May 3, 2013 § 4 Comments
We are unable to decide where or when we’ll be born and — in most cases with exception of suicide — also unable to decide how, where or when we are going to die, but some of us do express funeral wishes, rituals to be followed after one’s death. Buried, burned, six feet under or united with the sea, we like to think we’re in control of this last act on our body, long after we’ve left it behind, or left this world with it, or whatever else might happen, according to one’s beliefs.
I’d like to be buried next to my ancestors, under the dry red earth of my birthplace. My family, here in the north, knows the address. An incense burner and an oil lamp should stand by, to be used if someone visits and remembers. Is it my Christianity speaking here? Or my sentimental Greekness? I don’t know, because, if any, I’m a “non-Christian Christian” and I’d also like to think of my Greekness in an non-Greek way, disconnected from nationality or religion, and connected to beloved places, inspiring readings, and a mother tongue.
Today, Good Friday back where I was born, an Epitaph decorated with violets will be carried about the village in a funeral procession, so I guess it is the perfect day for such considerations and the following reading of Cavafy’s poem Myres: Alexandria in 340 AD in Greek, “the best non-Christian Christian poem ever”, as my friend Night RPM (whose wish this reading fulfills) calls it in his thoughtful post about it.