What I believe



Peaceful naked moments in Nas Ikaria

Photo by Danai_lama on Instagram by Danai_lama  (‘Danai_lama’)
taken in Ikaria, featuring in her Instagram

Poetry by J.G. Ballard

What I believe

I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.

I believe in my own obsessions, in the beauty of the car crash, in the peace of the submerged forest, in the excitements of the deserted holiday beach, in the elegance of automobile graveyards, in the mystery of multi-storey car parks, in the poetry of abandoned hotels.

. . .

I believe in the death of tomorrow, in the exhaustion of time, in our search for a new time within the smiles . . .

. . .

I believe in madness, in the truth of the inexplicable, in the common sense of stones, in the lunacy of flowers, in the disease stored up for the human race by the Apollo astronauts.

I believe in nothing.

I believe in Max Ernst, Delvaux, Dali, Titian, Goya, Leonardo, Vermeer, Chirico, Magritte, Redon, Duerer, Tanguy, the Facteur Cheval, the Watts Towers, Boecklin, Francis Bacon, and all the invisible artists within the psychiatric institutions of the planet.

I believe in the impossibility of existence, in the humour of mountains, in the absurdity of electromagnetism, in the farce of geometry, in the cruelty of arithmetic, in the murderous intent of logic.

I believe in adolescent women, in their corruption by their own leg stances, in the purity of their dishevelled bodies, in the traces of their pudenda left in the bathrooms of shabby motels.

I believe in flight, in the beauty of the wing, and in the beauty of everything that has ever flown, in the stone thrown by a small child that carries with it the wisdom of statesmen and midwives.

I believe in the gentleness of the surgeon’s knife, in the limitless geometry of the cinema screen, in the hidden universe within supermarkets, in the loneliness of the sun, in the garrulousness of planets, in the repetitiveness or ourselves, in the inexistence of the universe and the boredom of the atom.

. . .

I believe in the non-existence of the past, in the death of the future, and the infinite possibilities of the present.

I believe in the derangement of the senses: in Rimbaud, William Burroughs, Huysmans, Genet, Celine, Swift, Defoe, Carroll, Coleridge, Kafka.

. . .

I believe in the next five minutes.

I believe in the history of my feet.

I believe in migraines, the boredom of afternoons, the fear of calendars, the treachery of clocks.

I believe in anxiety, psychosis and despair.

I believe in the perversions, in the infatuations with trees, princesses, prime ministers, derelict filling stations (more beautiful than the Taj Mahal), clouds and birds.

I believe in the death of the emotions and the triumph of the imagination.

. . .

I believe in anxiety, psychosis and despair.

I believe in the perversions, in the infatuations with trees, princesses, prime ministers, derelict filling stations (more beautiful than the Taj Mahal), clouds and birds.

I believe in the death of the emotions and the triumph of the imagination.

I believe all reasons.

I believe all hallucinations.

I believe all anger.

I believe all mythologies, memories, lies, fantasies, evasions.

I believe in the mystery and melancholy of a hand, in the kindness of trees, in the wisdom of light.

J.G. B.

The full poem without my arbitrary omissions can be found at https://i1.wp.com/static.mediapart.fr/sites/all/themes/mediapart/mediapart_v4/images/mediapart.png






A Story Written in the Mountains

If there is a shutdown,

let’s make it with loud noise! 🙂

We are inviting you to an audiovisual event.

A chronicle of twenty years in the paths and the mountains of Ikaria. What has been done, by who, how and why.

A thrilling true story.

We are opening our hearts and sharing the secrets in the village hall of Agios Dimitrios, Rahes,

on Sunday, March 3 at 5 a. m.

Thanks George for the video.

Trail Network Shutdown

(Press for Greek)

It’s not a good day today.

This is the mail I received from a dearest friend this morning with the request to post in my blog. I couldn’t help adding some pictures as a tribute to the past and testimony of a great work that has come to an end.

Here it goes:

Ikarian pathman Hello, my name is Angelos K.

As some of you may know, I have been the designer and administrator of an expanded network of hiking trails in Ikaria for over 15 years. However, today, with mixed feelings of grief and relief I am shutting down the project. Unfortunately I can’t afford to work anymore without recognition and substantial support from the locals and the local authorities. It was my mistake to suppose that such a thing would happen in the course of time. Yet, my initiative, despite it’s success, remained unperceived even by those who drew a direct profit from it every year (hotel and restaurant owners etc.).

