(An interview with Doubting Thomas)THE MYTH OF ICARUS
Is Ikaria the island where Icarus fell?
I can’t tell you. I hadn’t been born yet and there is no video-tape of the accident. The nearest we have to a video is Brueghel’s painting but this is not enough evidence. It’s a painting made in Holland thousands of miles away from the Aegean, many centuries later. Though it’s a fact that it looks like those amateur videos that are focused on an innocent scene and accidentaly captured a tragedy. Then they become famous and their makers sell them to the media for a lot of money. It could be a video, but it’s not. It’s an oil painting -a artistic fancy, in other words.
Yet people say that’s where he fell.
People say a lot of things. For example in every encyclopedia and guide book we read, «Ikaria, known from the fall of Icarus, e.t.c.» People love to be told stories especially when accidents are involved.
Yes but what about the name of the island?
Oh, names may mean something or may mean nothing. We can go to the registrar and change our names according to our fancies and make various connections and associations. Or without changing the name, we can change it’s meaning or it’s origin to suit our convenience. For example, there is a Greek island called Karpathos, that is, it’s got the same name as the Karpathian mountains in Transylvania, Romania. Now the Karpathians (of the island) are free to associate the name of their island with Dracula; to claim, for example, that the mountains of Romania got their name from their island; evenmore, that Dracula was born in Karpathos and after having sucked all the blood out of the inhabitants as a kid, when he grew up, he flew (he was a vampire) to a larger place with a larger population and an endless supply of blood. Nevertheless, today, even if the Aegean Karpathians had thought of doing this, they are too late. The Romanians have taken every advantage of the tale already and Dracula’s castle is the biggest tourist attraction of their country. There would be a huge diplomatic clash between Greece and Romania, if the Aegean Karpathians claimed their island as the birthplace of Dracula. There is so much money and prestige involved, you see.
So the association between Ikaria and Icarus is a lie?
I don’t say it’s a lie. All I say is I don’t know. There is no video and there were no reliable eye-witnesses, BBC, CNN, SKY NEWS and so on. Maybe there was an amateur video (by a cousin of that plower in the painting, for example) or a pilot shot for a documentary on a rustic subject; because it had captured «The Fall» it survived till the 16th century and that’s what Brueghel saw and he made the famous painting. All I’m saying is that we must find and watch the original video to be sure of the fact. For example, something like this.
Next week a new episode of the interview with Doubting Thomas.
Subject-matter : «Ikaria political« : Red Rock, Dry Rock, Devil’s island, Island of Exile
Yes, we must definitely find the Icarus video. I am also interested in the videos of other high flyers such as Abbas Ibn Firnas, Leonardo da Vinci, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi etc. I looked at youtube but none is available. Leonardo’s depiction of the Icarus accident is a collector item and would be OK instead of the original video. I wonder if Doubting Thomas has seen any of those?
Tuesday February 13, 2007 – 04:56pm (EST)
Keep looking. Doubting Thomas is right. In the times we live, what’s not on a photo or a video, just doesn’t exist!..
Thursday February 15, 2007 – 01:14am (PST)
that’s interesting to know that… will browse thru youtube and dailmotion to find anything on this… and add it to my documentary collection @ http://iamyuva.wordpress.com/documentaries
Wednesday February 21, 2007 – 07:54am (GMT)
THE IONIAN MYTHS
Related to: «Icarus in the pool»
The Myth of Icarus, the flying man, belongs to the ‘Circle of Theseus’, which in its turn belongs to a larger group of closely related myths, all of them being the foundation of the Ionian Greek heritage and identity.
In simple words, to know these myths meant that you were Greek.
Though it is certain that the Ionians conducted savage warfare against the Carians, the Cretans and other peoples who inhabited the coasts of the Aegean, their myths speak very little about it. They speak about achievements of the mind instead; ingenious devices, machines, new political ideas (‘the city-state’ for instance was supposed to be Theseus’ invention), new kind of ships (‘the 50oared that could sail against any sea current), new gods like Dionysus who was –what else?- the difficult art of wine making and drinking personified or rather deified, as it should be.
To know these myths meant that you were Greek.
Thursday January 24, 2008 – 10:59pm (EET)
To know these myths meant that you were Greek.
It is very interesting how little magic is involved in them. For example, in the myth of Deadalus and Icarus, unlike the similar myths about flyers from Persia and India, we are told bluntly that it was enough for a man to glue feathers with wax to make wings and fly away! We are not even told that the flyer had to move his arms very fast! Isn’t it absurd?
There is no magic and yet, there precisely lies the magic. The myth is a challenge to the mind. How on earth did Deadalus and Icarus do it? How did Theseus come up with the idea to seduce Ariadne and how did she come up with the idea to give him the string, Ariadne’s clue, to find his way in the Labyrinth?
These are logical myths. Their purpose is not to make you stand in awe but to make you want to do the same.
