In a recent SlowTalk worldwide photohunt our theme was Wood. I posted this photo of an elaborately decorated alter chair in the Eastern Orthdox Monastery at Piva in the country of Montenegro.
The Monastery at Piva is Montenegro's most treasured. When the government of Yugoslavia announced the pending construction of a dam that would put the monastery at the bottom of a lake, a thirteen year project relocated the monastery to the safety of higher ground.
During our visit to this wonderful monastery we met the caretaker, Father Nikifor. Montenegrin tall (at least 6'6"), he's a delightful man with sparkling eyes. And also true to the Montenegrin culture, he is the most gracious of hosts. He showed us all around the grounds and inside the monastery.
Eastern orthodox monasteries have two altars. The front altar is visable to the faithful. It is richly decorated and beautiful.
But its that tiny, sacred SPACE behind the front altar and entered only by the priests, that few ever see. Notice the red velvet curtain at the bottom right corner of the photo above.
Father Nikifor graciously pulled back the curtain and allowed us a peek inside, but not cross the threshold. When he suggested that I take a photo, I was flabbergasted and honored.
So here is my photo to represent "space". It is the most sacred space in the most sacred monestary in Montenegro.