I just can’t do it anymore.

Ikaria 324 Posing as cairn and landmark by angeloska Ikaria 305

Brushes at rest by angeloska x2 by angeloska Proud sign makers by egotoagrimi

The project was never supported by the central government and I have come to the end of my financial means and physical strength.

Show me the way- # 9 by angeloska Trail marker by Haydar Show me the way- # 8 by angeloska

pinelo & velaki by angeloska Ikaria 170 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 050 by angeloska

I am aware the shutdown of planned hiking in Ikaria will make us a poorer island from many points of view. On the other hand, as things as with tourism in Ikaria, it’s likely that only few people will notice the fact and even fewer will know the cause.

Volunteer group photo 1 by angeloska Collective Souvenir Pose at the "Fangs" by angeloska Volunteer Group photo 2 by angeloska

log 2nd, take #1 by angeloska Ku the Volunteer in the rain by angeloska Ξέφωτο με εργάτες και 'κούκο' by angeloska

Therefore starting from spring the main signs at the beginnings of the trails will be removed and the map will go out of sale (*). It would be the responsible thing to do as, despite the efforts of several friends, the paths haven’t been maintained and the marking hasn’t been refreshed for a long period of time, so in many cases trails have become too difficult or impassable.

New sign in canyon by angeloska guidance by simonsterg Studying the map by Lambrini

The New Round of Rahes on Foot by angeloska ...? by kukuvalou  by mualpha

The good side, however, of the shutdown is that I and my occasional helpers would be free to work without stress “behind the scenes”, like when a shop closes down but the team stays ans works inside. After all, in either case, open or closed, no-one was paid.

trail Rahes-Manganitis, day 2 by angeloska my assistant by angeloska x3 by angeloska

Sweeping stones by angeloska This kind of shot by angeloska Angelos and Yorgos by angeloska

Ikaria is still and as always a beautiful natural island and hiking is by far the best way to know it. In my heart the shutdown will be temporary. The amount of money that is needed for a restart is small. If it is given to the project with with good faith and in some more or less permanent basis, via, for example, the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria, the signs will be up again and a new hiking map will be published, that will cover, as it is due, the whole of Ikaria and not only a part.

We shall always walk.

Thank you very much


(*) I am not giving up the copyrights of the traced routes and the map.

I have nothing to say or add other than that someone cannot be a volunteer for 17 years!

The Ikarians must read about it so Nana put up this announcement in the original Greek in her blog very soon.

Bye for now


And beaches I do




protected by a
spell and not for sale


Should I or shouldn’t …I did it again. What a headache that has been! It’s (b)lasted for 2 days…  Whatever… The spell worked. I didn’t take this photo to be in a museum. I protect my topics with whatever I’ve got.  Aooch! (it will go away with a kiss)




Read the story in more logical (?) terms in

Flickr>> group>> Ikaria>> discussions>> topic:

“The power of some photographs”

not so innocent caravan cantina

ta leme




(13 total)

Δεν καταλάβατε τίποτα; Δεν πειράζει. Ούτε κι εγώ. Πάντως η δουλειά έγινε. Κι εγώ όταν τελειώνει μια τέτοια δουλειά, είμαι υποχρεωμένη να δίνω δημόσια αναφορά. Αλλιώς τα ξόρκια χαλάνε.

Thursday June 21, 2007 – 02:25pm (PDT)

I have ready long message to post in Flickr group Ikaria. Revealing a bit of the secret -as we have agreed. Just hope you haven’t changed your mind, oh powerful one.

Saturday June 23, 2007 – 02:39pm (EEST)

Great photo of a gorgeous location! Thank you for sharing it with us. Warmest, Konstantinos

Sunday June 24, 2007 – 04:13pm (EEST)

@ konstantine : I have re-edited the entry and added links. Follow them. It’s an interesting case of how a beautiful photo can save a beautiful place.
@ AKK : Nana sends you her love for what you did in Messakti. She says that in Heiligedamm the leaders of the famous march across the fields were two men around your age.

