Monday, September 23, 2013

Remembering the Acropolis


I was sixteen, tall, thin, scared with acne and full of romantic yearning when I first saw the Acropolis. I was on a school cruise, it was April, the sun was brightening in its warmth, the flowers of Spring were out. I had been reading poetry, seriously, for the first time (Auden) and I found myself enraptured by new places discovered, externally and in myself. There was a language, I discovered, that helped you see through feeling, and it was good.

On that trip, it was Greece (not Venice, nor Turkey, nor Egypt) that I fell in love with. Most especially with the theatre at Epidauros and its accompanying temple of Ascelpios; and, the notion you might fall asleep, dream of gods and be healed (and watch drama with virtually perfect acoustics)!

Yesterday, I was drawn to the temple of the god of healing, both on the slopes of the Acropolis and those key remnants preserved in the new Acropolis Museum (a fabulous building that no doubt creditors believe was paid for with money that the country did not have)! There is something deeply reassuring in knowing that dreams speak and symbols translate you (if seen aright) into your better possibility.

I ambled paths that I had not stepped for over thirty years and dialogued with my sixteen year old self. I was struck by how much is the same - the same yearning for experience of transcendence, the same willingness to be caught up in enthusing wonder, the same sense of a present past and of questions that are responded to not in being answered but in being deepened.

You find a vulnerability to the world that allows it to step forth and speak and that requires you to answer not in the confining certainty of words but in deed. I found the world afresh and it was beautiful.


1 comment:

  1. love this Nicholas, very beautiful and apt. esp this wording -- deeply reassuring in knowing that dreams speak and symbols translate you (if seen aright) into your better possibility. And the whole last two paragraphs. Reminders I am enjoying and appreciating much these days.

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