Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation -- Learnings from Greece

I wonder if it's just me, or if most ministers have pieces of sermons writing in their heads, even when they are on vacation...or maybe especially when they are on vacation.

I'm just back from 10 days in Greece with my partner. It was a wonder week, with stops in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.

Sexuality and religion were ever present in Greece. There were phallic symbols on walls and monuments in Delos. There were beautiful Greek gods in various stages of undress in every museum, and tiny pictures of multiple ways of sexual partnering on lots of vases and shards. There were the amazing legends of Greek gods and goddesses, often remarkably sharing power. There were the friezes of the Amazon women warriors, making me wish I remembered more of my 10th grade English and history classes.

And in the modern world of today, there were the family beaches where every women except perhaps most of the Americans were comfortable playing in the water topless. There were the single sex bathrooms in every restaurant we visited, men and women sharing the common sinks while waiting for the stall (some times labeled, some times not) to be free. There was an ease of physical affection between men and men and women and women that was unremarkable to the people around them. On the other hand, except for furtive teenage couples in corners at night, there was little PDA by anyone.

There were little churches everywhere. Tiny Mykonos apparently has 365 of them, one of each day of the year. But we never saw anyone actually going to any of them, even on the two Sunday's of our visit. Worry beads were more ubiquitous than crosses.

And then there were the glorious sunsets over the islands. Each night, I felt a deep reverence and a deep gratitude for the blessings of my life -- and a peace for the love that surrounds us all.

Blessings for your time this summer.

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