The monkish temptation


I wouldn’t say I’m a frequent visitor of monasteries and other religious establishments… I’m always a bit rebuked by the organized (too damn organized!) religions but I’m not totally immune to the spiritual temptation, to the spiritual search… Some aspects of Ortodoxism and Catholicism and many of Buddhism aspects are appealing to me…

And I have to confess: I love monasteries! I love their silence, their isolation (I like especially those situated in the woods and mountains or at the seaside…) their austerity, their apparent simplicity… Some of my finest memories are connected to monasteries…

I have visited most of my native country’s monasteries… in Transylvania, Moldavia, Muntenia and Dobrodja… Quite often, after my 40-eth anniversary, I was even tempted to take the vow… As I’ve already said, I love the silence, the isolation, the nature and the exilarating searching for a God IN nature…

But then, I’m a sinner too… I love too much to paint – nudes for that matter – I love too much the women and the horses curves (strictly with my eyes; the rest is reserved for the gray-blue-eyed woman of my life)…

I don’t dislike a gurmet meal or a glass of good wine or a small amount of Glennfidich single malt (I buy a bottle every 5 years or so…heavy drinker, eh?) More than that, I’m usually savagely independent and don’t care much for authority (ANY authority)…

Finally, I’m a one-man-monastery, with a twist (very much like Allan Watts, the zen-man) and if I would like, for a while, to meditate in a monastery or two (orthodox, catholic or Buddhist, doesn’t matter) I’m too jelous of my liberty to simply be a monk…

So, I’ve replaced the my monkish temptations with painting monastery landscapes (I did some with Cilik-Dere, for instance). The following is a landscape from Greece I’m kind of proud of (and the original painting is even better)…

I hope you’ll like it too…

Copyright 2008 @ Dan Iordache, for the text and photo reproduction

13 responses to “The monkish temptation

  1. Wonderful grasses! Love the multi-colored layers.

    There is something so appealing about the simplicity of a spiritual refuge, such as a monastery. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in ashrams and appreciate what you say. Sometimes there is a moment of stillness in a place like that that is quite unlike other experiences in other places.

  2. Thanks, bob! I kind of like it myself (not that usual)…

    My greatest experience in a monastery took place in a region of Romania between the Danube and the Black Sea called Dobrodja (the turks had it under their rule for a few hundreds years, still are some turkish name and even some turks…) The monastery, called Cilik Dere, is a women monastery and it’s situeted on some oak forrested hills, in the middle of nowhere… 10-15 miles around it without a soul other than the nuns… They had everything they basically need there: they grow everything they eat, they have a wind mill (I painted it and it is somewhere around the blog…) and they even earn a few buck from the `pelerins` (religiously motivated kind of turists)… The silence is deafening… You want just to lie down and to sleep a month…

  3. By the way, I have a blog-wordpress problem! all my links, the blogroll etc. just disappeared from the blog…I still have it if I go to Manage links, everything seems ok but I cannot see them…

    Any suggestions?

  4. Danu: I like this monastery hidden in the deep, lucious grass.
    Remember before you take your orders that at a monastery you give up not only your independence but also your privacy. The Trappist and Benedictine monasteries that I know all have community living. The Carthusians give each monk a private two-story cell or house with a garden but you have to follow the daily community routine of Mass, Vespers, refectory, etc. The community has to accept you if you want to join–it’s not only your decision. I think you should be a hermit, not a monk. The trouble with that is food. And for you, colors and canvases.

  5. Make that LUSH grass. I don’t mean to eat it.

  6. Swallows, I AM kind of a hermit and monk… I did make the vow of poverty (when I decided to be an artist), diabetes took care of the rest (greed and lust). I still have some problems with pride and anger and envy but then NOBODY’s PERFECT (to cite Don Ameche in Some Like it HOT… at least I think it was don ameche… I recently saw him in a movie Folks, with Tom Selleck! Hilarious!)

    The food is not a problem. I eat 2-3 $ per day when I’m rich… Rice, a few fruts (pamplemouse) and vegetables (oignons, garlic and some red or green pepper when I’m VERY rich…) Lots of condiments though… coriander and hot cari and herbes de Provence…

    Glad You liked my monastery…

  7. ovidiu stanomir

    Manastirea ta din iarba e tacuta, sfioasa (in sensul de “smerita”), misterioasa, parind ca se leagana in vint, odata cu luminarea chiparosului si marea vegetala din care infloreste. Tare ma bucur pt. tine cind izbutesti asemenea peisaje !

  8. You should be proud – it is a very nice painting, Danu.

  9. Ovidiu: da, nu se intampla prea des dar se intampla. Mersi, O. Ai reinceput lucrul?

  10. Well, thanks Bill! I AM proud, a bit, yeah… your appreciation means a lot to me even if I always have a little (VERY little) doubt when you are serious and when you are joking… Your extraordinary Saki like humour and your own excellence in painting give me that (VERY little!) doubt…

  11. ovidiu stanomir

    Placerea este de partea mea…

    Da, am inceput lucrul; cu stangul, ca doar suntem in Ioropa de Est…

  12. Danu, a wonderful painting. And the language and imagery too, of your being “a one-man monaster” with “monkish temptations” is, well, rather delicious, wonderful. … It evokes attributes of spirit that I can’t find words to explain…

    If I ever finally visit Romania, btw, high on my list of priorities and intinerary will be to visit as many monasteries as possible… I’ve seen photos (and paintings😉 of course, and I’m also one often prone to quiet meditation so I cannot imagine what it must feel like to actually visit inside one of the beautiful monasteries! A feast for the eyes AND for the soul, nu?

  13. Thanks, D! Glad to have you visiting.

    Yes, some of those monasteries are quite interesting and if you go to Romania tell me before so I could get you some “inside” information… I did, with my ex and kids, quite a “pelerinage” before we immigrated to Canada, more than 10 years ago… I still have friends (some priest also) and I can help you select the best of the best, monastery wise…

    This painting, surprinsingly (?) sold already (not for a good price but enough to pay the first car payment; did I tell you I have A NEW (really NEW) car? I could even taka a ride to Boston, sometime, after Obama wins…

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