Turns out we didn’t make it there after all (the library), we were too pooped after doing the museum all day. The Temple was really cool. Even more significant was the fact that one of the museum curators who was from Bulgaria came over and asked me about the henna on my hand (the snake). Seems he is doing research on the symbology of the snake. We had a nice chat about how the snake fits into the modern pagan perspective. I told him about the skin-shedding ritual we were going to do. He told me that he was following a shamanic path himself and that he felt meeting me was a sign for him too. Interesting how these things work out….
I wandered through the European paintings including the religious ones while Chuck was down in the medieval area. My legs finally gave out in the Greek statuary section, so I sat and read Hyperion while I waited for Chuck to finish his perusing. Then we headed back for a nap before dinner. It’ll probably be an early night tonight.
(Update 2013 – I found out years later why I didn’t do well on my feet for long periods. It seems that it runs in my family that my feet are out of alignment so severely that it causes pain in the feet, a tendency to sprain my ankles, achy knees, and hip problems. A severely out of alignment foot is 5mm out of alignment, mine were 15mm out. No wonder I was having a hard time. Five hundred dollars and some corrective insoles later and my whole body is happier. Sadly, it never occurred to me to question why my ankles were so much weaker than everyone else’s or why hip surgery was expected in my family.)
I found NY to be an inhospitable place for a pagan. I had thought to live there at one point a few years ago and I am now very glad to have avoided that fate. The fear that people live in of being robbed which prompts them to avoid eye contact, and simple common courtesy is something that would have torn at my soul. Even being there today made me wonder that people can live there. I will go back tomorrow and see the Statue of Liberty (from the Ellis Island Ferry) and tomorrow night we’re going to Greenwich Village, so I’m hoping that these things can assuage my aversion to the city, but I’ll be honest, my hope is not high.
(Update 2013 – I have a different perspective on NYC now. I have a love affair with the city these days. Over ten years of living in Boston has gotten me used to people not meeting my gaze and how I could have missed the fact that the fear I was feeling was likely a remnant of the 9/11 attacks that had happened not even a year earlier is beyond me. I find it interesting to note that I met the first person that I know lost someone in the attacks just two days ago. Odd since I live in the place where the planes flew out from and I have friends in NYC. Perhaps I don’t know that I know someone. But this was the first time I remember someone telling me that they last someone in the buildings.)
* This is part of an ongoing series of posts detailing what happened on a spiritual pilgrimage that I took in 2002. To start from the beginning, go to July 2, 2013. To see the entire journey as it gets published, click on the category “You Want Me To Do WHAT?!!?” to see all of the posts.