I hesitated for a moment to wade into a turbulent sea at Blue Cove which was like a strip of the Mediterranean, Mare Magnum, sawed into the mountain. As if to free me from uncertainty, a huge wave rose up, splashing me from head to toe -- baptizing me into the waters of the Great Mother. Ready or not -- sometimes she reaches out to you. A seeker of the magic of the Feminine, somehow, I had found myself in one of the most ancient sites of the Goddess where Neolithic and even Upper Paleolithic people, might have accessed the Divine Mother in her cosmic and fertile glory.
Thanks to Michael, we had the great good fortune of visiting many grottoes of the Virgin, a Magdalene chapel and Phoenician catacombs. Michael also recounted many amazing tales including Kabbalist Abulafia’s visit in Camino. St Paul was shipwrecked on these isles. A crossroad indeed where pagans, Jews, Christians and Muslims of every color congregated. I was amazed how so many gorgeous sites survived because Malta was heavily bombed during WW II. Carvaggio had found refuge here whose spectacular paintings came alive at a baroque masterpiece of a cathedral. Watching his vision of the beheading of John the Baptist was uncanny.
I had to pass through Valletta each day during my wanderings; I would often sit at the upper gardens and watch the citadels and seafaring modern boats, visualizing ancient times- mythic and historic. When I later saw the new Murder on the Orient Express, I suddenly recognized the scenes shot in Malta. But it was the present and the plight of the refugees that enter my mindscape. In 2013 the Maltese president described the Mediterranean Sea as a "cemetery." After all, large number of migrants drowned there when their boats capsized. More than one million refugees had risked their lives crossing this Sea into Europe. There are many crossings, indeed.
I was privileged to have one more Neolithic temple sighting before my flight to Poland. Thanks to Dawn’s suggestions, I took a ferry to Gozo and hopped on a bus to see this gorgeous isle where Ggantja megalithic complex was discovered. These are among the world’s oldest freestanding temples; beauty of this site was sparse and austere. Sitting on top of a tourist bus, I could see distant lands of an isle that supposedly belonged to Calypso! It is not just Odysseus who was waylaid by her siren songs, but she could not keep me there for years; I had to go to Kracow for a conference, the ostensible reason for my trip to Europe.
I had returned to Dawn’s castle in her magic island for one more night before returning to New York, witnessing again those pale fortresses. Walking on the quiet streets, one sensed something deeply melancholy in this place. Or was it just me and my own heartbreak house. Myth, history and prehistory mingle in this lime stone earth colored island where its dreaming deity spins her yarn.