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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

November 29th, 2007

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11:11 am - Wondering Why We Ever Go Home: Greece, 2007
Journal Entry 12

11:15 PM
The House
Hot Water

Hot Water is. . . ineffible. For several mornings, we have spent our showers in achingly cold water, and for the past six days, I have managed exactly one hot shower.

My body feels cleaner, and my spirit as well. While I've managed to soap, wash my hair, and rinse off every day, it has always left me feeling dirty, even fresh from the shower.

Now, after my first warm shower since the morning after I arrived, I feel clean and (possibly) even attractive again. More importantly, I don't feel like I shouldn't approach some of these temples. I feel purified. zylch said her shower was "The best shower I ever had that didn't involve sex!"

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The Roman Agora and Athens Acropolis
Temple of Hephestos beyond the altar of Ares | Turtle! | The Acropolis from near Hadrian's Library  

Today, I arrived at the temples of Ares, Athena Nike, the Olympian Zeus, and several others. I made offerings and enjoyed some meditative time on the Acropolis in Athens (where they have a strange rule that you cannot take "obscene pictures", which becomes extended to not allowing you to take photos that have people in them in the museum. In other words, you'd better not pose with your favourite statue.)

Detail from the hem of Athena's robe
Acropolis museum

I have been making small offerings of coins at most of these temples, but the offerings have been mainly for others. These are not really my deities, and my belief in them is complicated.

That's the interesting thing about our practice. I don't need to believe in a deity to do the proper or appropriate work for them. I really don't think that it would insult a god (though it seems to bug the shit out of the gods followers).

But it also gives me the chance to do work for others, work I couldn't do if it were belief that was more important than practice.

So I leave each site in Greece, knowing that my offering, though left for someone other than me, has been accepted. I always walk away feeling that I have done the proper thing, that I have taken the right action.

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Two views of Athens, and one "Way of Hermes" sign
From the Areopagus to the Agora | From the Acropolis to the sea | The Way of Hermes is over there

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Athenian War Museum: Thermopylae 1942 poster | WTFTentacles? | Athenian War Museum: coolest mace/club ever!
Note: the tentacle sticker was found on the Areopagus
But with a flask of whisky, a paint roller, and tentacles:
How can you really go wrong?

Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: "A Thousand Steps to Nowhere", -JB

(8 comments Leave a comment)


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:November 29th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Damn straight, they are.

For the record, I recall vigorously agreeing with zylch on that point. Curiously, as I was re-reading this (because each of these is just a raw journal entry, and not really involving reflection), I realized that I didn't feel too "unclean" to approach the temples before the hot shower, but after I'd taken that shower, I felt like I had been "unclean." Kind of odd, looking back.
[User Picture]
Date:November 30th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
Yes, especially when you have a friend with you to scrub your back. :)
[User Picture]
Date:November 29th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on the ineffability of hot water.

Okay, so all those pictures of ancient Greek things are lovely, but... omg tentacles! Sweet!
[User Picture]
Date:November 29th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
I was so befuddled at finding tentacles (and such tentacles!) on the Areopagus' mapboard that I just *had* to have a picture of it. Besides, mazisexton wasn't with us, and I felt she needed to see it!

It still confuses me every time I look at it. . . I find the weirdest stuff overseas.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:November 29th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
At least you got to experience the showers?

Small compensation, I know... but maybe there will be another trip sometime to somewhere just as awesome! (I vote for India, perhaps, or central Asia...)
[User Picture]
Date:November 29th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
Maybe next time we travel (all of us, some of us, or even one of us), I'll remember to get some pictures of me with people, too. I have a couple of pictures of individuals, but none of me with anyone, with one exception: Meghan and I sitting under the Temple of Poseidon.

(btw, remembering that, I have a sudden desire to mention that I'd watch a sunset with ya anytime.)

There should be more pictures of me with random people, and certainly more pictures of me with my friends.
[User Picture]
Date:November 29th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I think I have about 4 more entries to put up. The only thing that keeps me from just copy/pasting them is the fact that I like to put pictures up with them. :)
[User Picture]
Date:November 30th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
I took an hour long hot shower last night and it was amazing. I've had to take cold showers for an entire vacation before and it can mess you up.

I hope you have a great time! I've always wanted to go to Greece.

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