Sunday June 24, 2007 – 06:55am (PDT)

I had posted an ironic answer (msg#452) when you asked «Does Photography help to preserve the Environment?» in the hikingIkaria group. Now I feel very bad (like a «Doubting Thomas») and I want to do something about it. Let me make the announcement of this incredible «magical realism» story in the group. A COOL PHOTOGRAPH DOES HELP save the environment as long as THE RIGHT PEOPLE are inspired and INVOLVED (:- «spellbound» -:)

(Μπαμπα κουλ γερο πουρό αγγελούκο …η οικογένειά σου κι όλοι οι κοντινοί σου άνθρωποι πρέπει να είναι περήφανοι για σένα. Πραγματικά ήταν ένας οικογενειάρχης σαν κι εσένα αρχηγός στη δική μου φάλαγγα όταν διασχίζαμε τα χωράφια στο Ροστόκ. Από πάνω μας πετούσαν ελικόπτερα -και ψιλοχεζόμουνα ‘egotogrimi’- όμως εκείνος και οι φίλοι του μας οδηγούσαν με αποφασίστικότητα και γνώση κατευθείαν στο στόχο. Το οποίο βέβαια και πέτυχε. Ζήτω το *generation fusion* λοιπόν)

Monday June 25, 2007 – 03:03pm (EEST)

Κάποιοι άνθρωποι πλησιάζοντας τα 50 τους είναι πια σίγουροι γι’ αυτά που αξίζουν στη ζωή. Ο χρόνος μετράει πια αντίστροφα κι αρχίζουν να κτίζουν αυτό που θα αφήσουν πίσω τους. Το μόνο που χρειαζόμαστε είναι έμπνευση. Κι εσείς την παρέχετε άπλετα.

Tuesday June 26, 2007 – 02:25pm (EEST)

I’ve been away so I’m just catching up. Bravo Angele, Effy and Eleni – well done and thanks, great to know things will be unchanged when I visit again…xxx

Tuesday June 26, 2007 – 10:42pm (BST)

Hey Jude! Visiting in September, right? Hope I am there!..

Thursday June 28, 2007 – 10:04am (PDT)

Hi Eleni. I hope so, though it is all a bit vague at the moment and only talked about as something that may or may not happen….(but the vagueness gets weaker as the summer progresses and the rain here doesn’t stop)

PS. A friend of mine runs a small holiday company (www.indigo-holidays.co.uk) and wants me to go to Symi, as that is where her business partner is based ( I do some work for them), but I told her yesterday that if I was to go to Greece at all this year, it has to be Ikaria! So maybe I will extend my trip and do a strange combination of Ikaria followed by symi! That will be very odd.

Wednesday July 4, 2007 – 10:40pm (BST)

Vague? I wish I had so «vague» plans. I live for the next moment righ now. The only thing I know for sure is that I am in Athens and a friend is driving me and Sideraki down to Pireas to take the boat to Ikaria the day after tomorrow. Ah, and that I will find a clean house there too, thanks to Nana. The future will tell for the rest.

Friday July 6, 2007 – 03:49am (PDT)

Ah, Eleni. That is fantastic news. It is better to live for the next moment than be vague….I am so glad you are taking your son Sideraki to Ikaria. It is the best thing for you both, you will be going home. Sto Kalo.

Friday July 6, 2007 – 11:25pm (BST)

Καλό ταξίδι! 🙂

Saturday July 7, 2007 – 08:35pm (EEST)

«The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must» :o


«Right, as the world goes, is only a question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must


cat and mouse


Oh no. I’ve changed my mind. I don’t feel like and I am not going to write the story of sweet boy Glaucos, Cretan King Minos’ son, who drowned in honey.

Instead, I will tell you about the terrible fate of the Melians, the inhabitants of the island of Melos, who dared claim neutrality in a civil war. It was not because they were cowards; on the contrary they were the only islanders who didn’t surrender and opposed the Persians. The reason they didn’t want to fight with their allies, the Athenians, against the Spartans, was that unlike the Athenians and most other islanders who were Ionians, the Melians were Dorians like the Spartans. Greek can kill Greek and brother can kill brother; but in this case the Melians were asked to fight against themselves, against their own identity. So they pleaded to remain neutral.


Mandrakia village / Milos island by Zdenek Senkyrik | Flickr

Read the story and then read THE MELIAN DIALOGUE, the debate between the Melians and the Athenians on the matter. It’s good drama. What the Athenians actually say is :

«We are going to destroy you and we will spare noone; but before we kill you, you will have to understand perfectly well the reason why we will kill you.» And the Melians seem to say : «We know that we are as good as dead; but why not for a change instead of proving you are strong by killing everybody of us, why not for a change prove you are strong by letting us live in the way we want.»

(If you have time to read the whole original Dialogue, search for the quote in the title of this entry. Look how and where exactly it drops in the text. What effect it’d create to your ears if you were a Melian?)

