The Spirit of 1821: Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation

greek-independence

Zito! 

March 25th is Greek Independence Day, commemorating the beginning of the Greek rebellion in 1821 against their Ottoman oppressors after four-hundred years of subjugation. The revolution began, according to legend, when Bishiop Germanos raised the Greek flag at the Peloponnesian monastery of Agia Lavra.

revolution

Badass.

Whatever the inciting incident, the revolution attracted the attention and aid of many European powers, particularly Great Britain, who felt a kinship with the Greeks for their thousand-year cultural legacy of philosophy, government, and all of the other gifts of Western Civilization.

Oh yeah. The United States got in on the act too. Our fifth president and Founding Father James Monroe stated to Congress that:

“A strong hope is entertained that these people will recover their independence and assume their equal statue among the nations of the earth.”

Of course, Monroe and his famous, eponymous doctrine (largely the creation of then-Secretary of State and later sixth president John Quincy Adams) committed the United States to not getting involved in European affairs (while resisting any European incursion into the Americas), but the rhetorical support remained, and indeed bolstered the spirit of the Greeks.

It’s a beautiful circle. The Greeks were inspired by the Americans, who were partially inspired by Greek philosophy and ideals as they revolted against England and created the United States system of government (and the architecture in Washington, D.C.).

I mean, listen to the slogan of the Greek revolutionaries: Eλευθερία ή θάνατος! Freedom or death! Sounds familiar, right?

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Being both Greek and American, it’s always exhilarating to think that, in my own small way, I’m heir to two strong and vital cultural legacies.

But the interesting thing is that March 25 is also the Annunciation, the celebration of the Archangel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Christ. This is no coincidence.  Continue reading “The Spirit of 1821: Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation”

Life Matters: Merry Christmas!

Everyone: Merry Christmas!

Even if Christianity isn’t your thing, have a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family.

Christmas and New Year’s are about new beginnings. As my priest said last night, we are all born with a hole in our heart. On Christmas we celebrate the coming of the one who can fill that hole.

I was feeling cranky for various reasons the last few days, a bit out of sort. But you know what? It’s nothing. It doesn’t matter. Life matters.

That’s what Christmas is all about. Just like Easter, this season is brimming with the joy of life…

…God Almighty coming to Earth, carried by a young virgin who will come to be known as the Panagia–All Holy–and the Theotokos–God-bearer.

Christmas is as much about her, the bearer of life, bringing God into the world for us and for our salvation.

I dunno…it’s beautiful, at least to me. Is it getting dusty in here? Where’s my handkerchief…

Merry Christmas everyone!

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

My YouTube channel is here.

And check out my Instagram here.

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the day with your family and friends and enjoy God’s blessings. It’s a time of hope and renewal, a bookend to the resurrection. 

And for those who are secular, atheist, or non-Christian, have a wonderful few days off and enjoy the spirit of the holidays. 

All my American friends: This is still a great country. Don’t get bitter. 

To my international friends: All the best from over here in Hamburger Land. Whatever your traditions, enjoy them. 

No politics. No bitterness. No snark. 

Sincerety. 

Joy. 

The flat-out corny earnest niceness of it all

Even if only for one day. 

Merry Christmas.

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

And check out my Instagram here

The Mother of Reinvention

Sometimes I feel like I’m not supposed to be here. 

Not like I wish I’d never been born, though I, like everyone ever in the history of humanity, have struggled with this feeling. More like I was never supposed to be born at all. As in, as me

You see, my mother had a miscarriage between my older brother and me. That miscarriage had the same due date that I did. Given the strange…dislocation and lack of interest I’ve felt my entire life, sometimes I wonder if that person–that “me,” if you will–should have been born and I should have been the miscarriage, or not conceived at all. 

My mother, of course, has a different take. She likes to say that I “just wasn’t ready yet” (mothers are great like that, aren’t they?) This calls into question what we are before we are born, if anything. A life is literally something created out of nothing (okay, I know sperm and eggs aren’t “nothing,” but where did the original come from? Quite honestly, the “primordial goo struck by lightning” explanation isn’t very satisfactory to me.).

If the soul is immortal, is every human soul just somewhere waiting until the time is right? Or are we all pieces of God, who breaths the Holy Spirit onto the zygote at the moment of conception?
These are deep philosophical and theological questions I’m not going to get into now. I am more interested in the first part of this post, the idea of birth and rebirth. Reinvention. 
Continue reading “The Mother of Reinvention”