Descending into simplicity on an island in Greece, is a retreat from regular life.
The sea and its sound helps one refrain from thinking about the future, analyzing memories of the past and worrying about what you own. Stepping out of regular life enables you to briefly have no past involvement or future to root in. Without a routine you find lots of empty time without friendships, commitments, obligations, habitual behavior, etc. When you finally get still enough to watch the mind think, the world around you becomes shear awe and silliness.
The first Greek guy we met on the island comically referred
to Kefalonia as the largest nut house in Greece,
stating the name,’ Kefalo’, means mind.
He proudly said everyone here is crazy. He went on to mentioned that in Kefalonia, We have no time! Now these two comments deserve a certain amount of contemplation.
Ironically thyme is the one plant which dominates the landscape, it is the diet of goats and sheep making their milk rich and thick, not to mention the time it takes to let the feta set, 6 months in a barrel, still as stone in a dark little “ stone hooch” kind of shack.
There is thyme growing profusely everywhere. The plants are tough and stiff and their roots run deep. Valentin and I spend a great deal of time walking on the hillsides as the animals graze on thyme. You get a whiff with every step, another whiff as you step behind a rock to pee. The aroma from thyme is intoxicating.
That little mind of mine, part two; holes and ‘wholiness’.
The thyme/time synonym got me thinking, what would it be like if time had the same characteristics as thyme; Time you can eat, time that smells, time that has deep roots? The rocks which are home for the thyme are full of strange and wonderful holes. The thyme pops right out of any opening, whole mountain pastures with countless holes of holiness just sitting there gray like concrete. These holes are so curious. They are individual spaces of empty wholeness, round cavities of shadow and light provoking me to think how can a perfect whole be made like that. Such a shape can only happen in God’s time! Circles of holiness symbolizing eternity, it is no wonder this island experience feels absolutely timeless.
Descending onto simplicity,
I guess thinking for me will be the last thing to go.
Find something silly to think about when you get a chance,
helps the time pass as we move into wholeness.
Icon painting was never life this, Holiness on an Island of Time. Time to make the paint for icon painting is in the rocks and in the time and in the simplicity.