Savoring the Sunset at Greece’s Meteora Monasteries

 

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” – Mahatma Gandhi 

As we looked out into the sea of dramatic rock formations being gently highlighted by the lemon chiffon-colored setting sun, our Greek host George asked the five of us to observe two minutes of silence.

Up until then, we’d been oohing and aahing about the monasteries perched atop the sheer rocks, perpetually clicking our cameras’ shutters, and continuing conversations started while dining together al fresco with our new Greek and Italian traveling companions.

Now the moment was more serene and contemplative. I noticed the birds dancing in the sky, high above the monasteries’ terracotta rooftops. My attention was drawn to the contours of the rock formations, and the gentle gusts of wind, tickling my cheeks. I was again reminded of how lucky we were to be in such a special place, and I understood why the name Meteora means ‘suspended in air’ in Greek.

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Exploring the Mysticism of Greece’s Byzantine Icons: Profiling Iconographer Dimitrios Moulas

In a two-room workshop that is dwarfed by the surrounding massive Meteora rock formations, 38 year-old Greek iconographer Dimitrios Moulas demonstrates admirable focus towards his subject – an icon that will soon represent Jesus Christ. With a delicate paintbrush in hand, he carefully draws fine facial hairs. After a few moments have passed, the hairs have been transformed into a wispy mustache. As I quietly watch the process from behind, it seems as though the artist’s and subject’s eyes are locked upon one another, in an intense gaze.

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