I hope one day Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue will be adapted and set on the scene succesfully. But my ambitions are greater. They say that the constitution of the European Union will contain Pericles’ «Funeral Oration» on the benefits of democracy; I strongly believe that it should also contain the arguments of the Melians. My arguments? My arguments are he arguments of so many weak people I know.

filakia Elle Image


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«Might makes right!» «Wait a second.. no it doesn’t!»

If there were any justice in the world, all imperial leaders would be forced to sleep with a copy of this dialogue under their pillows.

This was one of the first pieces of classical literature I ever read. It brought home the one reason I’m still studying the ancients, and in fact plan to teach this stuff for my career: Nothing Ever Changes. That’s not to say I’m a pessimist, but rather that there are universal elements of the human experience, and sometimes they were expressed best 2500 years ago. These elements, from Achilles’ rage to Dido’s tragic love, are what have kept me stuck in school for all these years.

Saturday September 30, 2006 – 09:24am (EDT)

My old teacher Vidal-Naquet died recently. I was lucky to meet him again after many years in Ikaria. He had been invited to a conference on history and myths. I was told that he expressed the wish to visit again and spend a lot of time in Ikaria. Anyway what he always said was that the study of the classics helps a person committed to a cause become more relative and more profound in his/her ideas. I want to add that Thucydides was FOR the Melians. Unfortunaltely we weren’t taught that at school. I was told that Thucydides is taught as a course in the Mlitary Academies of the U.S. I assume it’s about strategics and that they leave this passage out.

(psst… El, what’s on your mind? a script?)

Saturday September 30, 2006 – 10:43pm (EEST)

The cat got his paws on a cockerel. «At last I’ve got you. You… you… wake up everyone far too early in the morning. Now I’m going to stop all your crowing once and for all.» Although the claws of cat were round his neck, the cock managed to answer, «But actually a recent poll has shown the majority of people are grateful for a wake up call.» «Well… don’t think you can reason your way out of this. I’m hungry, and the main thing is… I want a meal.» And with that the debate was over.

I’ve just had a look at the Melian dialogue – it is sort of surreal – it must be the greeks and debate – why, before the age of mass media and spin – why when there will be no audience apart from the vanquished – why bother to reason?? The performance should have a comic edge I think.

Saturday September 30, 2006 – 11:24pm (CEST)

Typical situation «Shoot me but spare me the lecture». Fortunately (for us) none of them was short of words and Thucydides was a top «journalist». So a typical everyday situation became an *all-times-classic*. When someone to who a company is grateful*, refuses to do some dirty job which is against his/her principles, and so he/she gets fired, the attitudes that you see and the arguments that you hear are from the Melian Dialogue.

*** I all agree with Simon G. This is Black Comedy. Though no expert, I think this genre is the most difficult to put on stage.

Sunday October 1, 2006 – 07:10pm (EEST)

OH YES IT IS ! As ‘Simon G’ insinuates, the somebody has to be vanquished and that will be the audience for such a play. If I’m not mistaken, during the war Thucydides was busy being a general; he wrote his history later in his self-exile in Thrace after his home town, Athens was defeated. Aristophanes on the contrary wrote and directed his comedies between battles and campaigns of that war. Lycistrata, The Birds, Acharneis – my favourites!…

Sunday October 1, 2006 – 12:27pm (PDT)

Tragic that we as humans have not learned a Goddamned thing in 2,500 years.

Write it Elle!

Monday October 2, 2006 – 07:35am (PDT)

Oh no greg! We have learned one thing : that we have not learned a Goddamned thing in 2,500 years. ha ha ha Somebody else said this -not me. Maybe a comedian, maybe a historian, I can’t remember.

I think I’ll try and do it. I’ll need to put on 3 hats : a lawyer’s, a comedian’s, a historian’s, plus some Aristophanic spirit «shoot us but spare us the lectures» (thank you Nana!) Let’s change the subject because I don’t want to think about it now. It will be for after… you know.

Monday October 2, 2006 – 01:04pm (PDT)




(not folk-lore)

this is what I’m doing with my photos. All of sudden I felt the urge of shouting this out.I do ENVIRO-LORE : the stories inside the environment ~ geography animated as I would tell it as a story to a kid. My landscapes are not «empty». Once upon a time they were inhabited. Now they are waiting to be inhabited again.  Never mind if it’s only for the summer.

