|THE SANCTUARY 1|
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Although, to date, I have only visited the island of Samothrace (Samothraki) once, the visit had a profound effect on me. In fact, it probably changed the course of my life.
My parents and most of my relatives of their and prior generations were all born on the island. My only connection with it up until that one visit was therefore second-hand. Moreover, although I was born and brought up as a Greek-American, my relationship with Greek culture was of quite a superficial nature. I understood, spoke and wrote the language and had been schooled in its history, geography, mythology, etc. However, I consider all of these things superficial when compared to the soul-stirring experience of walking on the soil of Hellas, and being given the privilege of metaphorically touching the hem of the garments of the Greek Gods and Goddesses, as I did during that singular visit, first to the mainland and then to Samothraki, itself. Looking back now, I fully comprehend why it was that our predecessors, aeons ago, saw fit to build the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on that little island. One need only spend some quiet time amidst the deep silence of the ruins that remain, to perhaps understand what I mean by this. Suffice to say, it is not something that can be conveyed by mere words.
The following paragraphs are my humble attempt to trace the mystical connection between the Samothraki of the past and the present Samothraki as it revealed itself to me over the years, in my own life. It is an experience that continues to unfold. I therefore trust the reader will understand the spirit in which the words are offered; not as a scholarly treatise, but as an ongoing personal musing of what that connection has meant to me.
I welcome any feedback or dialogue the musings may generate. In fact, it was the possibility of such a dialogue that gave impetus to the creation of these entries on the Internet. It is after all, by definition, a medium for interconnecting. There is, however, another reason, as well: Perhaps, by sharing these thoughts, as meager as they may be, others will be sparked to visit Hellas and maybe even Samothraki, while remaining open to the possible personal re-awakening of something that may lie dormant in our collective consciousness. No one will have to tell you if and when such an occurance has taken place. You will not only know it, you will never forget it.
By William Angelos