Listening for the Alien Heartbeat

I am not a man given greatly to prayer.  In a tight situation where others pray for help and guidance, I curse.  Serious, thorough, air-shaking curses.  The kind of cursing that may save your life but will condemn you to hell. [1]

But entering an Armenian church, even I go quiet and lower my eyes.  In an Armenian church, you are accompanied by saints:

Watched By Saints

Walking in, you cross the bones of saints.  As you kneel, they watch over you:

Akhtala - main - ancient_place_to_pray

Inside you normally buy a few candles, put them in a flat bed of sand covered in water, and light them.  The light that shines, shines for everyone:

Akhtala - Candles - In_the_Presence_of_the_Light

I asked an Armenian friend Marianna why they have so many saints.

“Because we are a very good people”

As you leave, they remind you they walk with you:

Akhtala - exit - walking with holiness


[1]    Once, caught alone in a sandstorm in the Baluchi desert (on a motorbike), and thoroughly irritated (with myself) that I might not survive this latest stupidity, I broke out into such a loud and thorough cursing that I managed to keep moving through the turbulence, until the blowing sand ahead parted long enough for me to see the orange-red ball of the setting sun, and establish due west.

West was where I was headed, and getting my bearings calmed me down.  In fact I had briefly forgotten I had a compass, and could have used that to get my bearings.  But, as those who have been there know, faced with death, one forgets one’s compass.


10 Responses to “A Very Good People”

    • alienheartbeat

      Thanks about the photos. It is amazing how often the facts, by themselves, are poetic. All you do is note them down.

      Reply
  1. John Reizian

    I am keen to catch up with your journey as well as to take in the images of it. Btw, I am Armenian and this set of posts helps me to further illuminate what that means. Be well.

    Reply
    • alienheartbeat

      Thanks John. In fact I have heard from Armenians both overseas and in Armenia. It is good as it helps me calibrate whether I am on the right track.

      Reply
  2. drawandshoot

    Even if one is not prone to prayer, there is something about a place that has this sort of history – an energy left behind…
    Beautiful images.

    Reply
    • alienheartbeat

      Agree. I spent a long time trying to capture it in the darkness. But if you get a chance also see “The Light of the Gods”.

      Reply

Wild Agreement, Disputations, Outright Laughter...

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