For example, you see that you weren’t able to fly with feathers glued with wax tied around your arms? Your head is in bandages? Don’t worry. Blame Dedalus who probably knew a few tricks that he didn’t say. But if you were patient enough to do all that feather and wax and leather straps work, if you were as crazy as to jump from a high place trying to fly, you can build yourself a nice little boat now. Plant a nice mast, rigging and sail and set off towards the unknown.
These are logical myths. And there is nothing more crazy than logic. But it’s magic because it makes us move. Not too often against each other, I hope.
Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:02pm (EET)
THE MYTH OF ICARUS AND ICARIA (1)
When the Ionians who of course knew well the myths of the ‘Circle of Theseus’, came from Miletus and settled in Ikaria in the 7th century B.C. or while they were sailing past and round it, they must have observed the resemblance of the island’s Phoenician name, Ikor, (most of the Aegean islands bear Phoenician names) to the name of Ikaros (Icarus) and they must have told their brothers, the Athenians. As the Phoenicians weren’t there anymore to contradict them, the Athenians thought: Nice! We can complete the myth of Deadalus and Icarus. That place must have been where Icarus fell and drowned! There is wild wind-beaten sea around it, called “Sea of Ikor”? That’s it!
And so you have an entire sea and an entire island dragged out of nothingness and into the Ionian universe: “The place where Icarus fell” = Island Icarus (in Thucydides) = Ikaria (in the archives of Venice and to the present day).
The myth was a great one and the Ikarians were lucky to have acquired it. Even Nero the mad Roman emperor loved that story and he had tried to adapt and stage set it in the theater! Only that he was soon short of actors because the play was too realistic. The Icaruses dropped themselves from the ceiling and died!
Meanwhile the Ikarians worked on their myth and even claimed they had found the tomb of Icarus. In fact it is said that they showed it to visitors in the Roman time (‘tourism’ as we know it was born exactly then).
Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:05pm (EET)
THE MYTH OF ICARUS AND ICARIA (2)
So it was all propaganda, you will say. Of course it was. Isn’t it all? Those myths were heavy with propaganda and partiotic stuff. What else is a myth after all if not a way to turn reality the way we want it?
I find this fascinating. The mind connects and works with whatever finds handy.
Cabet and the utopians started and social conditions made so as today the Myth of Icarus is associated with the idea of Freedom. Since the 19th century people refer to it as “The Flight of Icarus” rather than “The Fall of Icarus”. Ikaria again takes advantage. By some game of coincidence, it so happened that its inhabitants have never been slaves to nobody, were never invaded, lived primitive perhaps, but free –sometimes (good times) carefree. “Welcome to the Island of Icarus” reads the big sign in the harbour of the capital. Agios Kirikos. Does it mean “This is the site of the most famous flying accident in the world”?
No. For the people I know at least, it means (consciously, unconsciously or subconsciously) “Welcome to the Island of Freedom”.
The Island of Freedom… What a heavy weight our own propaganda has put on our shoulders!
Why couldn’t we rather have something lighter and more neutral like “Welcome to the Island of Windmills” instead?
Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:09pm (EET)
ότι θα γράψω τα παραπάνω και στα Ελληνικά, ε;
Ε, λοιπόν πολύ αμφιβάλλω…
Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:11pm (EET)
Οχι μωρε. Αστο. Δεν χρειαζεται. Τρεχα γυρευε – που λες κι εσυ…
«Το Νησι της Ελευθεριας» -αυτο μονο ας μεινει. Πραγματι, τι μεγαλο βαρος.
«Το Νησι της Ισοτητας» -να προσθεσω εγω (αν και ασχετο με το μυθο). Κι αυτο ειναι βαρος.
Χριστε μου ευτυχως που υπαρχει το κρασι!
Friday January 25, 2008 – 04:22am (PST)
«Με το κεφάλι δεμένο μέσα σε επιδέσμους; Μη χολοσκάς. Μπορείς τώρα να φτιάξεις ένα ωραίο σκάφος…»
Χαχαχα – Μ’ άρεσε πολύ!
Saturday January 26, 2008 – 02:02pm (EET)
- Simon G
Of the muses, children of Memory, perhaps.
Reality the way we want it?
No, I think it’s reality the way we don’t want it.
Think of Oedipus (Tiresias: ‘What made me forget? I never should have come.’)
Or Agamemnon returning home. Or Odysseus for that matter.
There is a political dimension, but you can’t limit it to just that!
Thursday February 14, 2008 – 12:20am (CET)
- Simon G
But now I’ve argued with AKK it looks like I don’t appreciate him setting out the myth and so much background for us.
So to cover up the argumentativeness, can I add Auden’s poem?
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
Thursday February 14, 2008 – 10:53am (CET)
Simon G, maybe AKK should have put the word ‘propaganda’ between quotes. Yet for the Greeks, politics has run in their veins since always, so terms like this sound much less heavy. They are part of the culture.
I don’t know why, the epigram on Aeschylus grave came in my mind. It didn’t read anything about him being a big shot playwright. It read «The long curly haired Persians will remember his valour in battle». The poet wanted to be remembered as the young soldier who had been and had fought for the freedom of his city in Marathon.
