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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey

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    The Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki is located on the Turkish island known as Heyelbiada in the Bosporus straits. It was closed in 1971 by the Turkish government and is the subject of much controversy since it is the only seminary in Turkey and the position of Ecumenical Patriarch can only be filled by a Turkish citizen. Sign the petition to reopen it at www.greece.org

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12 August 2006

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kat

I have Google alerts set up to tell me when someone links to my site, and for some reason this post came up today though I'm nowhere to be found. I have to believe it was for another reason, and now I'm compelled to tell you so.

The project I'm working on has been a challenge, not only because past strikes made it impossible to do my job and I also lost one because of them, but because it has brought up both painful and sentimental feelings about my relationship with this country. I can see, even touch her beauty, but I cannot enjoy it and I wonder how and why I was chosen to teach others to do what I cannot.

Stavros

Kat,

I have not answered your comment right away because I had to think about what you are saying and how to respond.

Greece is a double sided coin. One side is everything that each of us love about it and which draws us to it. The other more, ominous side is the Greek reality which is difficult to contend with even under the best of circumstances.

Right now Anna is in Greece taking care of her seriously ill father, who recently suffered a heart attack. When I call I listen to the litany of the trials and tribulations, made even more difficult and stressful by a medical system that has serious problems. All I can do is listen. We are helpless to change things and in the long run we can only do our best to play the hand we have been dealt and have faith that God will not give us more than we can handle.

Hang in there.

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  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy

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