Wherein is concluded my account of my peregrinatio to the Ionian Islands.
The modest church built into the rock above Lassi.
On the road to St Gerasimos' Cave, a wasp.
I can't remember who is depicted in that icon but it was his feast day.
On Sunday morning my companion and I went to Divine Service in Argostoli. Just a priest and two cantors, and someone to ring the bell. As parochial, and simple and utterly honest as one could wish, with a natural, seamless quality and a timeless ethos that seemed to transcend the locale and the people (I suppose that just means "catholicity" in a round about way), as though we really were praying in the Spirit and the beauty of holiness, and yet faithful to Tradition as a guide rather than a rule. No rubricism here! Not one of the women covered their heads, as I have seen among the Greeks in London, which I must admit I find irritating. And before you start about such things as slavery being sanctioned by St Paul, let me ask at what point do we cease dispensing with the commands of Scripture as being out of date? Is it at the point of complete negation? Because it seems to me that such things as head covering for women are not as trivial as they seem, and the decline in this godly discipline came about not by ecclesiastical reform but by the ineluctable tide of a culture that long ago dispensed with Christianity; the very tides that brought us multiculturalism and the dogma of equality. Anyway, to return to Mare Nostrum, my friend and I left the church with the Antidoron, and went to the airport.
Another view of Ithaka...
Kefalonia and Ithaka are indeed beautiful but they are becoming increasingly like Tenerife and any number of Mediterranean "little Britains." This is shameful. Just like my companion's comment about building a tunnel through Ithaka. What an abominable notion! The most regrettable irony of Globalisation is that the bigger, cleaner, and more advanced things become, the smaller, dirtier and more backwards we become. It is painful to see the Kefalonians subsisting on the sale of tawdry junk to the Golightly's of this world, without, it seems, any moral or intellectual advancement in the buyers. Why go to Greece to burn on a sunbed when you can do that quite easily at home? And why would you do that in the first place? Why would you go to a foreign country and expect the locals to speak your language? Is there any place on earth where reactionary back numbers like me can go without having to put up with the bloody English? The locals all liked me, of course! Vivi, Sofia, Angela, Constas, the lady from La Gondola in Argostoli whose name I can't remember...they all encouraged and corrected my Greek, and were visibly delighted when I said that we shared the same catholick and apostolick faith. I was embraced on Sunday morning when I recited the Trisagion for two of the maids in my hotel who had missed church! I like to think that my companion and I left an impression of the English abroad unlike the others who go simply to drink lager, tan, buy junk and speak English everywhere.
The next time I go, if I go at all, it will, God willing, be in the winter, when there are no tourists. Hopefully to see Theophany.