Thursday February 14, 2008 – 11:33am (PST)
Heh heh heh! You caught me :)) Auden’s poem was behind my choice of Brughel’s painting to go with Nana’s hilarious interview of DT.
Thursday February 14, 2008 – 11:40am (PST)
You are right. I over-simplified. Put ***propaganda*** in many quotes.
Friday February 15, 2008 – 02:04pm (EET)
(Μια συνέντευξη με τον Άπιστο Θωμά)Ο ΜΥΘΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΚΑΡΟΥ
Είναι η Ικαρία ο τόπος που έπεσε ο Ίκαρος;
Δεν μπορώ να σου πω. Δεν είχα γεννηθεί τότε και δεν υπάρχει βίντεο που να δείχνει το ατυχές περιστατικό. Το το πιο κοντινό που έχουμε σαν βίντεο είναι ο σχετικός πίνακας του Μπρύγκελ, όμως δεν είναι αρκετή απόδειξη. Είναι μια ελαιογραφία που έγινε στην Ολλανδία, πολλά μίλια μακριά από το Αιγαίο και πάρα πολλούς αιώνες αργότερα. Είναι γεγονός όμως ότι ο πινακας μοιάζει σαν κάποια ερασιτεχνικά βίντεο που ενώ κεντράρουν σε μια αθώα σκηνή, τυχαίνει και πιάνουν ένα τραγικό περιστατικό που συμβαίνει την ίδια στιγμή στον ίδιο τόπο. Ξέρετε, απ’ αυτά που γίνονται διάσημα και οι δημιουργοί τους τα πουλούν στα μήντια για πολλά λεφτά. Ο πίνακας μοιάζει με βίντεο, όμως δυστυχώς δεν είναι βίντεο. Είναι μια ελαιογραφία -μια καλλιτεχνική φαντασίωση, με άλλα λόγια.
Ωστόσο, όλος ο κόσμος λέει ότι στην Ικαρία έπεσε ο Ίκαρος.
Ο κόσμος λέει πολλά. Για παράδειγμα, κάθε εγκυκλοπαίδεια και ταξιδιωτικός οδηγός γράφουν : «Η Ικαρία, γνωστή από τον μύθο της πτώσης του Ικάρου, κτλ.» Οι άνθρωποι αγαπούν τις ιστορίες, ειδικά άμα έχουν σχέση με δυστυχήματα.
Ναι, αλλά το όνομα του νησιού;
Α, τα ονόματα μπορεί να σημαίνουν κάτι ή μπορεί να μην σημαίνουν και τίποτα. Μπορούμε να πάμε στον ληξίαρχο και να αλλάξουμε το όνομά μας όπως γουστάρουμε και να κάνουμε διάφορους συσχετισμούς. Ή το όνομα που έχουμε, να του αλλάξουμε το νόημα και τη προέλευση, όπως μας βολεύει. Για παράδειγμα, υπάρχει ένα Ελληνικό νησί, η Κάρπαθος, που συμβαίνει να έχει το ίδιο όνομα με τα Καρπάθια όρη στη Τρανσυλβανία της Ρουμανίας. Οι Καρπάθιοι (οι νησιώτες), ας πούμε, είναι ελεύθεροι να συσχετίσουν το όνομα του νησιού τους με τον Δράκουλα. Να ισχυριστούν, για παράδειγμα, ότι βουνά της Τρανσυλβανίας πήραν το όνομά τους από το νησί τους. Επιπλέον να πουν ότι ο Δράκουλας είχε γεννηθεί στην Κάρπαθο και αφού ως παιδί ρούφηξε όλο το αίμα από τους κατοίκους, όταν μεγάλωσε, πέταξε (βρυκόλακας ήταν) σε ένα μεγαλύτερο μέρος με μεγαλύτερο πληθυσμό και ατελείωτες προμήθειες αίμα. Παρ’ όλα αυτά, σήμερα, ακόμα κι αν οι Καρπάθιοι (οι νησιώτες) ήθελαν να κάνουν έναν τέτοιο συσχετισμό, είναι πάρα πολύ αργά. Οι Ρουμάνοι έχουν εκμεταλλευτεί στο έπακρο τον μύθο του Δράκουλα και το κάστρο του είναι η μεγαλύτερη τουριστική ατραξιόν της χώρας τους. Θα γινόταν τρομερό διπλωματικό επεισόδιο ανάμεσα στην Ελλάδα και τη Ρουμανία, αν οι Καρπάθιοι (οι νησιώτες) έβγαιναν κι έλεγαν το νησί τους ήταν ο τόπος γέννησης του Δράκουλα. Είναι βλέπετε, το γόητρο και τόσα πολλά λεφτά στη μέση.
