Be Quiet in Sveti Jovan at Kaneo
The place, the beauty demand it
It’s so quiet, I can hear people talking father up the hill. I strain to tune them out. Why? Because I am sitting on the precipice of Sveti Jovan at Kaneo, a tiny, beautiful 13th Century Orthodox Church perched on a cliff overlooking Lake Ohrid.
This location is spiritual even if you are an Atheist. Protruding out into the air above the tectonic lake, it unites man with nature in ways few places can. And brings you back to the struggles man has with her when from the left you hear church bells , while from the right, an imam’s call to noon prayer.
Turning back to the work of Byzantine man, I enter the church and am humbled by ancient frescoes. There is John the Baptist, Saint Peter slaying the dragon, and in the roof dome and in the apse and nave, JC in all his omniscient glory. Here is the intimate power of a small church, where you can almost touch the hand of god.
Almost, but only if you pay $2 first, which to my surprise, none of my co-workers who came with me on this trip wanted to do. While I may lack the ability to believe in a higher power, I fully respect those who do. In addition, I am in awe of the time, energy, and resources that went into creating these churches back in the day.
To give a token amount today, for preservation of the church for tomorrow, is but a small penance to ensure my children’s children can witness man’s love and creativity as I have.