Two days ago and I’m back in Ikaria and I am taking part in my own cleansing ritual as always early in the morning and after that I put something on and lie on the sand and I am tired and I drowse off and although it was cold earlier, now the sun rises higher and I wake up from the heat, and I think I’m dreaming ‘cause next to my waist, and my left thigh small black creatures emerge from the sand hot babes and they look as if made of rubber and they are six or seven (maybe there were more while I was asleep) and they crawl and paddle towards the sea – because they are newly born baby sea turtles!!!
And I jump on my feet and one more baby crawls out of the sand from the spot where I had laid my head and I’m trying to reach my camera while I’n also trying to keep my pareo around my waist and the camera drops on the sand and I am wasting time to clean it and I think that I’m screaming -from impatience, excitement and joy…
😖 😆 😄
And I open the lid of the lens and I finally take three good shots!!!
Bravo, baby sea-turtles!
Thanks for the short crazy moment
I felt you were my own little brats!!!
Now in case some of you thought I am some kind of animal enchanter ☺ – according to latest records, loggerhead sea turtles are not uncommon in the eastern Aegean islands, including Ikaria, and that in spite the fact that we don’t have many appropriate sandy beaches. Several friends have seen nests and even witnessed mothers laying eggs.
There used to be here a pathetic entry about Carlos Castaneda that I deleted. At that time my father had died and I had gone, so to speak, off-hand… But the drawings are cool so I am leaving them in place, You can delete and re-edit a blog entry, you can’t delete a phase in your life..So instead of Castaneda’s suspicious old sophistries, take bright surfmadpig’s Summer of 2005 in Ikaria! I have celebrated her in this blog long ago; it’s time I celebrate her again tonight that I am in so much need of that spirit...
..Selected pictures from various of her blog entries
to young blood>>
>>> if combined with mountain air, goat boil, violin music, plane leaves, herbs, stones and dust. Langada Festival, August 15 2007. All photos © Spiros Staveris, starring some of my friends. I am almost never in Ikaria in August and I hope that you can see the reason!
It’s not a writer’s block; it’s lobotomy. Look at the waves as they go up and down at dusk after the wind has died out. So fully they wash the mind from thoughts. This is the meltemi, the Etesian winds of the ancients. In the morning the mountains are clouded and the tourists wonder, “Is it going to rain?” Of course not. This is only wind, friendly breeze; full of good vapor, makes the land go wet and cool down. Cleans the beach from cigarette buts; provides good sleep as well and sweet dreams –my friend, the northwestern Maistros. Blow on blow on. Bring me news.
***Sorry AKK, I didn’t fulfill your request to broadcast the “Play Safe with Waves -3/1 rule of thumb” in this entry. I wanted to. Because I understand the need for some safety. But as soon as I uploaded the photo, I got carried away. And you know…, a thought crossed my mind; as a sailor’s wife maybe I shouldn’t think or talk about playing with the waves anymore. It’s not for decency’s sake. It’s superstition! Let Nana and the others do that for me from now on. Non?f i l a k i a ♥
40 wa cu Slide Shows.S. . .
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speaking of kishmet I remembered our blog friend ‘Can’ who wrote to me the other day and said that «Meltem» is a common female name in Turkey. I suppose it’s something like «Breeze» (the Americans like this name a lot) or the Greek Avra (Αύρα). It is good to know that the name has a positive sense verified by tradition. So when the meltemi spoils your beach days, think of it as a beautiful woman and …take the mountains! Go hiking. By the way, does anybody remember this incredible picture? It’s was a gift by the makers of the play and it features in the hikingIkaria group files. We have talked about it already in the past.
