The Who in The Where (2)


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«…συνηθισμένοι εις τον θεληματικόν κόπον μιας ησύχου ζωής, ανυπόδουλοι, εξ αρχής της κατοικήσεως των εις εκείνα τα υψηλά βουνά – έχουν ευτυχείς μακρά από την πολυτέλειαν και κακοήθειαν των διεφθαρμένων πολιτειών, ανδρείοι ως ελεύθεροι, φιλόξενοι ως Έλληνες…»
(παλιο ανωνυμο)

____Five strong and good looking men! by angeloska on Flickr
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Hello readers!

There is no need to say much about this kind of post. I think I said more than enough in my first, very enthousiastic «The Who in The Where» 4 years ago. The focus again is on people, our people or the people who visit Ikaria but who somehow seem to have always belonged there. Or is it that our mysterious but so peaceful island has always belonged to them? I don’t know… I only know that I am missing it. I hope that as usual I will return in winter. Meanwhile, go ahead and look through my choice of new pictures of beautiful, meaningful human figures and faces from the summer months as well as the winter in Ikaria. Some of them I know, some others I don’t but I am proud of them all! These people are my next of kin. And though I writing this in a grey overheated city while wearing an uncomfortable formal suit, my heart is with them! I hope you like them too!

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Mission completed by angeloska, on Flickr

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Untitled by Philby, on Flickr Soulis Fradelos by fayum, on Flickr Ikaria by 40c taliban in Nana's article: 'You have the right to remain silent'

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Giorgos Sourtis by fayum, on Flickr Goodbye friends by Cameron Ford, on Instagram

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Happy to be here by angeloska, on Flickr Artemis in holly land by angeloska, on Flickr

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slavsquat by Jeannine, on Instagram A friend, his staff and his dog by angeloska, on Flickr The lake we built in Ikaria, from Nana's article: 'Φτιάχνοντας μια Λίμνη στο Φαράγγι (1)'

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Panigiri Langada 01 by Kerstin Hehmann in my article: 'The Two Sides' img_4288_1_1 from my article: 'The Aegean's nameless dead'

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waves-play-nas-ikaria in my article: 'IF *I am tourist promoter*, so …' Chiara and Pierre Selini Ikaria from my article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ'

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Lefteris from the gallery of my article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ' Angelos & Lefteris from the gallery of my article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ' Volunteers trails Ikaria 20, from Nana's article: 'Εθελοντική εργασία στην Ικαρία'

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Volunteers trails Ikaria 15, from Nana's article: 'Εθελοντική εργασία στην Ικαρία' Ikaria by Ntinos Mpompourdakis, on Flickr Faros 16, from my article: 'The day we took over the mountains!

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Our guide Ikaria, from my article: 'Break on through to the other side ☀ yeah !' Lina & Xenia from the gallery of the article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ'

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Vitsaras from the gallery of the article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ' Ikaria by Alexis Karnoutsos, on Flickr Like dlophins can swim by Peggy Zouti on Flickr sunsout gunsout by Melina Paneris, on Instagram
Sofia feeling great by angeloska, on Flickr Musicians test dancing tunes 2 by angeloska, on Flickr Lafina Manganitis, from my article: 'ΓΙΑΤΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΚΑΡΙΑ; Μια συνέντευξη με την Ελένη' soso headstand 1 from my article: 'food, pebbles and headstands'

Ikarian pathman, from the article: 'Trail network shutdown' Be volunteer, from the article: 'Μύθοι για την Ικαρία : Ο ΚΟΚΚΙΝΟΣ ΜΥΘΟΣ' d02, from my article: '‘vRiLiSoS’ Nature Loving Society work paths' Silent walk 2 on the Trail of the Elves by angeloska, on Flickr

samphire ikaria 2 from my article: 'Gathering samphire at the brink of the waves' poledancer Therma Ikaria 3 in my article: 'That window won’t open …'

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Red J in the Sun by angeloska, on Flickr Ikaria 2014 by Chris Tzaferos, on Flickr We love Nas, from Nana's article: 'Simply Belgian' Untitled by Morfoula Pithi, from Nana's article: 'Όλα Τέντα τον Αύγουστο'

Petra advertises hiking map by angeloska, on Flickr Petra walks the Round 5 by angeloska, on Flickr Shana on the bus in Ikaria, from my article: 'Ikaria in August – Instructions for Use' Leda and Lentisks in Myrsonas gorge by angeloska, on Flickr Dan the volunteer by angeloska, on Flickr

Musicians test dancing tunes 3 by angeloska, on Flickr Al Pacino in the panigiri Ikaria by Karl Georges, on Flickr Ικαρία Νας by Ntinos Mpormpoudakis, on Flickr

p1040703, from Nana's article: 'Simply Mother' Image from Nana's article: 'Touristicon' Καλό Καλοκαίρι by angeloska, on Flickr

