A week ago my dear friends Ene and her husband Algerd Andruškevitšus celebrated their Birthdays in an unique and surprising place in the Tallinn Old Town. It truly was surprising, because most of the guests had never heard about it before and while entering there, it became more and more astonishing as we were guided through the building.
It was the Museum of Russian Icons – a privately owned hidden pearl inside of the centre of the Old Town. This museum is home for over 400 icons, dating from the 15th to the 20th century.
I arrived a bit earlier and had a wonderful chance to listen and draw Tiina Jurjeva, who takes care of the museum. Her character and enthusiasm gave the rooms an extra glow. Within minutes she changed my perception of looking at icons. The first thing she mentioned was, that icon cherishes life – it carries beauty and happiness. The cross is a symbol of victory, rather than suffering. And while drawing and observing her, I noticed she reflects the same values.
When all the quests arrived, we were gifted a tour with incredble Orest Kormašov, who introduced us the collection with more insights about the icons.
After, we were drinking Tiina’s father’s favourite black tea with hot water poured from samovar. Had Russian traditional open pies and delicious little pancakes that Ene had cooked herself and a lot more deliciousness.
One of the many bright moments in that evening was Ene introducing every one to everyone – highlighting her guests with sincere and loving words. It was a way of showing kindness, that I learned and will take to my own practice.
The night seemed to end too soon, as sitting next to an actress Eneken Aksel, who’s vital being and fascinating stories about her life and traveling to the East, made us forget the time.
Thank you Ene & Algerd for celebrating the biggest value there is – life. With us – your friends.