Τότε λοιπόν ο συσχετισμός Ικαρίας και Ικάρου είναι ένα ψέμα;
Δεν είπα ότι είναι ψέμα. Όλο που είπα είναι ότι δεν ξέρω. Δεν έχουμε βίντεο και δεν έχουμε αξιόπιστους αυτόπτες μάρτυρες, το BBC, το CNN, το SKY NEWS και όλα αυτά. Ενδεχομένως υπήρξε κάποιο ερασιτεχνικό βίντεο (που τράβηξε π.χ. ο ξάδελφος του ζευγολάτη που φαίνεται πρώτο πλάνο στον πίνακα) ή μπορεί να ήταν μια δοκιμαστική λήψη για κάποιο ντοκυμαντέρ με θέμα την αγροτική ζωή. Επειδή είχε συλλάβει τη «Σκηνή της Πτώσης», γι’ αυτό φαίνεται διασώθηκε μέχρι τον 16ο αιώνα και το είδε ο Μπρύγκελ και το μετέφερε στον διάσημο πίνακά του. Όλο κι όλο που λέω είναι ότι πρέπει να βρούμε και να δούμε το αρχικό βίντεο για να ήμαστε σίγουροι για το γεγονός. Μπορεί να είναι κάτι σαν αυτό.
Την άλλη εβδομάδα νέο επεισόδιο της συνέντευξης με τον Άπιστο Θωμά.
Θέμα : «Πολιτική Ικαρία» : Κόκκινος Βράχος, Ξερονήσι, Νησί του Διαβόλου, Νησί της Εξορίας.
Παιδιά, δεν τρελαθήκαμε, οκ; Πλάκα κάνουμε. Καρναβάλι είναι, εντάξει; Μην παρεξηγηθεί κανένας, οκ; Είναι ξενέρωμα που το λέω, αλλά πρέπει να το πω γιατί θα ακολουθήσουν κι άλλα χ-ει-ρο-τε-ρα. Ο «Άπιστος Θωμάς» είναι στα φόρτε του…
Monday February 12, 2007 – 11:05pm (EET)
- Cão S…
Ωραίος ο «Άπιστος Θωμάς»…περιμένουμε τα επόμενα!!!
Tuesday February 13, 2007 – 06:27pm (EET)
Ευχαριστουμε Α. Αν δεις ποτε αυτο το αρχαιο βιντεο (π.χ. στο youtube), να μας κανεις ενημερες, παρακαλουμε. Ομως πρεπει να φαινεται πως ειναι η Ικαρια απο πισω -να φαινεται στο βαθος π.χ η αρχαια Μαντουβαλα η ακομα καλιτερα το πλοιο «Δημητρουλα» (σιγουρα υπαρχει απο τοτε)
Thursday February 15, 2007 – 01:10am (PST)
In Ikaria I went to be by myself, in the sense that I wanted to keep away from the human hubbub and the noise. For me it is the island of controlled loneliness. I went there to lay off, but also to work on a script. There are open horizons all around. They can widen the imagination. Over and above the place is located absolutely on the perimeter of developements, without however being ever outside. It's in orbit like a satelite and this is a very good seat for somebody like me whose job is to generate ideas.
(This is Nana. The following interview is sure to debunk those who want to believe Ikaria as a soporiferous island. That’s all I had to say in place of an introduction. I should also say that I did a lot of mending to improve the word order so that the whole thing made sense. I mention this in case somebody thought we talk like that when we are between us…)
– Ya sou.
– After two years of hard work abroad, you spent an entire winter and spring in Ikaria. Why?
– In Ikaria I went to be by myself, in the sense that I wanted to keep away from the human hubbub and the noise. For me it is the island of controlled loneliness. I went there to lay off, but also to work on a script. There are open horizons all around. They can widen the imagination. Over and above the place is located absolutely on the perimeter of developements, without however being ever outside. It’s in orbit like a satelite and this is a very good seat for somebody like me whose job is to generate ideas. This, I mean the generating of ideas, by the way, is like a national sport for the locals. Everybody have various opinions on everything. There is a philosophical consideration of the reality, a continuous searching. That was good but at the same time it took all my self-discipline so that I was able to finish my work without being drawn away into this game; neither drift into the dramatic landscape nor be sucked up by the notorious slow times which the landscape imposes. When I was through with the work, ok then I let myself drift and be sucked up for a while.
– So you used the island as a base, but you didn’t want to be sucked up?
– It’s precisely as you say. In order not to mingle and interfere with my work, whatever I saw and thought about Ikaria I wrote in my blog or I said it with photos in Flickr. Again a lot of discipline was needed; and I confess that I messed up quite a few times; thought of letting everything drop and become an Ikarian hippie. Fortunately I love my job and the friends I have there and the money that come from my work and provide for my independence; so I always brought myself back to order.
– How much can you reveal here about the script?
– It’s nothing too original. It has to do with the way the general policies, ideas and popular trends affect a small insignificant place. About how these trends are digested, distorted or even, you may say, come up better. How they are «materialized» as a technocrat would say. At the same time the opposite can happen as well and there lies the juice of the story: how a small insignificant place can affect in its turn, if not the central events, at least a few, very few people of which some may be important in their own special way and prove able to affect the central events.
– Is it about the 17N?
– No, no … (roaring laughter) …
– Yet it has to do with Ikaria?
– There is a distant relation. My favourite island helped to inspire, that was all. The story takes place in another location which I thought was very alike. It’s not an island, though. After so much travelling I am pleased to say that there are many Ikarias in the world and many of them are in Europe, although we do not usually consider our continent as contradictory and exotic… (laughter) You may find an Ikaria, for instance, in some remote provinces, in valleys between mountains, or even in some uptown urban quarters -that’s not uncommon in mid-eastern Europe.
– The year before last you walked the entire part of the E4 trail from Hungary to Greece. In this particular route how many Ikarias did you encounter?
– A lot. You can’t imagine how many. The only difference with the Ikaria we know, is that’s it’s an island, not metaphorically but actually. There are very strict geographical limits and that’s easier to take and more productive as far as the concept is concerned. On the other hand these limits are too restricted; the concept would be clear but the story would be limited. It might come out as a description of customs and folklore and I wanted to avoid this. Yet… look, I might not have written a script with a setting in Ikaria, however, after I finished the script, as an adjacent return from all those long hikes in the mountains and the ravines I turned up with a few nice fairy-tales.
– Is it what you said already? I mean that you eventually let yourself get sucked up?
– I have always liked to invent and tell stories. Having all the time and space at my disposal in Ikaria for the first time I let myself set my strories on stage and I tried them with myself as an actor as well. So In the natural settings of the island I pretended to be «The Doe» and the «Fair Maid Sang» from two Greek folk songs that I adore; I improvised Ophelia of Shakespeare, «The Maid of the Castle» (that’s from Ikaria); and from the modern figures I acted the «grouvalina» in Chalares river – (laughter)
– Why not play «the good terrorist» too?
– Whatever but not such fantasies, dear! Nor a nun or a missionary either, roles that sound to me very close to what you ‘ve just said. They get me down; not to tell you they dispair me. I reject anybody who prays for me or shoots a gun for me or in my name in order to save me without asking me.
– How about an ecologist then?
– Yes, but only for me, not for the others. Yet why should I have acted this part? What else was I but an «ecologist» in the way I behaved in Ikaria? With my organic potato garden and my endless hikes in the hills, the herbs I collected and so on, what was I but an ecologist? But don’t you think this term has degenerated to mean almost nothing? Half of the Ikarian women I know, are «ecologists». It’s not a part for a fairy-tale. It’s a real attitude in life.
– Did you also act Icarus?
– No. To begin with he was a man and secondly because the story has a bad end. From winged beings I played «Serafina», a female angel of my own invention … (laughter …pause)
– Are you going to do something with these stories set in Ikaria? Professionaly, I mean.
– The island is very convenient for such RPG situations. First of all nobody gets you wrong as long as you don’t offend and disturb anybody; and then there is no strict code for a respectable lifestyle. You don’t have a problem if you appear in the supermarket in dusty clothes or dry weeds in your hair. I can tell you that they may take it like an honour…
– As evidence that you had «friction» with the nature of the island? (laughter)
– Yes, as long as you are not like that all the time. This would be disrespect and «grouvalization». I, for instance, more than once have appeared sweat-soaked and in rags and the next time I showed up all clean and with my hair well-made in a nice and neat afternoon clothes set… (laughter)
– That’s a useful tip for some people to know. Anyway, let’s get back to my question.
– I admit that I slipped off your question on purpose. These stories are my own personal, private things. I may narrate them verbally; I may give ideas to others; but I won’t turn them into «work» : written narratives with scenic directions and detailled dialogues. They are my own salutary schizophrenia and I want to keep them so that I can change them once in a while according to my mood. In short, they are my girlish utopias and I won’t sell them. Or at least this what I think of the matter right now. Who knows, maybe when I am old, I change my mind. Or maybe the environment of Ikaria goes bad, or another danger comes about and in that case I may decide to be a «committed writer» and raise hell. (laughter…) But for the time being and with the baby I am unable to think of such activistic situations. My baby is enough activism for me now –
(These last sentences were said while Sideraki had started to cry. And so here the interview with Eleni was interrupted and stopped. Yaaaa-aaa… We speak again soon.)
As you may have noticed, in this interview there are no links for photos and other supplementary information. You are free to use your imagination.
Monday January 29, 2007 – 09:48am (EET)
Fascinating; my goal is to drift off into the landscape, with neither haste nor hesitation. You hiked the E4 Hungary to Greece? I offer a humble bow.
Monday January 29, 2007 – 08:50am (PST)
Drifting into the landscape? Well said. That’s Nana’s specialty to a degree extreme. Labors for hours across thornbush lands for sport. The mad Cretan bloke doesn’t need paths -:
Oh please don’ t bow about the E4. ‘Twas a smashing experience. It offered me good reason to curl up like a cat in Ikaria soon after.
Btw, there is a E4 related thread in Flickr group «hiking».