So the creek waits for the hiker to cross it and wet his sweaty front. The lonely cove waits for les amoureux. The forest waits for the drunk to sleep after a long night’s fiest. The high rock waits for the daring climber to pose on top and wave the banner of his pride. The angry sea waits for the calm and for the windsurfer to do his tricks. The high mountains wait for me and my friends to go there and shout «iiiiii», sometimes whisper «OM» or sometimes dance the rock’n roll.

I do ENVIRO-LORE here and now. Move on, move on.

The lonely anonymous cove used to have a name in the time of my great-grand father. I’m sure he saw it and said : «nice fish place», or «nice place to hide my little boat».

To Imageme (and Nana and many other *beautiful monsters*) it says: «nice green water; let’s take our clothes off and dive» or «let’s sit behind this funny rock and I’ll tell you a secret«.





The more there are, the more there are.

Οσο πιο πολλα ειναι, τοσο πιο πολλα γινονται.

Τοσο πιο καλα ειναι.Image




Weave it into a song rhapsodos.

Thursday April 27, 2006 – 01:47pm (PDT)

Agree with the above. Your manifesto moved me, sister-oula. I’ll send you one of my own. It’s about & for the Greek hikers so it will be in Greek only.
Hope you like it, and maybe you reproduce it as an entry in your blog.
BTW, other nations of bipeds out there, there is a name for the long distance hikers. I was told once and then I forgot. «Long-hikers», «tan-hikers», «(?)-hikers». Someone may know. LooOOng distance «cross country», days and nights …oooo

Friday April 28, 2006 – 06:52pm (EEST)

Amen El! Enviro-lore is my favorite lore to hear or read, so let’s all gather round the campfire and share stories.


Friday April 28, 2006 – 01:19pm (EDT)

haha -I just asked a friend visiting me and he said that this type of hikers should be called:
*πεζοποροι πετσι & κοκαλο* (=only skin & bone hikers)  🙂  <ikarian humour>
But «thru-hikers» is the correct term. I’ve met a couple of those and they were like ascetics, though very young.
(oh no, Nana please don’t…)
There will be more on ENVRIRO-LORE. I had seized the concept long ago but I’ve just invented a word for it. Thanks Ψ for being the first to approve)

Friday April 28, 2006 – 10:54am (PDT)

what «Appalachian trail» goes through Ikaria?
Quote: «No island is an island». Besides Bouconne forest, which other places your trail goes through? In other words, imagine there was no such place called Ikaria and we saw you photos without «tag Ikaria» or «Ikaria #1,2,3…», where would we think this place was?
(I’m asking because I know that you are traveller, or better, «a dreamer of places»).

Sunday April 30, 2006 – 11:39pm (EEST)

Just for interest – I have never heard this term «through-hiker», but then we don’t have such long trails in Britain – like Ikaria, we run out of island too soon – so I think we only have «long distance hikers».

Monday May 1, 2006 – 08:14pm (BST)

The looks of these people… and the strong ties between them. I’m afraid to go on because I don’t want to put ideas in Nana’s head. She is too skinny already. Or is this good for this kind of adventure?
A Greek island’s landscape is very different and demanding. I have seen Swiss who boast as «mountain eaters»  being near (body AND mind) apoplexy hiking in these lands. The sun and the light and the rocks and the changes e.t.c.

Monday May 1, 2006 – 12:32pm (PDT)

I know how they feel. There is an added something in the rocks of Ikaria too. Does things to the head….and the needle of my compass. But it is magnetic and addictive too I think….like your blog.

Tuesday May 2, 2006 – 12:04am (BST)

Αν περπατήσουμε όλο το μήκος της Ικαρίας από το Δράκανο μέχρι τον Κάβο Πάπα θα πάρουμε τον τίτλο «thru-hikers»? Εννοώ χωρίς να κατεβαίνουμε στα χωριά για τη νύχτα. Εντελώς «through», through-out through. Ή μήπως θα αγιάσουμε και στο τέλος θα γίνουμε διάφανοι? Διότι άλλο skinny και άλλο να γίνεις «see through», χα χα
Πάντως πρέπει να είναι τρομερή εμπειρία.
>If we walk the whole length of the mountain range of Ikaria from Drakano to Cape Papas would we win the tile «thru-hikers»? I mean w/o coming down for meals and to spend the night in the villages. Given the roughness and the changes in landscape, the height and the views, it must be a terrific experience. 3-4 days? I’m thnking about this for the summer.

