I created this image from a photo I took of St Evlalios Church, a deserted church on the site of Lambousa, an ancient port on the north coast of North Cyprus. It’s about 5 minutes up the coast from where we live in Alsancak, close to the historic port of Kyrenia. The photo is superimposed over morning clouds on the coast of Turkey, with gizmos from PicMonkey and BeFunky adding light to recall times when the church was full of the energies of those at prayer inside the building.
The church foundations originate in the 2nd-9th centuries with the final version being built in the 16th century. Close to this church stand Akhiropiitos Monastery, built originally on an early Christian basilica of the 6th century and re-built several times; as well as the rock chapel of St Evlambios which is carved from a single block of limestone.
I’m not a religous person in the least – for me the spiritual is personal and an expression of my heart for which my soul and spirit is responsible. It doesn’t, however, stop me visiting churches and cathedrals and enjoying the feeling the power of so many people over decades and, perhaps, centuries pouring devotional energies into the sacred spaces.
I also admire the grace of the many mosques here in North Cyprus. I love the azan, or call to prayer – sometimes, if I’m awake around 5.15 I hear the hoca (pro. hodja) with his call to prayer and it feels full of divinity in the quiet of the morning.