Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fast Forward

On the road to Rila

Where was I?  Oh yes... Bulgaria.  A country I might not mind living in someday.  I was recuperating from a relationship fiasco by lighting candles in beautiful churches and drinking a lot with good friends.  Bulgaria was a whirlwind of delights.  The Christian iconography is some of the best I've had the privilege of ever viewing. It is so comforting to realize that the story of my Lord has been safe guarded over the centuries by artists who were capable of imparting truth, beauty, and the sacred without benefit of words.   I would highly recommend the crypt of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and a trip to the Rila Monestary.  Instead of describing either of these extremely holy and special places.... let me simply introduce you with some photos...

Two angels watch over Mary and Jesus

                                                                              Saint John

 Angel being sent by GOD
Alpha and Omega ... Rila Monastery

The Son of Love & Righteousness

                                   View of the mountains from the monastery window

Fountain at entrance to the church

Breathe.  Yes, peace.  I found much peace in Bulgaria.  It is not a perfect country, but it is beautiful and its people are lovely when you get to know them.  Which I did thanks to my dear friend John.  After spending some special time on my own, worshiping, praying, lighting candles and getting my bearings, I boarded a train for Plevin with my new found Canadian friends, Lorna and Ken.
We had been invited to spend some time in the small and somewhat remote village some distance from Plevin where I was promised a good time would be had for my birthday.  The train trip itself was marvelous with scenery that reminded me much of parts of Colorado and New Mexico.  We ate good cheese and fresh bread drowned in wonderful Bulgarian red wine.  The rest of the evening was kind of a blur with a very rainy drive to the village and more wine and eventually slumber in a second floor corner room of my own in John's lovely villa.

The next day dawned... my birthday.  I was not feeling so.... birthdayish.  But a trip into Plevin and some good old fashioned post communist Bulgarian version of alka-seltzer and I was ready (sort of) for my "surprise".  I was not disappointed!!!  John and Ken and Lorna, along with a lovely little family in the village had arranged an amazing spread of treats
and I was gifted throughout the evening with beautiful items, lovely songs, great food, more wine and a room full of real love.  I must say... it was one of the best birthdays I have ever spent... and five of the people in the room of seven were people I had only just met.  That is love.    All this time, the broken heart was mending,
 The man was still in touch via FB and wanted to get back together.  I wasn't so sure.  Strangers were treating me with more consideration than he ever had.  There were other adventures in the village over the next couple days... I got to wrangle a loose horse... and watch gypsy families ride along the road in their horse drawn carts.

I also helped feed the cats... which were not supposed to feed.

Now here is a lesson.... When my friend moved into his Bulgarian neighborhood, he was warned by a neighbor not to feed the one stray cat with a gimpy leg that kept coming into the courtyard looking for sustenance. He ignored the advice.  Soon... gimpy brought some friends and family, and before to long, my friend was supporting an entire cadre of felines who regularly stop by now for chow.  Why do we ignore the warnings?  Why do we go ahead and jump into waters that look wild and rough and maybe not exactly what will keep us safe?  I am of course alluding to the relationship that was looming back in Istanbul in a questionable state.  A relationship that
I knew was wrong in the first place.... but I had jumped in nevertheless, ignoring the warnings and the unsuitability.  Still....

My time in Bulgaria was very special.  I will go back to this beautiful place again.  Maybe I will retire there.... who knows.  As I finish this last installment of 2013, it is New Year's Eve day.  Oh, the Turkish bf...we did pick back up where we left off a few days after I returned home, but it didn't last.  It was sad, but not as sad as the first time.  I think we both knew we weren't suited for one another.  The gap between us was too wide... it was as if one day... it all dissolved.  No words.  No tears.  He left and I left and we never spoke again.  My prayers were answered and my quandary was resolved without issue.  For that I am grateful.

So... back to the end of 2013... I am alone again.  Oh I still have many friends and my faith, but in the partner sense, there is a return to that void.  I don't know what that whole affair thing was about... some people tell me it was an opportunity to learn about love and make one last relationship mistake before the real thing comes along.  I don't know.  Hope springs eternal I guess... but time is marching on and while I can say I am grateful for the few moments when I felt special as a woman, I do regret the decision to "feed the cat".  But perhaps this is a great day for regrets.... to expose them and lay them down and look at them for what they are.... then to let them go.  To whoosh them away into the past and to move forward.  I will blog tonight again.... as we slide into 2014.  Just to recap the year and to look at what dreams were fulfilled and which remain.  It's been a long recovery.  I am back though, and almost ready to look forward.


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