@Ψαλάκανθ娨 as a backacker you will probably have the chance to discover the meaning of the term «island-hopper». A (not very warm) sleeping bag is a ‘must’, as well as the ability to sleep on hard benches in ports and ferries. For me this makes a civilized man: the ability to feel at home and sleep anywhere.

Tuesday May 2, 2006 – 12:50pm (EEST)

When I worked on Ikaria for two summers I had to travel in the night to Samos once a week. I used to be an «island hopper» for a few hours – re-living my first Greek experience – sleeping on the open deck, on a bench, in my «not very warm» sleeping bag. My company would pay for a cabin if I wanted one, but I always preferred the fresh air and the sound of the engines lulling me to sleep and waking up with the taste of salt on my lips.

Tuesday May 2, 2006 – 12:44pm (BST)

Haha, Nana! Civilized indeed.. check out this picture for what is probably the most «civilized» moment of my life:

Too Long

I think that definitely qualifies as thru-hiking 🙂 However, as far as the qualifications for saint-hood (that is what αγιάζω means, right?)…

Tuesday May 2, 2006 – 07:56am (EDT)

thank you everybody ! This is what ENVIRO-LORE is about.

An appealing & inviting *wildereness*.

Tuesday May 2, 2006 – 01:32pm (PDT)

«Foret de Bouconne» ? What does this have to do with Ikaria?


as much I Imagelike the nomad backpackers, as much I like those people who have adopted and cherish only one particular place on earth. I can be a fancy tourist resort, a park, a block of houses in a town, just a street, a beach, a starved African country, a desert, a forest, a noman’s land, a wasteland. All these places for those people are *islands* : bigger than an average sized appartment, smaller than the earth, the ideal size for someone to have the illusion of ownership, or rather let’s say *control*, or at least a sense of *familiarity*.
Exactly the same as chimps, humans are territorial. Some are Abels (residents), some are Kains (nomads). I’m turning and tending to become an Abel Image these years. I’m learning to admire the residents. I found many people like that in Flickr. There is one Imagethat I like very much. Exactly like me who take only pictures of Ikaria, he takes pictures of only a forest, «Foret de Bouconne» in the Northern Pyrenees near the city of Toulouse, France. This forest is this man’s island, his isolation, (has become a part of) his identity.


There’s nothing spectacular or exotic about that particular forest. For sure it’s not Tolkien’s Fangorn. Oaks and beeches and mushrooms and streams and probably deer and wild boar as well like in the forest around Asterix’s cartoon village. It’s a European forest; how boring, how wonderful. I kissed and was kissed for the first time in a forest like this *; how commonplace, how unforgetable. But why?

Because if I kissed for the first time in Tahiti or in Brazil I wouldn’t remember it. It would be part of the setting, a Image*must do* thing. But I remember that kiss Imagein that boring neat forest, because that boring neat forest is a part of my boring neat identity, my boring neat personality, my boring neat sense of «my own territory*. I kissed Imageand was kissed in a place that I understand and I’m familiar with, the same as some others kiss Imageinside the closet of their parent’s boring neat bedroom and yet the fact stays unforgetable.
There is another boringly neat and wonderful thing about the «Foret de Bouccones» : elle est geree par l’ association… e.tc.! It is administrated, managed by someone! Why the exclamation marks? Because such a thing as «management of a territory» (how illusive it may be) is completely unknown in Greece. As I walk now across other forests, on the «trail of the elves» in Ikaria, my boring neat personality Imagerevolts.




The *grouvalina* in me shouts back: «let it be, let it burn, let it be wasted, let it be unknown and be nothing. Nothing is ours. We’ll light a fire of the debris in the middle of nothing and dance naked around it.»



«Oh yes, great», the boring neat me says -all cool, » We shouldn’t forget to reserve special places in the forest for this.» How neat, how bureaucratic, how boring and disgustingly European (and *western* in general), oh, there’s no other way but management, I’m afraid.

->With holes of *unmanagement* (for my *grouvalina* to dance) -ok, I’ll permit many holes. And anyway, these holes are created by themselves…<-

* there is no photo of me kissing in that link, you peeps ! It’s just a photo of a crosspath.

** I found the second wonderful photo of the forest in:

It was by ‘zian’ ( http://www.agora-photo.com ) The original title is «Allee en automne – La brume s’engouffre dans cette allee de platanes. L’automne donne a ce lieu une pleiade de couleurs chaudes et envoutantes… «




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Elle, I am going to come and see the forests of Ikaria, such as they are, in 2007, God willing if the crick don’t rise. Mainland Greece too and maybe Santorini.