Tuesday January 30, 2007 – 12:58pm (PST)
Όλα τα λάφια που βοσκούν όλα δροσολογιούνται
Και μια λαφίνα ταπεινή δεν πάει μαζί με τ’ άλλα
Μόνο στ’ απόσκια περπατεί, τ’ απόζερβα αγναντεύει
Κι όπου βρει γάργαρο νερό θολώνει το και πίνει
Κι ο ήλιος την ερώτησε κι ο ήλιος τη ρωτάει
Γιατί λαφίνα ταπεινή δεν πας κοντά με τ’ άλλα
Μόνο στ’ απόσκια περπατείς τα απόζερβα αγναντεύεις
Κι όπου βρεις γάργαρο νερό θολώνεις το και πίνεις
Ήλιε μου Σα με ρώτησες θα σου το μολογήσω
Δώδεκα χρόνους έκαμα μόνη χωρίς ελάφι
Δώδεκα χρόνους ήλιε μου στείρα χωρίς ελάφι
Κι από τους δώδεκα κι ομπρός εγέννησα λαφάκι.
Και σαν εβγήκε ο βασιλιάς να λαφοκυνηγήσει
Το βρίσκει μοσχανάθρεφτο και το διπλοσκοτώνει
Γι αυτό στ’ απόσκια περπατώ τ’ απόζερβα αγναντεύω
Κι όπου βρω γάργαρο νερό θολώνω το και πίνω
Κι ο ήλιος τότε δάκρυσε και τα βουνά ριγήσαν
Και το φεγγάρι έσβησε ν’ ακούσει το ελάφι
Κι οι λαγκαδιές κι οι ρεματιές μαζί του αναστενάξαν
Κλάψε με, μάνα κλάψε με, με ήλιο με φεγγάρι.
Tuesday June 10, 2008 – 11:45am (PDT)
All the deers are grazing and drinking clear fresh water
All but a humble Lafina (she-deer) who doesn’t go along with the others
She is walking in the shadows, she is turning her head away
And where she finds spurting water, she stirs mud and then she drinks it.
And the Sun asked her, and the Sun is asking her
Why humble Lafina, you don’t go along with the others?
Why are you walking in the shadows, why are you turning your head away?
And why where you find spurting water, do you stir mud and then you drinks it?
Oh Sun, since it’s you who’s asking, I will confess to you
I had been without a calf for twelve years
Sterile, ny Sun, without a calf for twelve years
And after those twelve years were over, I bore a calf at last.
And when the King came out to hunt
He saw that it was well-bred, he shoots two arrows and kills it on the spot
This is why I am walking in the shadows and I am turning my head away.
This is why where I find spurting water, I stir the mud and then I drink it.
And then the Sun bleared and the mountains quivered
And the Moon extinguished on listening to the deer
And the dens and the ravines sighed with her
Cry for me, mother, cry for me with the Sun and the Moon.
Tuesday June 10, 2008 – 11:47am (PDT)
I liked the ideas
…and beautiful poem
now I need to stay silent
Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 09:02pm (EEST)
Stay silent as long as you wish. Silence in part of «The New Eloquence». Thank you.
Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:32pm (PDT)
...From *the Labyrinth* where I’m imprisonedby my own free will and I workfor the King, I’m posting:…ΩΔΗ ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗ
‘Οσοι το χάλκεον χέρι
βαρύ του φόβου αισθάνονται,
ζυγόν δουλείας ας έχωσι~
θέλει αρετήν και τόλμην
Αυτή (και ο μύθος κρύπτει
νουν αληθείας) επτέρωσε
τον ‘Ικαρον~ και αν έπεσε
ο πτερωθείς κ’ επνίγη
αφ’ υψηλά όμως έπεσε,
και απέθανεν ελεύθερος.
Αν γένης σφάγιον άτιμον
ενός τυράννου, νόμιζε
φρικτόν τον τάφον.
(Ανδρέας Κάλβος, Ωδαί, Παρίσι 1826)
Que ceux sur qui s’appesantit
De la peur la main d’airain,
Demeurent sous leur joug servile
Car la liberté requiert
vertu et temerité.
La liberté — ici le mythe cache
Le genie de la Verité — a pourvu d’ailes
Icare et si ce dernier a chute
Si l’Ange s’est englouti
C’est du zenith qu’il est tombé
Et libre qu’il a succombé!
Mais si tu es la victime avilie
D’un tyran, n’espère dans la tombe
(Andreas Calvos, Odes, Paris 1826)
Solang die schwere Eisenhand
Furcht in euch weckt und nahrt,
bleibt ihr im Sklavenjoch –
nur Mut und Tugend fuhrt
Einst hat sie Ikaros beflugelt
(im Mythos steckt die grosse
Wahrheit) – er fiel
beflugelt und ertrank
im Meer –
aus grosser Hohe fiel er doch
und starb als freier Mann –
Wirst ungerecht geopfert
von Tyrannen du, so ist’s
ein schrecklich Grab.
Whosoever feels the heavy
bronze hand of fear
let them support the yoke of slavery.
Freedom demands virtue
She herself (and the myth conceals
a sense of the truth) gave wings
to Icaros; even though the winged
boy fell and drowned
submerged in the sea.
But he fell from the heights
and he died free.
If you become a dishonoured victim
of a tyrant, expect
a horrible death.
(Andreas Calvos, Odes, Paris 1826)
The poem was written in honour of the heroic resistance of the island Samos against the Ottomans and the dramatic naval battles held between Samos, Ikaria and the Turkish coasts in 1826 during the War of Greek Independence. The painting is «Icarus» by contemporary artist & film-maker Peter Greenaway.
What a coincidence you posted Greenaway’s Icarus to fit with the famous poem. I was talking to a mutual friend about the protests I read in some local newspapers that Greenaway’s Icarus is not «the Ikarian one» and that the artist does not mention Ikaria in his work…
As if Freedom had a homeland -ha
Λες και η Ελευθερία έχει πατρίδα -χα
Did you know? The bravest bataillon of the defendants of Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War were called «Ikarians». They had no idea where Ikaria or Crete was, but they sure knew what they were fighting for. They understood the myth correctly the same way as great Calvos. It is about Freedom.
Thursday June 8, 2006 – 09:12pm (EEST)
Is there such thing as «Freedom to be a slave»?
I also love the old song by Theodorakis 🙂
Friday June 9, 2006 – 01:20pm (PDT)
«Ο Φλεβάρης κι αν φλεβίσει, καλοκαίρι θα μυρίσει…»
Everybody says this now. It means «Inspite of the rain (or «because of the rain» or «the more it rains» or «even though it rains») in February, it’s bound to smell of summer».
This Greek saying is a game with two consonant words: Flevaris (the popular form for the month «Fevrouarios») and «fleva» (=bloodvein, as used to decribe torential rainfalls, e.g. «the sky opened its veins». ). If I transcribed it in English, it would be something like:
«If February februaries (= bleeds), it will smell of summer.» 🙂
It’s also wise advise: February is the month of rainfalls, but… do not sleep like you did in January and December. Be ready to get out of the house. As soon as it stops raining, it will be sunny and warm like summer.
So my neighbours went out with the first light. They are on the hillside opposite my house and I can see them through my window. The old man is ploughing (using a small machine they call here ‘little tractor’) and the old woman, my friend, is collecting her wild herbs.
I couldn’t go with her. I have to do my pages today and deliver. Between pages and waiting for Elsa to give me «the green light» that it’s ok and I can go on … well, I’m blogging as usual.
⭐ I like the last photo of the sky I uploaded in Flickr very much. I dig there’s something very strange going on between me and the birds.
⭐ A strange idea associated with that photo: here in the island and elsewhere in the world they usually say: ‘the land of Icarus’, «the island of Icarus». It’s a commonplace expression and they have written it in big letters on the dock of the port of the capital town: «Welcome to the Island of Icarus».
But Icarus was a flyer, wasn’t he? He couldn’t have «had a land» (or island). Hey! wait! … don’t come on me and say that I’m attempting to deprive a poor island of a beautiful myth. Because I think that Icarus actually «had» something. He «had» the sky over the island and over the sea that surrounds it! It was this remarkable sky (and games of sunlight and clouds and reflections) which charmed the young man, and he had vertigo («the sun melted his wings») and he fell in the sea.
(Is it all right now? Can I have back my ikarian passport?)
⭐ So, the original title I wanted to put under my photo was «Welcome to the Sky of Icarus».
⭐ I didn’t. Instead I called it «Timeless Winds» to honour a new friend from Italy who sent me a warm e-mail letter right while I was looking at that photo on my comp screen. For a reason I did not understand (I like not to understand) he had put as subject in his e-mail exactly this : «timeless winds». Then he spoke about Ikaria etc. I answered back and promised him that I would dedicate that photo to him.
⭐ And anyway, if I had titled the photo «Welcome to the Sky of Icarus», how could I explain the raven in it? I am obliged to everyone who gives me tips and it was that raven who called me to look up in the sky and face that miracle.
⭐ You can’t have it all! Carnival has never been in the list of the reasons we like America. You still have Hollywood, though.
⭐ ‘know-all’ Angelos has answers to every question, except this one: «what do you do exactly?». Well yes, he makes books and maps and things like that, but let me give a short clear answer: he is someone who took the mountains in order not to be a lawyer!
⭐ I don’t know Theodorakis «Carnaval». Did he compose this when he was in Ikaria? The man sat in the primitive cafes of Armenistis and wrote symphonies ! But they are no good, I’m told. He was 19 years old and very ambitious and he was trying to immitate Gustav Mahler (!), so I am told. Like most Greek immigrant workers in Europe, my father liked Theodorakis very much. As kid I was brainwashed with «Sto perigiali to krifo» («in the hidden sandy cove», lyrics by G.Seferis) and surprisingly I still like this bitter melodramatic song very much. It’s got ‘beats’.
