Sunday, May 28, 2017

Anastasios Kodak Moment

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, May 27, 2017

The Orthodox-Armenian priest, solemn in his black cassock, beard and thin spectacles takes a picture of the stone in the apse of the tomb "kiosk" chapel. I am not quite sure what is so important about a piece of rock encased in gold, a quick google search reveals it to be revered as a bit of the tomb that was rolled away from the entrance of the tomb, accordingly, it is named "the angel stone."

The be-spectacled, priest takes his photo with an old digital camera. It makes a horrendous clicking-shutter sound every time he snaps a pic. The flash is on and it goes off each time he takes a picture--a blinding, sharp, disruptive strike of lightning being fired into the warm dark womb of our tomb chapel. I am not amused. Not amused at all, and slightly blinded by the blue lightning flash interrupting the cozy dim lighting of the dozens of golden lanterns hung from heavy chains from the ceiling.

Seriously, solemnly, the priest circles the truly unremarkable piece of rock, takin a picture from every possible angle, fastidious and carefully studied in his movements, framing each new composition with equal Surat-like care. Each flash is foreign and intrusive. By the fifth flash, I realize: among all the paintings that surround the tomb: cheap, gaudy, cheesy--emaciated El Greco Christ's flying through the sky--chintzy, and flat, this invading light, unwelcome and unsought for, is by far the best image of resurrection here.

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