Wednesday April 19, 2006 – 02:14pm (PDT)

«Good machine» this forest. It has the same shape as Naxos island. You are amazing Elenitsa. You can relate anything to anything. You are right. Good machines connect. I saw in your Flickrs that you have been exchanging flowers between that forest and Ikaria. Cute. «No island is an island» to paraphrase the well known «no man is an island». Do you agree?
Greg, for «crick» my dictionary writes something like «pain in the back of the neck». Ikaria has warm springs to cure this. I don’t like the surroundings and the facilities but they say they are good. Visit the woods and visit Santorini too. Contrasts from all points of view!! Hiker, eh? I saw your Flickr. Your country is BIG -:)) As a very cool friend of mine said once after he visited the States, «The US, oh, it’s exactly like Greece, only much bigger!» -lol

Thursday April 20, 2006 – 02:33pm (EEST)

(…enticed out of the forest and into Compose a comment…)

Eleni, I am honoured, charmed that you have visited The Forest with your rusty internet connection and seen so clearly into its managed heart.

If you were not escaping too many books I would say how your thoughts put me in mind of a book I love – perhaps you have read it – called The Other Side of Eden by Hugh Brody, a man who has spent a lot of time with various hunter-gatherer communities on the margins of our planet. Once the human species was all hunter-gatherer, but then someone had the bright idea of… goats … and oats. The population swelled, sons and daughters had to move out, cities were built, a nomadic lifestyle began and the rest is history.

A quote from one of the less poetic and narrative parts of the book:

«The profound dichotomy that has shaped the agricultural era may lie in an opposition between nomads and settlers, between people for whom home is place of timeless constancy, a centre in which humanity itself arose, and those who are on the move and, if at rest, rest only while preparing for further movement. the paradox, of course, is that this is the divide between the settled hunters and the nomadic farmers.»

Both Cain and Abel were farmers, both replaced the hunter gatherer.

From a review of the book:
«ANTHROPOLOGIST Hugh Brody describes the visit to London of Anaviapik, an Inuit who had never previously left the Arctic. Anaviapik is disgorged from a British Airways plane on a hot summer’s day swathed in a fox-fur-trimmed parka and «wearing sealskin boots with brown trousers tucked into their patterned tops». To Brody’s relief, Anaviapik survives this visit with equanimity. One thing he never masters, however, is the built environment. Every day Brody teases him, challenging him to find the short way home from the Tube. Every day he fails: «How amazing that the Qallunaat [white people] live in cliffs. I would never be able to find my way here without you.»

Back in the vast, white, apparently indecipherable landscapes of the Arctic Anaviapik has no such problem. On one occasion, Brody travels hundreds of miles with him by dog sledge. En route, Anaviapik diverts to a place he has not visited since 1938. «How did you remember the way?» asks Brody. «Inuit cannot get lost in our own land. If we have done a journey once, we can always do it again.» This is one of the many instances which brings home to Brody the profound difference between hunter-gatherers’ attitude to the land and our own. Theirs is an intimate knowledge of the land’s contours, its seasons and creatures. A transformed landscape, dominated by man’s activities, is alien and unattractive to them.»

Anaviapik however remains cheerful, keen to talk to as many people as he can wherever he can. He builds up a picture of a society where everyone’s family lives somewhere else. He hates having to sleep in a room on his own.

Where am I going with this? Don’t know.
Simon G

Thursday April 20, 2006 – 05:27pm (CEST)

Nana, «crick» is American country slang for «creek,» a small stream. The full saying is «If God’s willing and the crick don’t rise,» as in high water or a flood, which presumably back in the day would impede or prevent travel. Yes I am a hiker, all my life, and I want to hike on Ikaria after seeing all of Eleni’s intriguing photos, and for the history. It is after all where Icarus washed ashore.

Thursday April 20, 2006 – 09:19am (PDT)

->One of my first favourite books was Giles Deleuze’s «Mille Plateaus». Then I read Brody too. Oh man, Simon G, I see that the ‘islands of trees’ have strong plethoric protectors. Thanks for that; oxyzen is my dope. Has anybody seen a forest after acid rain? I have.

-> Ah, Greg, that’s good news. Remember to ask our friend ‘Psalakanthos’ (Matt) about his experiences in Ikaria this year. He’s planning to visit other islands too. He’d better do that before mid-July when the pretty girls land.