⭐ Oh! Doctor!…
Ciao Eleni, and ciao to everybody who follow the Eleni’s walking, flower spotting, rocky hopping adventures. I’m Peppe, the new italian friend, and I feel I must explain the meaning of «timeless wind», the subject that became the cluody sky picture name. But, dear Eleni, dear friends, I’m not living in Ikaria and my land is a timeful one (this is the first clue on the way to the riddle’s solution) so let me come back from work and I will give you a fully satisfyng answer.
Wednesday February 22, 2006 – 05:08pm (CET)
Hello greek friends! I’ve got a question, and this seemed like the place to get it answered.. so sorry this comment has nothing to do with Eleni’s post.
I went to «Greek Town» this weekend and ordered a cup of coffee. I knew vaugely what I was in for (small cup of very potent stuff), but I was a bit surprised by what I found at the bottom: sludge. My question is what does one do with the sludge at the bottom? I just left it.. but was that bad manners?
By the way, Hello Peppe! Nice to meet again over here!
Are these «timeless winds» the same ones that blew Odysseus so far off course?
Wednesday February 22, 2006 – 12:52pm (EST)
«… he is someone who took the mountains in order not to be a lawyer! » Do you do gravestones too?
φτου, φτου, φτου, μακριά από μας…
Wednesday February 22, 2006 – 10:17pm (EET)
Better I suppose than taking to the mountains to avoid the law! Anyway, Angelos, if you find refuge in the mountains, we have a lot in common. More too if you collect words on pages.
Wednesday February 22, 2006 – 01:33pm (PST)
First of all I want to thank my good friend Eleni for her present. I’m really glad to be in your thoughts. And now listen, I am going to explain you “Timeless Wind” the two words that rapresent that godblessed island in my mind. So, 2001 spring, I was looking for a windy island where to surf in peace, far from the howling crowds of Paros, Mykonos or Naxos (too crowded now, but it was beautiful…). I asked just for strong wind and I read about Ikaria “anemodarmeni”, “a fin of rock and wood beaten by the meltemi lost in the Egean Sea”. I began to dream and kept on dreaming since I saw the shape of the Fin emerge from the sea in a windy august sunrise. …Is it too “epic”, isn’t it? Who cares? Let me be epic tonight! Anyway, I found my island, my wind and much more: my windy beach, a wonderful girl who took away from my foot at least 20 urchins’ thorns, an 80 years old dancer who told me about his masturbation sessions, the young actress Caterina, an old motorcycle boy who lost himself in the dusty goat paths (may be he’s still there), Spiro, the Pireus taxi driver looking for peace and rest from the running time he drove everyday. He said me that there, in Ikaria time flows differently and he was right, everybody begin to work later then other people in the continent, children go to school two hours later, offices open later, time seems to be officially shifted. I found it beautiful and I finally expired “fiuuuuh”. No time, just the shadow of a mulberry tree and the breath of the wind flowing timeless as the water of the holy spring.
The perfect place for a Marquez novel.
Timeless wind: that’s it.
Eleni your’re great when you try to translate words games. My next goal is to learn greek language, may be with your stories about rains and veins I will catch a glimpe of it. Ciao
now is for real
Ciao a tutti,
sorry if I’ve been too long but… let me be epic tonight.
Thursday February 23, 2006 – 12:02am (CET)
Good Greek coffee (hellenized version of the Turkish coffee, in its turn a version of the Arab coffee) must leave a thick sludgy substance in the bottom of the cup. The more sludge there is, the better the coffee, but you are not supposed to ‘eat’ this sludge because it is bad for your stomach. All this, of course, is bastardized today and you can have Greek coffee w/o sludge -this is just brown paint.
According to retired USDA professors Blacksmith and Ironsmith, an authentic Greek coffee when served and before the sludge sinks, should be as thick as to hold a nickel on its surface. They are old school.
Many European travelers who wrote about Greece, were shocked at the fact that such a beautiful country offered cups of brown mud as a replacement for coffee. Their mistake was that they drank their coffee immediately w/o waiting first for the sludge to settle down.
Greece is a country of llloooonnngggg waitings…
Prof Nana la Fauve (Unιversity of the Streets of Downtown Athens)
To JIMMY P:
EPic suRFer who write so well, your face looks familiar…
Do you know this blog? 🙂
Thursday February 23, 2006 – 11:25am (EET)
To Jimmy P: ‘una faccia, una razza’ -you will learn Greek so fast that you wouldn’t know how it happened. I’m an epicolyrico «timeless winds» bum myself, so you win more dedications (not a presto but soon…)
Thursday February 23, 2006 – 03:10am (PST)
Thanks Proff Nana! I must have had some genetic memory informing me of the correct thing to do with the cup of mud in front of me 🙂
It sounds like these winds were not the ones that blew Odysseus off course,
but maybe the ones which brought him home.
Thursday February 23, 2006 – 10:08am (EST)
Odysseus?! so you are a patriotaki !?!? from «the Diaspora»
-always good winds for you:))x x x
Saturday February 25, 2006 – 09:13pm (EET)