Nobody told me it was illegal. Maybe it wasn’t, back in 1971. I still feel a bit like a criminal.
That was the year I came into possession of a stolen item. Okay, that’s being disingenuous. I picked it up and put it in my purse. Better? Also, I’d like some praise for the fact that this is the first time I’ve ever used the word “disingenuous” in a sentence. Thank you.
I’ve written about my stay in Greece on three previous occasions. Oh, what the heck, I may as well tout my own posts… they were: Meanwhile, Back In Greece; Greece: Episode Two – I knocked harder; and Greece: Episode Three – How to steal a stroller. (Ah, I see I’ve spoken of my larcenous streak before!)
This is what happened with the rock. We’d gone to Greece to make a movie: my then-husband, the producer; some other Canadian members of the creative team; me – the producer’s wife; and our two-year-old daughter.
One day, after my little girl and I had been mostly on our own for a few weeks (hubby’s work hours were very long), I was fortunate enough to do some sightseeing. I had a great babysitter for Kathy so I was free for the day.
Two things you need to know before we go:
- We were living near Athens, home of the Acropolis.
- My sightseeing companion was the young actor who was to star in our movie, who looked like a young Albert Finney – the star of the 1963 movie Tom Jones. 😀
So this young man – I don’t know why I keep saying that, as he was just a year younger than me… Anyway, I only mention him because it helps to explain why I abandoned my usual good sense. (Har!) In fact, I abandoned any sense at all, due to my state of total distraction. Also, I was tired. Yeah, that’s it. Very tired, because we did a lot of walking to get to this amazing ancient ruin waaaay up on a hill, overlooking Athens.
It was a gorgeous day, hot but breezy – rather like my companion, come to think of it. So we’re up there at the Parthenon, which looks very much like its depiction on this Wikipedia page. In fact it looks exactly like that.
But my point is this: As we circled the amazing Parthenon, a temple built almost 2,500 years ago, marvelling at its size and beauty – I don’t know what possessed me, but suddenly I looked down, spied this rock (see above) lying on the ground near the temple base, bent, scooped it up and stashed it in my purse.
The rock in the photo above is actual size. It feels petrified. It’s beige and looks like dried clay, but when you tap it lightly with a fingernail, it makes a slight clinky metallic sound. For 46 years I’ve had it in my dresser drawer. It’s just a rock, yes. But it’s almost two thousand, five hundred years old. Boggles the mind.
Every once in a while I take out my stolen rock and just look at it, caressing its craggy surface, and I smile. I’ve kept it safe and sound, just like I’ve kept all my memories of Greece. I’ll keep them as long as I live.