I have been thinking about monks a lot lately. Not the “blaze orange wearing, nun-chuck carrying” kind. Instead, I am talking about the “crawl off into a cave with their Septuagint” type.
One of our stops on the tour de force through Turkey was Kapadokya, or ancient Cappadocia. Admittedly, this area is one of the strangest landscapes I have ever visited and boasts terribly unique landforms. It has an arid climate and would probably be classified as a desert region. The region is pocked with valleys, and each valley is littered with dozens of large rock towers shooting up into the air. The resulting impression is a desert valley full of rock trees.
What is even more intriguing is the ancient use of this remarkable landscape. The cliff walls and even the rock towers themselves were carved out and fashioned into dwellings places. High rock cliffs full of little, black windows fill the eyesight. In these caves, much of Christianity’s early monastic tradition was conceived. Small stone doorways lead into vast cathedral caverns, covered floor to ceiling with Byzantine-era religious frescos. Read More Why I am not a monk