Thursday, March 24, 2016

Greek Odyssey '16 -- The Oracle at Delphi

Today we visited the sacred shrine of Apollo at Delphi. It was, simply speaking, the most important religious shrine in all of the ancient Greek world. It is an amazingly "thin place" and it is clear to anyone who visits here that this is a sacred space. While here, of course, we were able to spend a good deal of time in personal contemplative reflection. But we were also able to see how the various poleis of Ancient Greece competed with one another in very visible displays of the honor-shame culture that defined them and often started wars between them.

The site also offered us the opportunity to experience some of the common vegetation in Greece very closely. Because of the abundance of olive trees in this area, we were able to pick olives straight from the tree and sample them. We quickly learned that olives straight from the tree are absolutely horrible to taste. Exceptionally better. The local caretaker, however, explained to us the process of brining olives over a very long period of time that makes them as enjoyable as we know them to be. He also showed us that if we picked up off of the ground the ones that appeared "rotten," we would find that they were much more palatable.

If one tries the "rotten" ones, one inevitably says "ohh, olive olive the olives!"

(Again, sorry. The gods make me write this stuff.)

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