We live in a world of icons: cloth, stone, digital, metal, paper: money, electronic devices, flags, statues, scriptures, media stars, and so on. Icons have been the stuff of human worship for centuries: the Hebrews worshiped the golden calf, early Christians worshiped fragments of the true cross, modern Christians adore Christ’s body and the crucifix, people all over the world will die to defend their particular country’s flag, the media produces household names and images that everyone knows.
The following is a versification of the power of icons:
Statue straight, statue tall
Ever ready for when I fall,
Props me up when I am down
Gives me peace without a sound,
Mirror image of my dreams,
Gives me hope when all else seems
Empty, lonely, full of hate,
Mind and body, a terrible state.
Beautiful icon, destroy my fear,
Through clouds and darkness make it clear
What is true, what is fact,
How I ought to be and act,
You tell me what to perceive
Revealed in you, what to believe,
How do I know if what I see
Is an accurate reflection of what’s in me?
Tell me, Icon, that you are real
Tell me that the confusion I feel,
Deep inside, within my being
Is false, since not the same as seeing
The matchless beauty of human art,
Marble complement to the human heart.
No need for God, no need for Scripture,
All I need is a secular mixture,
Of stone from the soil,
And the sculptor’s toil–
To produce a heavenly deity,
Wrought from earthly fealty.