الجمعة، 24 أبريل، 2009

Constantinople of the Green Patriarch



As the Plane was heading to Istanbul, I began drawing the City that I was to encounter. I was enthusiastic to meet the old Ottoman Capital. Memories of the past came to my mind.
I thrilled despite the pleasant Plane Atmosphere. Maybe it was "The Visitors of the Dawn" story that overwhelmed my imagination, & made me thrill that much. However, it was not dawn & the Sultan is far away. The visitors of the dawns were the Sultan s Regime opponents who were convicted to death by drowning into the Bosporus. Maybe I escaped drowning only due to the time factor. I was to be of them if only I were in their period because I dismayed the conqueror s behavior toward its victim & disliked subordination.
I had not only a thrill but also a yearning to see the city that used to control the Levant & was in a rush to look for Constantinople. Constantinople is still inside my unconsciousness the pearl of the Empire & the bridge between the West & East.
Constantinople, the legendary city, located somewhere at the fringe between the factual & actual. It is the splendid city that the great emperor Constantine the Great, built to witness his glory.
Finally I arrived, took a taxi & went to the hotel. I gazed through the car windows, & was taken by the partially destroyed wall of what was called once Constantinople.
I noticed statues of army commanders planted on different locations of the decayed & destroyed city walls. This was by the end of May.
Then I visited the Ecumenical Patriarch of the city, the living Remnant of Constantinople, who managed to survive since its fall on the hands of the Turks. I visited him on his black Memorial Day; a day that dated back to the 16th century.
However, the journey to Fenar, where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is located, on that day was a living example of the distances & hardships a pilgrim s has to put to get to old city. Hardships were due to some hostile behavior of the locals & taxi drivers.
Finally, I reached Saint George Monastery & got into his all holiness department by a door facing a mosaic of the Sultan shaking hands with the city patriarch, following its fall.
I waited for some minutes there, Constantinople Holy Father. & I gazed into the walls that still carry some remembrances of the past. Then was lead into the office of the patriarch. I will never forget his all holiness humbleness, shining face, advocacy, & forgiveness. I could not believe that I was indeed meeting the Arch Bishop of Constantinople. Memories of the great emperors & patriarchs of the city came suddenly to my mind. & I was puzzled. Then his all holiness broke the silence & asked with a firm, soft & melodic voice about Lebanon & about people he used to know when he visited it in fall 1992. Some were among the Dead nowadays. Then, his All Holiness asked me to convey messages to Brothers.
We talked about his City, history, man kind & the Global Village concerns since he was the green patriarch. Time went by so quickly & the 40 minutes granted to me were over. I left the place & my heart is still there at the hands of the patriarch of the old city that was called Constantinople, the New Rome. & my meeting was indeed a vesper prayer at the hotel of Constantinople.

ليست هناك تعليقات:

إرسال تعليق