Father Elias, the Monodendri vicar

My meeting today with George had not been scheduled. While talking on the phone last night he spoke to me of the invitation to the photographic marathon and of the way he had devised to find time to see me –we had both wished to meet for long time anyway.

I found my way to the Keramikos amid the caress of the sparkling heavenly sea; the sweetness born of the atmosphere on sunny autumn days is truly moving.

Free from obligations, I took double the pleasure in roaming, stopping here and there, the faces of the people around me, the body language, the colour of sounds, an uncommon and extraordinary carefree feeling.

George surrounded me again with his beautiful aura; his artistic nature always provides the keys for a warm, authentic and meaningful communication.

His jovial character makes you believe you may safely stand on the light side of life… But you end up in uncharted waters without realizing it –you have to be capable of reading the subtext, connecting the dots, interpreting the levels. We are not all photographers!

The reason for our meeting today was to talk business –I was in ecstasy from the possibilities we were discussing, but also from the images his words created once again… Everything is photography in this man’s head, not just the moments!

The talent lies in getting to the heart of each word, finding its beat, getting the associations, creating waves, letting spirituality push out to now in the same way that the sea pushes out shells.

Somewhere at the point where my day began to acquire breathtaking colours, he showed me the photo of the rocks in the Vikos gorge.

The initiation occurred effortlessly.

Holding my breath, I listened to the story of Father Elias, the vicar of Monodendri – the wonderful priest with the calm voice that gently touches the heart and brings love, knowledge and meaning.

I heard about the monastery of Agia Paraskevi and its frescoes, the painter-priest’s apron, full of colours, dedication, and hard work, about the hermits of Vikos, about the gorge that stands just like the giant apse of a sanctuary, the spiritual mysticism of that place, the mystical energy and the spirit’s echo…

George shot the photo of the heart-shaped light on the Vikos rocks from the monastery balcony; in it one can also see the narrow path leading back to the cave.

For years, Father Elias talked to the people who visited the monastery, about the signature of God, hidden in the shape of the heart. With George’s photograph, he understood that He had placed His signature behind his back.

A Sunday that had seemed quiet and fordable, changed its destination and became magical… On the turn!

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when we are the answer.


Photography: Giorgos Tzitzikos



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