Photo Challenge: Quest


© SCH, 2014

Through much of the history of mankind, the quest for answers takes a circuitous path through the divine.

I took this photo at the Noravank Monastery, roughly 100 miles southeast of the Armenian capital of Yerevan. I found this small carving on a built-in altar in a small side chapel at the monastery complex, called Sub Grigor Chapel, named after one of the most important figures in the history of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Saint Gregory the Illuminator. Although this small chapel was built as a tomb for members of the influential Orbelian family in 1275, this face caught my eye.

While adorning this small altar, the face would have been carved after the initial altar installation. It appears to take advantage of the natural curve of the side of the altar. Was it added merely as embellishment, as an afterthought or was its image planned?

Does it represent the quest for the divine or the quest for the divine in each of us? Is it a god looking down on us, or us looking up for god? We are left with only questions and suppositions. Ultimately, we are on a quest to seek the answers…to the quest.