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A Strange and Strong Connection

December 11, 2013

I’m happy to be back at home,

I left hospital yesterday and both operations were successful.


Ikoni im

Nursing Madonna: Madonna LactansGalaktotrofusa, Млекопитательница


“Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.”

Luke 11:26


Last spring,

we had a children charity project (ElinasAngels) in Stockholm

and I visited The Sollentuna Red Cross Centre several times.

Once, I got a feeling that I had to look at the second hand items – porcelains and kitchenware.

I’m not usually interested in that kind of stuff,

but I felt almost forced to view those shelters.

Among all pots, vases and coffee cup sets,

I saw this Nursing Madonna Icon.


I didn’t like it.

But either could I leave it there.

It was calling me and I just had to buy it.


At home, I put it on the window sill in the living room
and tried to understand
– why did I buy this type of icon?
I don’t collect icons.
I create and paint icons.
I felt an eye contact with this icon,
but looking at this Nursing Madonna made me feel sick.
Now, afterwards,
I can see a connection between my breast cancer and buying this icon.
I got the first invitation to mammogram at that time.
I couldn’t make that appointment because of my work,
and I got a new one after summer, in this autumn.
And here I am.
Now without one breast.
While I was in hospital,
I was actually wondering, if it could be possible to “nurse away” this type of cancer.
It is growing in mammary ducts…
What a strange and strong connection:
Icon and sickness.
As a message:
This is the next obstacle on your path.
But be fearless,
I’m here with you.
I guide you.
This kind of connection refers to the words:

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:16

I still have a complicated relation to this Nursing Madonna Icon.
I have difficulties to look at it,
and can’t think of painting one
– at least right now.


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Heather Kopp

Words fail, but sometimes I try

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Steve's body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element.

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