JOSEFA and Pustinia

Pustinia, or desert in Russian, and Philokalia, love of beauty in Greek. Pondering, experiencing and combining the two together. It seems difficult not to see one without the other. Solitude and Beauty...

Rather than being a narcissistic inclination or a guilty pleasure, or rather than being an illusion or presumption of "the beautiful soul" as described by Hegel, together the two are actually an invitation to an internal pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage (or migration?) towards Beauty. A sometimes difficult journey, an age-old asceticism which purges me of my faults, such as any illusions of myself: vanity and pride mainly come to mind.

Pustinia means vacant or to vacate, in order to experience Philokalia. Pustinia can be understood as a place where one can go to retreat, a place detached from the ceaseless requests and external pressures of the world around us.

Below the surface, behind the door, a place away from the contingencies of daily life.

A desert. Not outside the city, far from people, but a desert in the city’s core where I try to live, in this particular case at the Josefa House.

A sober, bare, but welcoming place, inviting one to this internal pilgrimage towards what is essential, inviting one to discover one’s interiority, one’s heart.

A place where one can take the time, to heal the heart, cleanse it, calm it, recreate it in order to recreate one’s self. A formidable task.

A place where everything invites one to work on one’s self, to open one’s self up to this Beauty so old and so new, in order to truly open one’s self to the Other and to others and make this Beauty present.