...Η λογοκρισία στο προηγούμενο entry μας τσάκισε. Φαίνεται όμως πως δεν έχουν πρόβλημα με τις φωτογραφίες. Ορίστε, να μία. Είναι ένα κουλό σύνθημα γραμμένο σε βράχο στο βάθος μέσα στο φαράγγι της Χάλαρης. Οι πολλοί καπιταλιστές που περνούν από εκεί στο δρόμο για τις βρωμοδουλειές τους, σίγουρα το βλέπουν και τρέμουν. Θα λένε από μέσα τους, «Άντε να τελειώνουμε με την εκμετάλλευση και τη παγκοσμιοποίηση, γιατί αν αργήσουμε, την έχουμε βάψει«.Είμαι σίγουρη ότι έτσι λένε..Θα δουλέψουμε εθελοντές πάλι φέτος.Ορισμένοι free campersθα μας γυρίζουν την πλάτη και θα μας λένε ‘κορόιδα’..χεστήκαμαν! 😛
.Μόνο με δουλειά κάνεις ένα τόπο δικό σου.Smash smash smash..
Το έχω δει κι εγώ αυτό το σύνθημα και θαύμασα το θάρρος αυτών που το έγραψαν σε τόσο πολυσύχναστο μέρος με τόσες κάμερες κι αστυνομία τριγύρω.
Monday February 19, 2007 – 09:56pm (EET)
Παρολες «τις καμερες και τις αστυνομιες» (χα χα), λουστηκαμε πολλες φορες γυμνες και ανενοχλητες στην ωραια αγγελολιβαδα που υπαρχει πισω απο το βραχο.
Το συνθημα μας ενοχλησε μονο στο βαθμο που ηθελε να δειξει οτι το μερος «ανηκε» σε κάποιον -στη προκιμενη περιπτωση δηλ. στους αντικαπιταλιστες, αντιεξουσιαστες η οτι ειναι τελος παντων. Για μενα ηταν *tribal mark* και το διαβασα σαν *this place belongs to…*, *such and such have been here…* : γνωστες ανωριμοτητες
(τα ‘χω περασει κι εγω -μη βγαζω την ουρα μου απ’ εξω)
Ωστοσο απο σκουπιδια, ουτε ιχνος! Αρα υπαρχει ελπιδα. Οταν τους περασει το smash capitalism πραγμα, να γινουν ενταξει, να μαθουν 2-3 αλλα πραγματα και τελικα να το προστατεψουν αυτο το μερος. Νομιζω ετσι θα γινει. Η μηπως γινεται ηδη;
Friday February 23, 2007 – 12:55am (PST)
THE RED MYTH
(an interview with Doubting Thomas)
– Let’s cut this short. Are Ikarians anarchists and commies?
– Impossible to x-ray minds. All I can judge upon is what I see. And all I’ve seen on the island is small private property owners, farmers, shopkeepers, craftsmen, journeymen and many jacks-of-all-trades.
– But all three Mayors of the island are supported by the Communist Party!
– I happened to meet them. I saw three mild and complaisant middle-aged gentlemen. If they had long beards and wore black frocks they would be like clergymen. And like clergymen they deal with the problems: they talk long and discuss. As Doubting Thomas I appreciate discussions very much. Evenmore when there is wine involved.
– Which by the way happens to be red.
– It’s also very strong and sometimes too rough; as strong and rough as the natural profile of the island.
– Speaking of the natural profile of the island, isn’t it true that in the mountains of Ikaria you may meet old people who speak like bolsheviks?
– It’s true that I’ve met some old farmers who spoke like Bolscheviks. But the question is : do they behave like such? I doubt so. The bucolic surrounding just didn’t fit. The bolsheviks I met were all regular churchgoers, for example. And that’s how I met them: in church. I saw them and listened to them from my icons in church. I was puzzled on how honnest they were; so, to shed some light onto the matter, I read «Rebels and Radicals», a book on the recent history of Ikaria. xxx xx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx I was very disappointed. I didn’t read anything about bloodsheds. There was a lot about starvation, migration, deprivation, but only a few rebel acts. In a book with a red cover and a hot title, I expected an occasional massacre, a couple of mass executions, prison camps, bloody uprisals. Yet there was very little -if none at all. Given that Ikaria was involved in one way or another in every major event of the last two centruries, at a certain point I got suspicious -as if the writer had supressed information. Not that he actually did. What I mean is that I was surprised not to find a lot of violence through the pages of that book.
