Wednesday, October 1, 2008


"Delphi is the center of the earth," the tour guide on the bus told us. "It's the navel of Greece, the womb of the earth."   I was on my way to site of the ancient oracle--the place where the prophecies in my favorite Greek tragedies were rendered, but I'd never thought of it as a navel.  My brain began free associating.  Navel....... Ring.........I'd already tried to pry my wedding ring off my finger and drop it to the bottom of the Aegean, but that plan had gone awry with my mother's engagement ring and my wedding ring both  stuck  on my heat swollen right ring finger. Working them up over my knuckle proved impossible so I gave up fearing that the delicate gold band on my mom's diamond would snap and I'd lose the ring I wanted to keep. 
By the time my tour group stood in front of the Treasury of Athens near the entrance of the Oracle, I had a new plan.  My wedding ring would be a votive offering as I silently asked the question I'd brought to the oracle.  Dropped into some crevice between ancient stones, it would come to rest with  centuries-old fragments of statues and shards of pots.  But the rings were still stuck.  
I asked my question anyway despite the fact there's no priestess anymore.  In the 11th century B. C., the first priestess was a young virgin, our tour guide had told us.  After she was abducted, future priestesses were 50-yr-old women--wives and mothers from the community.  If there had been a wise old priestess there to answer the question I asked about love, I wonder what she would have told me.

No comments: