Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Travel Journal (24)--"In Georgia, Beauty Grows Like a Weed"

The above title came from a toast given by Jay, one of our tour group members. His description is apt. Beauty--whether in nature, architecture or people--is always close at hand in Georgia, ready to be discovered anew. Jay is a Lutheran pastor who lives in Manhattan. He is also a displaced Texas. This bizarre combination makes him--if nothing else--eminently quotable. He also said:

Georgia is a tiny country where everything is famous, fabulous, extreme...
As such it is an icon of the grace of God;
abundant, inexhaustible--a feast where all are welcome,
where nothing which is given is ever taken away...

I like that. I also like the following quote from Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer who fell in love with Tblisi and Georgia:

Handsome Georgians are careless,
they're fond of wine, war, women and freedom.

And this from St. Illia Chavchavadze:

Christ our God was crucified for the sake of the world, and we likewise have been crucified for His sake. We bared our breasts for this small Georgia, and on our breasts, as on a rock, we erected a temple to the Christian God. Instead of stone we offered our bones, and instead of lime we offered our blood, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!

If you are interested in learning more about Georgia, I suggest the following links:

For Georgian wine in the US, check here.

For information about Georgian chant CDs, check here.

For information about possible future monastery tours, check here.

To order Lives of the Georgian Saints, go here and send email with request.

For a top-notch Georgian tourist agency, go here and ask for Inga.

For the Georgia Department of Tourism, go here.

For the Georgian Orthodox Church, go here.

For a excellent historical overview of Georgia, check here.

For information about the Zedashe Ensemble and the 2007 East Coast tour, go here.

For John Wurdeman's paintings, check here.

This is probably my last post in this travel journal series. Thanks for coming along.


Mimi said...

Hey, thanks for answering my CD question! I enjoyed traveling with you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. A truly amazing journey, and a truly amazing series; thank you.

Nino said...

Oh man, reading your travel journal really makes me want to go back there. I went to Georgia once with Village Harmony on a singing tour, and once on an archaeological dig.

As a Texan, you may be interested to know that I once taught Shalva Mindorashvili a couple of chords on the banjo!

Thank you!

Terry (John) said...

Shalva is a great guy. He picks a banjo, too? Somehow, I am not surprised. Anyone who would open a Mexican food resaurant in Sighnaghi, Georgia would have to be a man of many talents.