– How do you explain this?
– I’m not here to explain. My job is to doubt. I thought we had agreed that this interview would not follow a «cause – effect» course.
– Oh sorry, Mr Thomas; I forgot myself.
– Don’t apologize. I understand your need for explanations. So here is a hint: «when elephants quarrel, ants suffer».
– [xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxa the red hammer & sickles and the black «Smash Capitalism» slogans all over? Somebody would say t xxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx violent ants.
– Is anyone scared? This is the question. Bankers and industrialists never visit; nor are there any resident bankers and industrialists. Who are these slogans supposed to -allow me the expression- scare the xxxxxx out of? If you ask me, I must see confiscations of private property, collectivization of the land, community-run hotels and restaurants, ban of free trade and profit, replacement of forests with sovkhoze plantations, hydroelectric dams; or show me some tourists who got xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxx Only then will I see Ikaria as a Red Rock.
– This is scary! As far as I know nobody wants to do these things in Ikaria -for real at least.
– Seeee?.. It’s a Legend !.. Somehow your island, the name, the landscape, the wine, has the inherent ability to generate this type of myths. You must be aware of this and take measures. Now with the globalization [xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx turning more and more xxxxx xxxxx to the left, you will have more tourists xxxxxx xxxxxx. .
– Measures? Like what?
– Keep the prices low; build campings; look after the nature. This Red Rock thing is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx[ xxxxxxxxx people want to believe it -for the be-best, or the wo-worst. So it’s up to you. You can make it work for your own good.
– Oh Mr Thomas, you are so cunning and practical!
– Of course I am. I am a saint! Have you forgotten?
– xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx . . .
(F[xxx ! This interview was censored as soon as I uploaded it. The reason is that [xxxxxxxxxxxx . The [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx are responsible for this. xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx I am very sorry about it. Read through behind the black tapes using your imagination. That’s what’s all about, isn’t it?)
I had an uncle exactly as you describe. His family used to be well-off in the times of prosperity when the islands had trade with the Asian coast. But when I met him he was just a poor farmer. He dreamt of the coming of the worldwide revolution that would unite everybody equal etc. When we had a family reunion in Ikaria, they sent us kids away after lunch. Then my father and my old uncle sat down in private and counted the possibilities…
I evesdropped many times to know what they were talking about. It was deadly boring. Yet I was impressed by their knowledge of the world politics. This was in the middle of nowhere … you know where. My uncle was the sweetest little man. And the palms of his hands where like a stone out of labouring the earth all his life.
The world revolution never came. But my uncle died (falling off a fruit tree) thinking that it was about to come. He saw around and found that conditions were improving. People were coming and going, there was more money, cars, telephones, etc. This was enough for him. In fact the «world revolution» he dreamt of… he was in it already 😀
Thursday February 22, 2007 – 10:49pm (EET)
Oh readers… I had in my mind something very ready to write and I wanted it to be something serious. I had been thinking of it all the week. But then Friday evening came and it was the time to write it but I couldn’t write it. I was jumping around (*) the computer. I can’t write serious stuff on Friday evenings. Even if I am in coool Ikaria and I’m believed to chill out here, my body clock keeps working in the same way as if I was at work in the city. I can’t put myself in a serious mood on a Friday evening !
(*) jump around the computer: ceremonial battle between my legs and my brain, the two organs of my body which I think most important. When I get old and before I die, I hope I loose one of the two: either the ability to think or the ability to walk. NOT BOTH ! Anyway this ceremonial battle usually takes place when I am ready to write something but eventually I’m going to write about something else !
(it has started… the deconstruction of my English has started… read below…..)
Hence, I’m going to write funny stuff and the funniest stuff today for me is the Greek spoken language 🙂
Here is a casual conversation between two men in the supermarket this morning. I’m transcribing it word by word in English:
– Fuck you!
– I fell and killed myself.
– You fell and killed yourself ! Well, weren’t you careful?
– I was careful but that branch was rotten and it broke suddenly.
– So you killed yourself…
– Fuck you !
– Baahh… No problem. It’s nothing.
– But you…, you killed yourself here.
– Listen to see (sic), did you go to the doctor?
– Baaahh… The doctor is not here.
– Aaaahh… fuck.
– Oh, don’t worry. I didn’t kill myself badly.
– Listen to see (sic), you have to look at this.
– What «oh», fuck you?
– Listen to see (sic), you, how many times have you fallen and killed yourself? Remember that time when you killed yourself and you cut off your hand (!!!) ? Fuck you, all that blood… fuck me!
– Ok, so get well soon. Do you go to work?
– Mmmmm… Bye now. We say them…*
– Bye. We say them…*
(*) «We say them» = «ta leme» = we will talk/meet again = seeyah
Unlike Ancient Greek which was a very logical language (or that at least we are taught at school), the spoken modern Greek is a «figurative language». It works with sounds, images and descriptions, simulations and metaphors. So, someone who has «killed himself» IS NOT someone who has committed suicide (therefore walks and talks around as a 😮 ghost), but someone who has had an accident. He fell flat on the ground (like dead), he was in pain and suffered and cried (like he was dying); maybe also he broke a few bones or he bled a lot (so he fainted and looked like dead).
Exaggeration? Poetic lisence? Metaphor? Hysteria? Easy drama? I dunnow… Go ask the experts.
– Ah, Eleni ! Your brother just killed himself !
– Don’t tell me !
– He cut off his hand !
– Oh, he is very clumsy. Give him to me on the phone. Let me talk to him.
This is from a telephonical conversation between my grandmother and her sister in law about a slight injury of her husband. I was in the same room and I 😛 panicked ! I undestood that my old uncle first killed himself, then he got up (!) and he cut off his own hand (!) but it was all right, all that happened just because he was a bit clumsy. My grandmother was going to say to him (to the one-handed ghost of him) a few words of comfort and …no problem ! I spoke Greek very well at the time but I had no idea how Greek really worked.
NOTE: MY eNGLISH iS DEteriOrATinG WOnderFULLy. It’s breaking down very fast. I’ll soon be writing in a jargoon I shall name «ethnic Greek». I won’t say for instance, «How are you?» but «What you do?» and instead of «may I?» and «Can I?», I’ll say «Give me that, please». Oh and speakin of the word «please», once I asked a nice young girl why she never said «please» to anybody. «Oh yes, I do«, she replied. «I say ‘please’ many times. For example, when I am angry at someone…»!
(I’m finishing this in my 🙂 new ethinc lingo)
HAVE GOOD HEALTH (Γειά σας) GOOD SATURDAYSUNDAY (καλό Σαββατοκύριακο) TAKE CARE (να προσέχετε) NOT TO FALL AND KILL YOURSELVES (να μη πέσετε και σκοτωθείτε). 🙂
(And so will I. We have the «mizzle» here in Ikaria. So mystic. Oh yes, my friend Jimmy. It’s a remote, remote island. But …not uninhabited. In the bars they are laughing and singing. It’s Friday evening here too. For a part of the world also it’s Easter.)
[pictures by Zelda ❤ ]
thanks Eleni. You have made me feel good for two reasons reading this. One, it was funny and I laughed. Two, it made me realise why I am struggling to learn Greek! Now I feel much better…..!! Happy (English)Easter!
Friday April 14, 2006 – 11:30pm (BST)
«jump around the computer: ceremonial battle..» actually a dance and the only dance that my friend Eleni masters to perfection. I have seen it ! I have seen it ! I’m one of the very few lucky ones who have seen this ! «Oh great god Manitu, great god Manitu !»
No wonder it was so rainy in Ikaria this year -;))
* * *
Saturday April 15, 2006 – 09:08pm (EEST)
let me the pedantic add up to this madness:
«Skotono» (σκοτώνω, to kill) is a new Greek word. It derives from «skotadi» (σκοτάδι or «σκότος» in ancient Greek as well as in the language of the church) which means «darkness». So to kill someone is to «send someone to darkness».
