Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: OVERSEAS VACATION (08/13/15)
- TITLE: Some Holidays Last Forever
By Kon Michailidis
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"Yes?" he called.
It was his wife, Prue. "Can we talk?"
Prue stood playing with her long hair, her eyes refusing to meet his gaze. " Tim and I—well—we’re in love. I’m sorry Chris.”
He bit his lip and tugged at his beard. "Till death do us part, eh? Well, I suppose killing a relationship can be included in that. Not that I didn't see it coming."
"Chris— I still care for you," she said.
" Prue, this happened because you wanted to go your own way apart from me from the start. Couldn't you have joined me on my spiritual journey? Couldn't we have travelled on it together?"
"Together! Together? You've cut yourself off from everyone and everything. There's no room for anyone but you and your search. You've become so cold. You've given up everything for your so-called path of enlightenment. It 's become your god. What're you trying to find out in all this? What sort of knowledge is this going to give you, anyway?"
"All I want is to know God."
"God's not my thing. Not my path."
"The only path you know is the one that leads to the wine bar with Tim. The only ecstasy you seek is what you experience after a few Camparis, a joint and—"
"It's no use. What're you going to do, Chris? I'm staying in this house with Tim."
"It's a big enough world out there. Call it a forced holiday."
Chris awoke in the crowded Athens Student Hostel to the sight of a young man with long curly hair, sitting cross-legged and smiling from the bunk next to his.
"Hi, I'm Hakim. Where you from?"
"France, but I am Algerian."
Chris noticed a couple of books on Hakim's bunk. "What are you reading?”
"This one is Tarantula— Bob Dylan's poems. It came out this year. This one's the New Testament. It came out two thousand years ago."
Chris laughed. "That's some combination!"
"Works for me. I meditate on them every morning. First Dylan, then the Bible."
"Dylan, OK. But Christianity? Rules, sin, making people feeling guilty, Western middle class reality. Yecch!"
"Have you ever read the Bible?"
Chris did not answer but proceeded with his morning meditation. He finished just as Hakim was getting out of his bunk.
Chris asked him, "Would you mind lending me your Bible for the day?"
Chris had seen people take all manner of liberties in this overcrowded hostel with barely a request. He felt no compunction about asking this relative stranger for a book.
"Hey, I'd love you to read it! Take as long as you like." Hakim smiled.
Chris spent the day strolling around Athens, occasionally sitting in the sun to read excerpts at random.
Strolling into Omonia Square, he recognised two young men from his hostel. Their Indian garb could not hide the fact that they were American. Their dreadlocks and unwashed appearance told Chris what country they had just visited as surely as if he had seen their passports.
As he approached, he overheard their conversation.
"I made a quantum leap towards the ultimate since meeting my last guru in Goa. I'm beginning to get the knack of those spiritual powers he passed onto me," said one.
"Yeh! Wow, man!" replied the other.
Something unexplainable caused Chris to lose interest in wanting to talk with these men about spiritual matters.
He found a seat, opened the New Testament at random and read:
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Love? Giving? Sacrifice? It seemed to be a different universe. So different from the godhood he was seeking.
He returned to the hostel and found Hakim. "Here's your book Hakim. I've decided to end my trip."
"Which one?" Hakim grinned.
"Both. I'll be going home. But I'm also starting a new journey. Lao-tse said that a journey of a thousand miles begins because we make the first step, but my new journey is beginning because I've seen a new country afar off."
"Do you have a ticket home?"
"I''ll contact my Father. I think he'll help.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
This story is based on true events.
More information on the hippie trail can be found on the site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie_trail
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