Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

Welcome Visitors

Friday, June 29, 2012

Advice from an old priest; fun times at Taxiarchis

Hangin' with the guys at Taxiarchis
A group of us from the Seriphos Writing Workshop took a side trip to the Taxiarchis monastery up in Chora, the central village atop a small mountain. He served us coffee and Loukoumi squares, a powdery, sugary confection similar to Turkish Delight. This is not a term that the Greek folks on Seriphos would appreciate as the Turks have invaded Greece at least once, and the Greeks have their own special version of this candy!
At any rate, first we wandered around in the tiny cemetery, where each gravestone was marked with a photo of the departed. Then we walked into the inner garden, filled with flowers of psychedelic-hued magenta, and intrepid evergreens bursting with spiky seeds. The old priest invited us in. We had questions for him. One person asked if he had advice for getting past bad dreams. The priest smiled and said, "Don't sleep!" He grew more serious when asked about what was most important to a family. "Love and respect."
Monastery flowers

Jack & Cooper with the priest
Priestly things
And about relationships: "No fake ones, stay only in real ones of the heart, and if you find the one, keep her/him."
Inside the church we lit candles and I was particularly taken with a painting of a saint fighting a black-winged demon. Back outside, more blessings and kisses were conferred, and we departed reluctantly. I am not Greek Orthodox, not even close, yet I felt, and the others did too, that this humble man's soothing vibes had fully restored us to our own humanity.
The author at the Acropolis
Jack & Dinkar ride the bald-tired dragon


  1. What a lovely thought, "...I felt, and the others did too, that this humble man's soothing vibes had fully restored us to our own humanity." I've had that experience a handful of times with some religious folk, too. What I'd like to learn is how to keep that ethereal feeling of charity with the world with me always. Perhaps "always" isn't possible, but I suppose striving to achieve it is a success of its own...
    Some Dark Romantic

  2. I like the priest's sayings. Lovely pictures too. What a wonderful experience.

  3. Sounds like a great experience and your description brought it alive.

  4. Thanks for sharing all the details of your trip, Catherine, and giving us a taste of what it would be like to be there with you. (Wish I was!)

  5. I can tell you're being heavily influenced by your experience, Catherine. Beautiful prose pouring out on this blog.

    The priest had some excellent common sense and sagely wisdom. Loved to hear about your experience.

  6. Yes, I guess I am, Lee. Next post, from Istanbul. I'm only sorry I can't post on others' blogs as much as I normally do during this trip. It's a bit hectic--but great!

  7. Catherine, I gave you two awards on my blog today. :)

  8. You lucky duck!! You're in Greece?? Wow have an amazing time! Can't wait to see more pics! :)

  9. Thanks, Kelly! Yes, PK, but I'm back now, just recovered from serious jet lag.

  10. I love the nightmare advice, tee-hee! These are some amazing pictures, thanks for sharing them :)

  11. PS -- I tagged you in my 'Be Inspired Meme' post, if you wish to participate.

  12. What a lovely story...and place. You must have had quite the amazing experience to cherish a lifetime over. Hope you journalled it all!