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agrimi03, from my article: 'Αφιερωμένο στην Αθηνά και σε κανέναν άλλον!' B&J in Ikaria 12, from Nana's article: 'Simply UK' The man and the place by angeloska, on Flickr Proud on the top by angeloska, on Flickr

Image from Nana's article: 'Touristicon' Posing at the pool by angeloska, on Flickr

All images open directly on the bloggers’ or photographers’ own spaces and it goes without saying that they are copyrighted. Special thanks to © angeloska, © Ορειβατικός Σύλλογος Ικαρίας and © egotoagrimi

More material in Flickr can be easily found if you type: «Ikaria + portrait», «Ikaria + face», «Ikaria + girl», «Ikaria + boy» etc.

Closing this let me add that there are more shots but that’s not «The Who in The Where» – that’s …

«Only Few in Only Few Places»! 😀

rocky nan summer ikaria

Bye, bye! Got to work now! 😛

Work Eleni

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When I am tired of the world


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  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Woman in Ikaria

(cropped from source)

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You know, the last thing Ikaria is known for is church life and monasticism. The people are very religious in a natural, casual way, indifferent of formalities, nevertheless always showing a sincere and full respect of higher forces which control our destinies. Whether one believes in the salvation of the soul or not, religion provides consolation because, salvation taken apart, it does speak about the soul while economics do not. And believing in the soul, the existence of a soul, whether this soul is immortal or not, is something very important in the life of the island. Religion also provides occasions for celebration and community gatherings. It also offers an explanation for natural things as well as for «luck» : God’s will. And natural things and lucky or unlucky circumstances are also important elements in the consistence of Ikarian life. To cut this short, we have churches – a lot of big and small churches. They are, so to speak, our guardians, houses of God, houses of the spirit (soul) of the community: «be good and be good to each other» (be good to God).


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Out of the world : Ikaria
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But what about monasteries? Thereupon we are a failure. Although there are a few monasteries, there is no monastic tradition in Ikaria, at least none as strong as in some other islands. In my opinion, besides our natural dislike for discipline and formalities, the most important reason is that the island is poor and cannot sustain monastic communities. The rocky soil produces hardly enough for the population so the Ikarians, even though devout believers, could not afford, so to speak again, professionals in prayer,  experts in salvation. Like everything else in Ikaria, the tending of the soul had to be done by the poeple themselves with the occasional help of an educated priest or solitary monk.


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Mt Atheras, south side
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Yet, there are exeptions. If monasteries didn’t thrive, small hermitages were abundant in the slopes of Mt Atheras. But let’s not think that these retreats were inhabited by anchorites who pursued unification with God like in Mt Athos or Sinai. Though little is known about the lives of these people, it’s obvious to me that they were more or less ordinary men and women who either by some misfortune or simply because of taste, discarded the joys of the marital bed and the comforts of village and family life. They walked away from the world, seeking solitude, entrusting their fate to their labouring hands, to good God and to Mother nature. I am all respect for them. It’s hard to believe that in am island as virgin and wild as Ikaria and in a time when most settlements were of the kind of «lost villages» (see, entry),  there were people who sought even more solitude and peace! Out-of-the-worldness must be some sort of second nature to us. The outer the better, the further the better, the remotest and most inaccessible is the best, ask my friend Nana & co about it!

⇒ 

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My illustrated comment in Nana's blog entry : Cozied UP
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Anyway, this entry was not meant to be a dissertation of the religious ethics of the Aegean. I have come to Ikaria for the winter and recently my friends, the explorers of OPS Ikarias, in the course of a project to create a long-distance trail from one side of the island to the other, have been in love with a wild area under the tops of Mt Atheras where according to local legends various groups of monks lived in different periods of time from the 15th century to the 1800s. I saw the photos and I found these landscapes absolutely enthralling.

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the cliffs under the plateau
view from the trail
South side: Rocks and land erosion two mt tops 1033 alt Big Boulder Hammer Hammer 2

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General view of 3/4 of the island Agios Theologos high piles tree  through the cliffs to the river waterfalls
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What made men and women walk out of the world and settle in places like this? What kind of experiences were they after? Were they looking for God? Did they want be gods themselves? Was it because of a practical reason such as piracy, oppression, social disorder and percecutions? Or is it something inherent to the human nature? Escapism? Some people just drop everything and go?.. Is that it? 🙄



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tree under the wind rock formations 2 dining room of the monks  view to the sea looking back at the heights   General view landscape Cliffs of Ryakas the entrance to the canyon
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passage 4 the passage 2 rock formations 2 rock formations 5 Rocks in Erifi Afternoon on Erifi mt plateau
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I have always been too committed to everything I do and to everybody I love to even think about escaping. But as I am growing older, sometimes I am tired of the world and this makes me wonder. Until I sort this out, you take a good look at those rocky wildernesses. Take a good look at those vast views to the mountains above, the sea straight ahead and the skies all over. I am inviting you to find your answer.

