November 29th, 2007
|11:11 am - Wondering Why We Ever Go Home: Greece, 2007|
Journal Entry 12
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!"
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
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.
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
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
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.
Yes, especially when you have a friend with you to scrub your back. :)