Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Telling the truth Tuesday - I love history

Before I continue with my adventures in Greece, I'd like to ask you to visit Michelle Fayard's blog today http://michellefayard.blogspot.com/. She was kind enough to interview me about my memoir and some of you might find it interesting and/or helpful, if you are contemplating writing a memoir.

Do you remember certain things you studied in school - things that stand out in your mind? I do. And there are places I've always wanted to see out of history. On this trip, I fulfilled many of those wishes as our land tour of Greece included several, including the Theater of Epidaurus. Here's some background, courtesy of Wikapedia.

Me as audience member
The theater was designed byPolykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As is usual for Greek theatres (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view on a lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself and is not to be obscured. It seats up to 15,000 people.

The theatre is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or skênê to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating. The rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify/reflect high-frequency sounds from the stage.

Agamememnon's tomb
Lion's Gate
Next, we visited Mycenae, once a mighty kingdom of Ancient Greece. As you walk through the Lion's Gate, you can imagine the drama and feel where myth and history combine. The kingdom was ruled by Agamemnon, whose tomb we got to see. Here's a bit of his story:

 When his brother Menelaos beautiful wife Helen was abducted by the Trojan prince Paris, the history of Greece was to come into one of its most famous phases: The Trojan War. But there were many events preceding the above. The founder of the Mycenaean kingdom was the hero Perseus. When the last descendant of him, king Eurystheus - the one who had ordered the labours from Heracles - died, the people voted for Atreus to be their new king. When Atreus brother Thyestes seduced his wife, he took his revenge by killing Thyestes two sons, and then serving them to their father. Filled with rage and disgust, Thyestes cursed Atreus and his children, and only unhappiness was to haunt them thereafter.
Atreus two sons were Agamemnon and Menelaus. Agamemnon, who was the oldest, inherited the kingdom of Mycenae, and Menelaus became king of Sparta. They married the two sisters Clytemnestra and Helen respectively, and were at first very happy. This was not to last, though. When the Trojan prince Paris was called to decide who of the three goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite was the most beautiful, they each tried to bribe him. Aphrodite had promised him the most beautiful woman in Greece, and when Paris chose her, Helen was his prize. With the help of the goddess, Helen went to Troy with Paris, leaving the outrages Menelaus to declare war on the Trojans. He asked his brother for help, and together they raised an army of Greek kings and heroes.

You'll hear more about Troy when I post about the Turkey part of our journey. My truth today? I left a little piece of my heart in Greece.
On Friday....Olympia and the Oracle of Delphi



welcome to my world of poetry said...

Excellent write Karen, I too love History, at school I hated would you believe poetry, we had lesson about Percy Byshee Shelley. Was I interested? no not I. Well the years have passed and I love poetry and I live in an area where Shelley's son also called Percy once lived, Just along the street from me is a manor he bought.....now a health centre but one can feel the atmoshere when you step inside.


Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I love history! I studied Ancient Greece and Rome in college. I'm so jealous you got to see those places for yourself.

Janna Qualman said...

What a fantastic trip! Life-changing, I'd think. Certainly an enriching experience. :)

Joanne said...

I'm fascinated by that theater, and how brilliantly it was designed with the acoustics in mind. Is it ever used today, for modern-day events?

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, that sounds wonderful. It must be a lovely neighborhood you live in.
Paul, I hope you get there some day. I had to wait till I'm 62.
Janna, I'm discovering that everything I do that is in pursuit of my dreams is life-changing in some way.
Joanne, yes, I was fascinated, too. I think they hold a festival there once a year, but not clear on that.

L.G.Smith said...

I'm just blown away that things this old are still around to be appreciated. How cool you got to stand there and see it all.

I'm going to the UK in a few months and I can't wait to see all those old castles and visit a few museums. Love history!

GigglesandGuns said...

I've never been but several friends also say they left a bit of themselves in Greece.
Truly a magical place.

Karen Walker said...

L.G., on our last day, we visited Windsor Castle. lThe building began with William the Conqueror in 1066. It's astounding.
GigglesandGuns, I totally understand. It is magical.

Talli Roland said...

I am LOVING hearing about your trip and all the history, Karen!

(I hope you enjoyed your one night in London, too!) :)

Karen Walker said...

Talli, after a difficult time at the airport and getting to our hotel, and finding out how to get to Windsor Castle, we had a great time!

Anonymous said...

I do love history! Thanks for the pics and the background info. A most interesting blog today.

The Old Silly said...

I am SO freaking jealous! Wow, what an awesome trip, Karen, good for you!
I too am a big fan of history. I got to, when in my early thirties, go down to southern Mexico and visit several ancient Mayan ruins. One was a temple plaza of four pyramids in a circle high atop a mountain. I climbed the highest one and sat in meditation for a couple hours. Heavenly experience! But my bucket list includes seeing the Gaza pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt and Stonehenge in Europe ... among many other ancient mysterious places.

Marvin D Wilson

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Stephen. Glad folks are enjoying the history.
Old Silly, wow, which ones? We visited Mayan ruins in Mexico, too. Very powerful. And Stonehenge, it's too bad you can't go inside the circle anymore. But it's an amazing site as well.

Claudia Moser said...

Such an educative post, thank you!

Liz Fichera said...

So. Cool! And so glad you had such a fabulous trip. What an experience!!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

The neat thing is how OLD all of this stuff is! We just can't see OLD here in the US! Thanks for sharing some of your trip and your pictures with us. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like you got to relieve a little history on your trip!

Karen Walker said...

Claudia, Thanks to Wikapedia!
Liz, I'm still processing it.
Elizabeth, yeah, I though 1600 was old, growing up in NYC.
Alex, I did, indeed.

Jules said...

I'm more of a "if I can't drive, I'm not going" kind of girl, I love my truck. I do enjoy hearing about your travels though. My quest, to visit all the National Parks. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Karen Walker said...

Jules, I have the same quest, actually. I think that's what we'll do next year - visit some national parks.

Julie Musil said...

Oh my goodness, that is a dream trip! Holy cow, I'm absolutely green with envy. Thanks for the fun history.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

What grand adventures you had! Glad to catch up on your blog and see all your wonderful pictures!

Michelle Fayard said...

Karen, your post reminds me so much of my husband, Marcelo. While serving overseas he had the opportunity to be part of a living history club and participate in an authentic Roman legion that marched along the same roads the original legions did and camp in the same towns, where they'd host performances for the townsfolk. A part of our hearts will always be there, and it is why we love living in Northern California so much, as it looks so much the same.

And of course I'm delighted and honored to have you on my blog today; I know readers will enjoy having you answer their questions.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

H Karen .. wonderful stories of your time in Greece .. and I loved reading the history and reminding me of my childhood and Offenbach's music .. eg La Belle Helene ..

So pleased you obviously had such a happy time .. I've never been to that part of Greece .. so am looking forward one day to going back and following in your footsteps.

Thanks - lovely having you back .. cheers Hilary