Thursday April 20, 2006 – 12:45pm (PDT)

ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ, ΕΛΕΝΗ !!! Happy Easter.
You are no cook, but I bet you can dye eggs red. Let’s have a photo. Or are there too many friends around and you too busy? Jimmy P is right to ask for photos of people. But you never ‘shoot people’. You talk and offer drinks («Zorba beer» -what’s that? Couldn’t believe my eyes. Another of Nana’s «inventions»?).

Friday April 21, 2006 – 02:40pm (EEST)

Bouconne is the «lung» of the city of Toulouse and the Toulousiens are very wise to preserve and to manage it. Who is Ikaria the «lung» of?
Is it a «party island» like Mykonos, Ios and Paros? «Party islands» are «lungs» too, in a way. But I doubt Ikaria is one.
I read a UN report saying that by now 1/2 of the world’s population live in cities. So which city people is (potentially) Ikaria the lung of? None’s? The Athenian suburbia’s? The philosophers’?
Find this and you will have the key to its preservation.
Tough, eh? Tough stuff turns you on. So prove it.

from Prof Athina assisted by the senior USDA staff

Friday April 21, 2006 – 10:26pm (EEST)

Let’s sit here sheltered under the rich spring foliage of the ‘Foret de Bouconne’ where very few people will hear us:
Yes, Prof Fiend Fulvia, the USDA is right: Ikaria is ‘the lung’ of the Athenian suburbia. The amount and the account of this influence was not included in the outstanding ‘Rebels and Radicals -Ikaria 1600-2000′ How could this be done from America? Even in Greece there is only one good book about the suberbia and that was a novel: Soti’s Triantafyllou, «Savato Vrady stin Akri tis Polis’. The writer has visited Ikaria more than once, I think. She nearly drowned once in the waves of Messakti beach.
I tend to believe that this relation between the suburbs and Ikaria would explain much of the famous *Ikarian enigma*. Not that I’m particularly interested in solving it. I want to know how the trick works, so that I reproduce it -;)) *weirdo* & *funny* & as genuine popular expression -LOL

Saturday April 22, 2006 – 04:14am (PDT)

Born and raised in the «suburbia» at a certain point in my life I got tired of seeing Ikaria as a «lung». It was too far from Athens (9 hours by boat). Something had to be done about it. So I moved and settled permanently inside it. I’d hate Ikaria becomes a suberb of a suberb of a city. This will mean that I will have to look for another «lung» for me and my family. A reasonable alternative for a suberb is …what? A PARK, of course! (with holes? yes, ok, with holes and lotsa fun -no problem)

__\\Buconne//__ is ‘cool’ I like it a lot.

Monday April 24, 2006 – 08:39pm (EEST)

The Island


The Island

Does the wind sing in your ears at night, in the town,
Rattling the windows and doors of the cheap-built place?
Do you hear its song as it flies over marsh and down?
Do you feel the kiss that the wind leaves here on my face?
Or, wrapt in a lamplit quiet, do you restrain
Thoughts that would take the wind’s way hither to me,
And bid them rest safe-anchored, nor tempt again
The tumult, and torment, and passion that live in the sea?

I, for my part, when the wind sings loud in its might,
I bid it hush—nor awaken again the storm
That swept my heart out to sea on a moonless night,
And dashed it ashore on an island wondrous and warm
Where all things fair and forbidden for ever flower,
Where the worst of life is a dream, and the best comes true,
Where the harvest of years was reaped in a single hour
And the gods, for once, were honest with me and you.

I will not hear when the wind and the sea cry out,
I will not trust again to the hurrying wind,
I will not swim again in a sea of doubt,
And reach that shore with the world left well behind;
But you,—I would have you listen to every call
Of the changing wind, as it blows over marsh and main,
And heap life’s joys in your hands, and offer them all,
If only your feet might touch that island again!

Edith Nesbit

(There seemed to be someting wrong with my blog
and I couldn't post an entry I had prepared.
Then suddenly I received this as a gift through the net.
So I'm posting this instead of a test entry.
It's so appropriate... Thanks Greg !)


(1 total)

You don’t have crowds of friends in you blog, but those you have, are worth hundreds !
I know you about to post the «unpublished» squall photos here. If this junk.., oops, sorry, I meant your «pretty orange bicycle» works, I suggest you add some Greek verses to this series of photos.

Thursday March 2, 2006 – 01:16pm (EET)