Readings in a forest

        Exploring the relevance of  cultural  symbols is an interesting theme. In the blog- A Broad Church- we saw the interiors of a Byzantine time church in Eastern Libya. The floor has been excavated and the mosaics have been put as a gallery nearby.


            “No such gallery of mosaics exist” a local driver who drives a Micro (Mini-bus) insisted when I told him about the existence of a collection of mosaics over a thousand years old. But as we went into the area of the Turkish times fortress, he realized that it was there. Hopefully I touched off a chord in him, which will make him explore things in his area which are a bit away from the routine of carrying people to their work and back. This entire region was once part of Byzantine empire just around a 100 years ago. The church is supposed to be over a thousand years ago.  Here are some mosaics I saw there. This region, is the Eastern Green mountains- Jebel Akhdar – of Libya and has some of the most stunning landscapes I have encountered.








  This is one of the readings of the “Walking Book Club” around four years ago, in a forest in Tripoli region. The club also includes laughing ritual- as one tries to release the many tensions of the work-week gone by. In India, it is common to find such morning Laughing clubs in parks and monument-gardens. Laughing and reading in an open space make interesting

Clifford Geetz-The Interpretation of Cultures-Readings in a forest in Tripoli region-Libya-2010


 In the first entry of this series- 500 words a day challenge-  I went through the origins of the Reading group which first met informally in Grand Hotel-Tripoli (now closed). Having been a regular diarist for over 30 years, I was wondering which things to include and not include in this series of “500 words”.  These entries will mainly be of the Tripoli region.

Other entries in this series are 1. Enrich your life with a read a day
2. A Broad Church
3. The Personal Essay






            This journey of a walking reading club has its origins in the 1970s Pune. In the blog-Walkers in Lullanagar, I wrote of one of the first poets I saw perform live.

On the hills of Lullanagar, I came across my first poet-performer. Over the years I have seen many theatre performers. But the first performer I came across was not in a theatre but on the hills of Lullanagar on morning walks.


He had a poetic name. But some people called him “Gabroo”.He used to write poems on the recent happenings in the country. He would put them down in verse and recite. He would recite about the snowfalls in Lahaul which have cut them off from the rest of the country.Or the recent politics of the country or city. At around 12 years of age, I was first introduced to the live form of this expression of events in society, through poems and words, verses and rhymes,all composed beautifully by this sweet man, whom people called ” Gabroo”,


* * *




Part of the 500 words a day challenge by writer blogger-Jeff Goins.   

For a diarist (regular since 1983) the interesting thing will be being selective



About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal :
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