Advice from an old priest; fun times at Taxiarchis

Hangin' with the guys at Taxiarchis
A group of us from the Seriphos Writing Workshop took a side trip to the Taxiarchis monastery up in Chora, the central village atop a small mountain. He served us coffee and Loukoumi squares, a powdery, sugary confection similar to Turkish Delight. This is not a term that the Greek folks on Seriphos would appreciate as the Turks have invaded Greece at least once, and the Greeks have their own special version of this candy!
At any rate, first we wandered around in the tiny cemetery, where each gravestone was marked with a photo of the departed. Then we walked into the inner garden, filled with flowers of psychedelic-hued magenta, and intrepid evergreens bursting with spiky seeds. The old priest invited us in. We had questions for him. One person asked if he had advice for getting past bad dreams. The priest smiled and said, "Don't sleep!" He grew more serious when asked about what was most important to a family. "Love and respect."
Monastery flowers

Jack & Cooper with the priest
Priestly things
And about relationships: "No fake ones, stay only in real ones of the heart, and if you find the one, keep her/him."
Inside the church we lit candles and I was particularly taken with a painting of a saint fighting a black-winged demon. Back outside, more blessings and kisses were conferred, and we departed reluctantly. I am not Greek Orthodox, not even close, yet I felt, and the others did too, that this humble man's soothing vibes had fully restored us to our own humanity.
The author at the Acropolis
Jack & Dinkar ride the bald-tired dragon