I fully intended to finish another webcomic page today, but I ended up getting distracted and doing this instead. My take on the classic Byzantine icon. I tried to stick to the traditional design, but my own style comes through. I went with a rose and lily motif for Mary’s crown and a cruciform motif for Jesus’.
Although it isn’t a true icon, I did honor the tradition of omitting my signature. I felt it was the least I could do to show respect to the imagery as well as the many icon-writers who work without recognition.
There are many interpretations of the one loose sandal, but my favorite comes from this website. Carpathian Mountains International explains that the sandals represent Christ’s dual nature: simultaneously human and divine. One tightly sandaled foot is grounded on earth. The other foot is ready to fly to heaven.
I like this explanation, not only because I am in touch with my own inner contradictions. But also because I have my head perpetually in the clouds. The realm of the mystical, the intangible, the ideal. Maybe that’s why I live as much of my life barefoot as possible. Because I’m fixing to fly away.
The Art of Icons
This would be a good time to toss in a reminder about The Art of Icons workshop. On June 10, I’ll be leading an exploration of spiritual imagery through the ages. Not just Byzantine icons, but images from every time, place and religious tradition. More importantly, we’ll be developing our own personal spiritual imagery.