Iconography: A Writer's Meditation

Overview

"I started this meditation on the first day of Lent. I hope to keep going every day until Easter. Each day I go fishing in the water of this internal voice. This week the water’s still, this angled pen a blue sail; the hook is lazy in the estuary, the water the color of lapis. So what if I don’t catch a fish? I said that I would fish; that’s all I promised. I bait the hook with each day’s discipline. I have no guarantees that there is anything at all to catch in these particular waters, that something beneath the surface won’t grab my pen and ...

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Iconography: A Writer's Meditation

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Overview

"I started this meditation on the first day of Lent. I hope to keep going every day until Easter. Each day I go fishing in the water of this internal voice. This week the water’s still, this angled pen a blue sail; the hook is lazy in the estuary, the water the color of lapis. So what if I don’t catch a fish? I said that I would fish; that’s all I promised. I bait the hook with each day’s discipline. I have no guarantees that there is anything at all to catch in these particular waters, that something beneath the surface won’t grab my pen and pull me under." —from Iconography

When Susan Neville enrolls in an icon-painting class in the cellar of an Indianapolis monastery, she begins a journey into a fascinating hidden world where saints are fabricated of mineral and wood, yolk and blood, earth and time. The process is tedious, and she begins to make mistakes, to become impatient; she doesn’t feel ready for the challenge. To prepare herself, Neville makes a vow to write during the 40 days of Lent. What emerges is a journal, a meditation, a series of confessions that we are invited to listen to as we follow Neville’s sometimes painful attempts to reveal the truth and discover the mystery of her existence. In the layering of colors and moods, her writing is the spiritual equivalent of an icon. As she observes the world around her and applies the paint of language to her observations, she realizes that spirit and matter are not separate—that now and then moments of meaning emerge from daily life, and the stillness and majesty of the universe shine through.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Ruminator Review

"In this thoughtful, often lovely book, Neville's honesty is both moving and bracing." —Ruminator Review

From the Publisher
"In this thoughtful, often lovely book, Neville's honesty is both moving and bracing." —Ruminator Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253216144
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Neville is the author of five collections of creative nonfiction and fiction, including Fabrication; Invention of Flight, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction; and Indiana Winter (IUP, 1994). She teaches creative writing at Butler University and is on the faculty of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

ST. MARY OF ENNUI

BOOK ONE: TRANSFIGURATION

Ash Wednesday, 2002
Buying Time
A Vow
A False Spring
Confession
I Am
Housekeeping
A Well Lighted Place
Vocation
Inside This Skin
In Memoriam
St. Augustine
Marriage
Plague Sunday
Monday
Those Things I Didn't Know About Death
Discipline
On Place and Time
Synchronicity
Midpoint
Dusk: Third Sunday in Lent
On Fragility
Children
Wednesday
On the Cusp Between Wednesday & Thursday
A Window Into Radiance

BOOK TWO: CAPTIVA

BOOK THREE: HOME

Sunday
Grace
Wednesday Once Again
Witness
Thresholds
And So
Frogs and Karaoke
Palm Sunday
On Rivers and Cherries
Monday
Tuesday
Midnight, Passover
Wednesday
Thursday
Good Friday
Saturday
Sunday

THE JOY OF ALL WHO SORROW

Indiana University Press

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