Bravo, Eleni ! Greek is a figurative language andmany of what others would call «figures of speech» in Greek they are real words with a meaning. This is probably the secret of its survival through the centuries though spoken by a very small population surrounded by so great and influential language cultures such as Slav, Arabian, Turkish and the Hispano-Italian. «Images» = ICONES (actually meaning «conceptions», «reflections»)
Bravo Eleni ! You exposed yourself against a rough place, a rough culture, a rough language and everyhting now is «images». With respect, esteem, love e.t.c. and with the best humanly possible sense of the word … «fuck you» !!!
Saturday April 15, 2006 – 10:56pm (EEST)
-> Nana, I’m starting to think that you’ve seen too much. When I am rich, will you blackmail me? You shouldn’t. «Listen to see» : I’m naming you my biographer.
-> *fUck yOu* too, ol man ! «Me skotoses» (in the best metaphorical sense of the word) But of course and as usual I didn’t say anything very original.
Sunday April 16, 2006 – 04:26am (PDT)
the ikarian way
How many things I’m learning about Greece and her talking (but invisible 😉 people! Thank to you all for feeding my curiosity. I appreciate very much the prof. AKK lessons too… but another curiosity screams in my mind: why do you the both, invite one each other to fuck himself? Is this another typical ikarian supermarket conversation form? I wanted to feel myself ikarian since long time and I will start with this tipical ikarian way to say «hallo», so dear friends fuck you to everybody.
Am I ikarian enough?
Sunday April 16, 2006 – 10:37pm (CEST)
Who’s talking? Wasn’t you who posted that wonderful comment (your 1st or 2nd?) in entry: «sunshine and chat» (Feb 22) ?
Why are you pretending you are not «ikarian» now, *fuck you*?
Ok, seriously now, I don’t think the «face» cult leads anywhere. We are too old to pose, anyway. We can do better than that, I suppose. We can *imagine* and THIS IS THE IKARIAN WAY (may replace «ikarian» with any placename under the sun, may be this a place of your heart…)
I personaly like Guangazilo too. This is supposed to be in Amerique Meridionale. It’s not in any map. People there say «fuck you» and kiss each other «good morning». They are as rough and as affectionate as my Ikarians. The Guaganzilians are half Latinos, half Indians.
Now ReAllY seriously, the *fuck you* story besides a language lesson, was an initiation to a very liberating process called «dis-guilt» or «dis-criminalisation» (there are many other terms for that). This is something that those who have stayed in Greece long enough, know very well. It’s not rudeness. It’s endurance. Moreover, it’s a plea to have patience. We are passengers in this world. *Fuck us* 😛 🙂
Monday April 17, 2006 – 08:35am (PDT)
That’s cute Elle. Seems like island talk. In Hawaii the bruddas and sistahs have their own lingo, a «pidgeon» language, a mix of native Hawaiian and English, and a haole («howl-lee», white person) can hardly understand it. My brother and I used to have convervsations like «fuck you» «no fuck you» «OK fuck you too» «yeah well, fuck you very much» «yeah see you later, fuck you very much too» «OK fuck you next time» A friend of mine does not like me to use that word too much, says it loses its impact, should be reserved for when you mean it. I think it has been absorbed into the everyday lexicon. We’re all potty mouths these days.
Monday April 17, 2006 – 11:47am (PDT)
this is exactly the idea: «our-own creole» and it works. Thanks for understanding. I wasn’t sure if anyone would, when I put this out. In the same supermarket on a different date, there was a woman from Athens who overheard that kind of talk and later she dragged me from the sleeve and asked: «These people are rude and they hate each other. They seem to think only of how to insult each other. They must hate each other’s guts ! How do you, such a nice woman, manage?»
Tuesday April 18, 2006 – 05:27am (PDT)
…about imagination I forgot to thank you, my friend, for the stories you tell us from such a world. Images springs like flowers in springtime. «Listen to see», and I listen to you and I see. No pictures needed.
Wednesday April 19, 2006 – 02:16am (CEST)