Change of Guards at the Greek Parliament

Vicky and I took a night stroll through central Athens, when we passed the parliament building across Syntagma square.
The change of guards was already in progress when we got there, slowing our steps and gently directing our attention to this perfectly symmetrical display of pride and cultural identity.

A choreography unchanged by decades, upheld by men of admirable discipline, unwilling to let time take all its bounty home.

Standing in a torrent, but refusing to swim.
It was beautiful to watch these wilful men, trying to remain unmoved, bracing themselves against the oncoming waves, with an idea bigger than themselves.

To serve a nation by inspiring a sense of unity.

Every nation has these men. To uphold the myth that things were never different, that to change them would be anarchy and chaos.

Maybe, for that very reason, a lot of our national rituals are carried out by armed men. Symbolising the danger from without, before we can unite behind a loaded gun.

I believe, these good men have served their time.
We need rituals that point the way to another tomorrow, where time is not opposed but regarded as a friendly carrier of our experiences.

Rituals that lead us to unity without amplifying division. Rituals that embrace the extraordinary and original, instead of recycling the thoughts of others.
The world is how it is, because we allow the past to shape our future, we are crushed by its weight. We take concepts of old to be tokens of truth and inevitability, not merely a path that has repeatedly failed.

So let’s shake the weight off of our shoulders and rise high together.
With rituals now slumbering in our imagination, bringing us all together.
Not facing a gun, but each other. United in feeling life’s yearning for itself.

#athens #greece #syntagmasquare #changeofguard #greekparliament

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