Thursday, September 11, 2008

A spontanious memorial off the beaten track

I have been knocking around with Vaughn a gentleman from Wales. He is a young 55 year old who is now a parole officer in England, but he has traveled the world doing a variety of things ranging from teaching English (how I don't know, I can barely understand him - ha ha, sorry Vaughn!) in places like Greece, Crete, Indonesia, Russa and China. He has worked "smoothing the beach" here in Plakas, working in bars etc. Doing whatever to extend his travels. He is a pretty cool cat who loves talking about politics - "Oh them (insert any nationality other than Welsh here) are bloody bastards"; philosophy - "fuck those daft (insert name of anyone who disagrees here) bastards"; shagging - "Fuck those - "see - you - next - tuesday's" they'll fuck you then screw you..." He's really not that bitter. I rather enjoy his rants and he is a good guy.

Anyway, he and I have been knocking around and the other day we decided to go see this old Venician mill (1300s ish) that is off the beaten track not a tourist sight and about a 20 minute hike from the hostel we are staying at. We talk as we walk thorough the olive orchards and over the stream that is somewhat guiding our way. It is simply beautiful, no one is around, we are surrounded by blue sky, gusts of winds (Plakas is VERY windy) and some jagged mountains. I tell him about losing Bryan that day and he shares some stories of losing his father. We cross over this ancient arched stone bridge from the middle ages (wow if only our roads in Michigan could last as long!!) and begin assending the old walls of the mill. We are still talking and climbing and taking some great pics (soon to be up loaded to this site!) and I see across the other side of the stream on the face of the mountain facing us an old church imbeded in the side of the mountain. We say "what the heck" and decide to try to get to it. We climb down the mill, cross the river and climb across a narrow stone path to reach the small santuary. After a few minutes we get to this old church that is built into the side of this mountain. The door was small; something like an knome would go through and on the inside the was a small alter, offering bowl, candles, cross, and pictures of Jesus, Mary, arch angels and saints. It is still a functional shrine/temple. Vaughn suggests that we light a candle for Bryan and have a moment of silence for him in rememberance. So we have a small spontanious memorial service for Bryan in this ancient, tiny church in Southern Crete that we found while hiking. I felt it was not an accident that we found this place literally in the middle of nowhere. Bryan was a spiritual person and it was a very approperate way of saying goodbye to my good friend eventhough I was to miss his funeral in the US.

~Craig

2 comments:

  1. And so your journey comes to a close. I leave you with this parting thought: Greece is the word, it's the word that you heard, it's got grooves and now to you it has meaning.

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  2. I think that's a very befitting memorial for him. I'm up late this evening, can't sleep.. thinking about him and his family.

    I hope you had a wonderful time on your trip. Let me know if you decide to get a "Jam Session" together.. or if there is anyway I can assist you at all.

    Susan~

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