thought of traipsing around for a month with him does seem less than ideal. There were large conundrums to consider like: should I really potty-train him now so we don’t have to carry diapers? Or will it be worse to try and find a bathroom NOW down a side-street in Rome? But we finally did come to the conclusion that God knows all of this, and that the time has emerged for us to go. So I am praying a lot and caught up in the anticipation of seeing what God unfolds for us on our pilgrimage.
The developments of late with Anaphora Press are:
- Getting off the ground and into the editing room with The Life of St. Seraphim
- Revising, revising, and expanding on The Children’s Garden of the Theotokos. This is the one with the deadline of the upcoming school year. Pressure? Yeah. But it’s good for me.
- Marketing 101: Creating an email base and our first newsletter
- New Featured Artist: Nikolai Tsai. Now is that a great name, or what? Loved learning about him.
- Looking ahead to the fall and mapping out work on the next Cherubika album and getting to A History of the Orthodox Church by Angel Escobar. Can’t wait to dig into those projects.