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International

Apr18

Greece: in the arms of the gods

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

Félix Garmendía tells of the special connection he feels with Greece.

Greece: in the arms of the gods

Grecia, Oct 24, 2012.

I’m not sure if I believe in reincarnation. Sometimes it sounds to me like a punishment, sometimes like another opportunity to evolve.

When I was a child I had a dream that recurred often. In that dream, I could not see myself but there were several things that were very clear. I was standing on a cliff high above a very beautiful blue ocean, there were white buildings that contrasted with the ocean’s water. I also remember a very comforting island breeze flowing through my loose fitting white garments. I’m not entirely sure that I was a male, and there was a very strong sense of spiritual connection to nature. I was so comfortable, so content, so happy, so at home. 

In 1984 I took a trip to Europe, spent 40 days all over the continent and saw wonders that I never thought I was ever going to see in person. On a Summer morning the boat that was taking us from England to the beautiful Greek Islands, arrived to the shores of a very familiar scene. I couldn’t believe my eyes I was approaching the shores of an island that was very special. My heart started to beat very fast and tears started flowing down my face. It was beautiful. It felt like home. The sapphire blue ocean, the white buildings, and this very strong feeling that I had been there before, just like my familiar childhood dream.

As a college student I read The Iliad. Till this day, it is one of my favorite books. I remember Achilles' monologue in front of the funeral pyre of Patroclus, his lover. The ultimate love offering when Achilles cuts his hair and throws it in the flames that were consuming his lover’s remains still sticks to my memory and it was all over my mind as I was watching this familiar scene.

When I arrived at the Island, I started to walk around, having even a stronger feeling that I had been there with every step that I took. The locals were friendly and beautiful. The architecture was exquisite and I decided to buy something special that will always remind me of this trip. I entered the first gift shop and right in front of my eyes, there was a hand painted scene of Achilles holding his dead lover Patroclus in his arms. I couldn’t believe it, could it be that this is a very common artistic subject or was it there waiting for me?

I will never forget Greece and my special connection with it’s artistic legacy and I always will wonder if indeed somewhere in time, I stood up on a hill and etched in my universal memory the image of what used to be home.

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