Remains

Happy New Year Museworthy friends! I’m awfully late in offering that salutation, but at least it’s still January. “Happy New Years” in February are just going too far ๐Ÿ˜†

So I finally got to see the Armenia exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. The show closed on the 13th. It consisted of many beautifully illuminated manuscripts, gospel books, bas relief sculptures, architectural fragments, liturgical objects and vestments, and, my favorites, reliquaries. In medieval Christianity, reliquaries were containers that held holy relics of some sort, such as physical remains of the saints or objects associated with them. Adorned with precious stones and other decorative embellishments, reliquaries are unique works of art in and of themselves.

This reliquary cross with relics of St John the Baptist is from the Cilicia region of Armenia, 14th century. Gilded silver, filigree, precious and semi-precious stones, pearl and coral:

And this is a hand reliquary of Saint Abulmuse, from the Kharpert region. Some of my ancestors were from Kharpert. This gilded silver piece was luminous in person. Abulmuse was martyred and is recognized with a feast day in Armenian Orthodox tradition. This reliquary was on loan from the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum in Michigan. The Manoogians are cousins to my family through my grandfather’s side.

I hope that 2019 has started out better for all of you than it has for me. These past few weeks since my last blog post have been personally very trying. I won’t bore you with a laundry list of reasons, except that severe emotional pain from my family’s behavior, plus financial strains, plus dealing with a medical condition, have all piled on at the same time and I’ve felt like I’m drowning. I have an appointment tomorrow for a heart test to assess my aortic valve issue; my third one since the summer. It would have made an enormous difference during this tough time if only I had some relief from family aggravations. But no such luck. There’s never any ‘relief’ in this family. My mother used to be the greatest single support system one could ask for; a woman of bottomless compassion and understanding. Those were the good old days. But she has been hijacked by my brother and has chosen to aggressively prioritize his life, his concerns, his narratives and his needs over everyone else’s. It has cast a dark cloud over everything, and my recent anxiety hit levels I haven’t experienced in some time. However, I am immensely grateful for my dear friends, my sister-in-law Gayle, my niece Olivia, and my church family. Accept love and kindness from wherever it comes.

I’ll see you all soon …

17 thoughts on “Remains

  1. scultore says:

    Sorry to hear of your unfortunate start to the new year, not much help but I have a drawing of you in my show at Mercersburg Academy, and people pointed it out. I’m with you, even if I don’t communicate much

    • artmodel says:

      Bruce,

      That definitely cheers me up! Thanks for telling me. Can you email me the drawing you have there? You’ve done so many drawings of me over the years!

      Thanks for your comments, and I might see you soon at Minerva’s ๐Ÿ™‚

      Claudia

  2. Enid Braun says:

    Dear, dear Claudia, Feel terrible to hear how rough a patch you are going through, though the only thing I could have helped with perhaps was financial. I didnโ€™t book you this round of classes that starts the 28th only because I felt the students needed more mix of modelsโ€”but now I feel bad if you could have used the gig!

    I truly feel bad about your family stresses. I urge you to figure out a way to make peace with yourself in the sense of working with how hurt and angry you are, only because the anger is so destructive to your well-being. I know you know you have many who care about you, but please count me among them for whatever it is worth. With love, Enid

    >

    • artmodel says:

      Enid,

      Don’t feel bad, please! You have given me so much work over the years, and it’s been great. You have to offer a mix of models for your group, absolutely! I should get back on track (hopefully) with my financials. January is always a tricky month. ConEd bill gets high which always stings me in the pocketbook. And I dread the next MTA fare hike, because we all know it’s coming!

      I appreciate your kind words of love and support so very much. You’re right about anger. A burdensome thing to carry around with us. But also, a difficult thing to rid ourselves of. Anger seems to have more lasting power than sadness, I think. And anger eats away at you in a way that sadness doesn’t. But fortunately my anxiety has lifted quite a bit since I had the heart test done on Tuesday. I guess that was causing a good chunk of my anxiety even though I wasn’t consciously aware of it. Got through it, and glad it’s over. We’ll see where things go from here.

      Again, Enid, thanks so much for posting your thoughtful, generous comments here. I’m grateful to know you ๐Ÿ™‚

      Claudia

  3. Ken says:

    Consider us, the Museworthy Readers, as your family! I have a dilated aortic root and need to get it checked. Not causing me problems though (yet). So feel free to discuss aortic issues here.

    Family issues may well aggravate your condition. I hope you can find a a way to release yourself from their grasp – for your health’s sake. For anyone else, I’d suggest figure modeling as a way to relieve stress, because it works for me. Maybe you just need more!

    Thinking about you.

    All the Best,

    Ken

    • artmodel says:

      Ken,

      Another member of the aorta club! Thanks for sharing your issue. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a dilated root. Sounds serious but glad it’s not causing you problems yet. My condition is a bicuspid aortic valve. I was born with it. So I’ve had my whole life to prepare for the inevitable, which will be surgery at some point to replace the valve.

      I do what I can to find relief from the stressful family situation. It’s very tough at times, but I do have outlets. Yoga is a great one. And the best of all is, like you said, our fabulous art modeling work. It’s no coincidence that I feel the most stable and the most content, on the days I work. It’s on my days off that things get shaky.

      Thanks for your comments, Ken. Your advice and support mean a lot. And I most definitely see Museworthy readers as ‘family’ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Claudia

  4. Grier Horner says:

    Dear Claudia, I know you’ll find a way out of the darkness clouding your life. Yours, Grier

  5. Grier Horner says:

    Dear Claudia, You are such a strong, resourceful woman, I know you’ll find a way out of the darkness clouding your life. Yours, Grier

    • artmodel says:

      Grier,

      Your words give me strength. Thank you so much. Dark clouds is exactly how it feels during these episodes. An apt description. I hope I’m as strong as you say!

      Thanks again.

      Claudia

  6. Bill says:

    A beautiful exhibit — I’m really glad that you had the chance to see it. Most importantly, it’s the story of a resilient group of people who, relying on their God and their spirit, struggled against the worst type of adversity. You have their DNA — not to mention the support of quite a few people. Hand in there, kid!

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      I absolutely love what you wrote here. I’m getting teary-eyed! The Armenian people are nothing if not resilient. The museum exhibit was a very moving, and humbling, experience. And seeing artifacts on loan from the Manoogian Museum was quite something.

      Thanks Bill, as always, for your support, your friendship, and your uplifting words ๐Ÿ™‚

      Claudia

  7. I’m awfully sorry to hear of all the stresses in your life currently. I can empathize about family tension as my brother and I have a very tense and angry relationship. As a Christian I have forgiven him in my heart, but I agree, anger is a terribly difficult emotion to purge (especially when It involves a family member where the norm should be love and acceptance). I will include you in my morning intercessory prayers for an end to or relief from your anguish. Pax

    • artmodel says:

      Gregory,

      I am humbled and grateful for your prayers. Thank you so very much! As to your own issues with your brother, you are a better Christian than I in your forgiveness. I have fallen into this pattern of making one step forward and then two steps back in my battle with him. It goes nowhere. My main focus right now is my relationship with my mother and trying to repair that. My brother has lost his way and only he and he alone can find his way back.

      Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for your thoughtful comments and support …

      Claudia

  8. Peter says:

    Wishing you all the best, sorry to hear about your troubles, hope that the rest of the year would be indeed better…

  9. jiminalaska says:

    From up here on top of the world, belated best wishes throughout the New Year, Claudia.

    So far I’ve kept my New Year’s resolution, to get up before the sun every day. Easy enough to do way back on 1 January, it rose at 10:54 AM. It’s getting a wee bit harder now,, it rose today at 9:08 AM and will come up tomorrow 6 minutes and 49 seconds earlier.

    Alas, I’m sure I’ll break my resolution well before 15 June when the sun rises here a 3:01 AM. -grin-

    • artmodel says:

      Jim,

      Those are some late sunrises! 10:54 AM? That’s some crazy Alaska time. It’s funny because I am a night person and only get up early because I have to for work. But I do love seeing the sun break out in the wee hours. Amazing sight. I may yet convert into a ‘morning person’!

      Thanks for commenting, and good to hear from you after so long! Hope things are well ..

      Claudia

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