  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  

 

 

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The Two Sides


Panigiria :: Kirchweihfeste in Griechenland Maison Ikaria 01

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Dear readers, hoping that you are familiar with my idea of presenting selected material about Ikaria loaded on the internet by bloggers, photographers and writers, I am proudly presenting to you today in an interesting collation the works of two women photographers, Kerstin Hehmann from Germany and Isabelle Gressier from France. Unlike Zdeněk Senkyrik from my previous entry, whose photos are carefully set with an emphasis on landscapes, Kerstin and Isabelle come with ‘snapshots‘, the one of happy people who dance in various summer festivals and the other of silent buildings, isolated or deserted houses in wintry landscapes. It was my fancy to put Kerstin and Isabelle’s very dissimilar photos side by side in this entry. I wanted to make a point and I am very satisfied of the result. I hope that you too, my dear readers, after a little bit of thought, will be able to see the connection.

Panigiri Gialiskari 02 Maison Ikaria 02

raches 04 Maison Ikaria 03

Raches 07 Maison Ikaria 04

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Raches 08 Maison Ikaria 05

Piperi Ikaria 01 Maison Ikaria 06

Tsifteteli 11 Maison Ikaria 07

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Langada 17 Maison Ikaria 08

Langada 20 Maison Ikaria 09

Langada 21 Maison Ikaria 10

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Langada 24 Maison Ikaria 11

Langada 25 Maison Ikaria 12

Langada 26 Maison Ikaria 13

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Agios Dimitrios 06 Maison Ikaria 14

Raches 09 Maison Ikaria 15

Raches 12 Maison Ikaria 16

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Langada 27 Maison Ikaria 17

Raches 03 Maison Ikaria 18

Ladies 05 Maison Ikaria 19

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Dear readers, you haven’t grasped the connection yet? Here’s another dozen of collated shots 😳

Raches 15 Maison Ikaria 22

Langada 18 Maison Ikaria 23

Langada 22 Maison Ikaria 24

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Sitting lady Maison Ikaria 26

Gialiskari 06 Maison Ikaria 27

Langada 29 Maison Ikaria 28

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Does this picture by Kerstin of a valley lost in the mountains which doesn’t see a living soul for months and suddenly it’s stuffed with cars and people for no apparent reason, help you understand? I suppose not 😳

Langada 01

Dear readers, this is stuff to talk about for hours and maybe also make a book of. It’s our beloved ikarian enigma and I won’t bother you with it anymore.  But before I let off, allow me to suggest to you to read the following parts of an interview by Nikos Dayandas, the maker of  «Little Land», about his experiences in Ikaria. Our friend Elina found it, chose the best parts and added them in a comment under my entry about this great documentary. Here they are translated in English. This interview does not solve the riddle of «The Two Sides», yet it’s a few steps to the right direction. It’s one of the best and shortest descriptions that I have ever heard or read about life on our island.

That’s all from me for now, goodbye. The micro goes to Nikos ^^’

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Τι ν’ αυτό που το λεν’ Ικαρία;

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«Going there I realized that the island was full of young people who were indeed non-Ikarians or they were Ikarians who hadn’t been born or lived in Ikaria.»

«There is no local who doesn’t do two or three jobs at the same time; from a little garden near his or her house to the beehives at some distant hillside; from a sour cherry orchard in a field to the sheepfold in some place near.»

«It’s given that they work very hard. They just have this particularity that they do everything in their own time, everyone in his own clearly personal understanding of when is the right moment to do something.»

«When you are there, you do get the feeling that things really are a bit slower. You are surrounded by a strange calmness, everything is peaceful, the people are mild too. In Crete, for example, Cretans are intense characters. Cretan music is fast, their drinks are very strong. The Ikarian culture on the other hand is different, milder. It’s the sound of the little violin, their dance is a slow circular dance, they add water to their wine…»

«When you arrive there, your first impression is, first of all, the nature and its wildness. You see right away that the place hasn’t been developed

«You, know, because I have studied archeology, the Ikarians in many aspects remind to me of the Ionian civilization, they have almost ancient Greek tendencies. Everything they do, their pace and their activities are «all in good measure«. Or like a granny says in the film, life goes like a circle from good to bad and back again. This is, let’s say, the Heraclitean «everything flows«. The way they see things is founded on some basic ideas which are deeply rooted in Greek philosophy, even though they aren’t themselves necessarily aware of the fact.»

and the best (according to Elina and of course I agree!)

« … Ikarians also had another particularity in their society. The island has always had a liking to Communism and because the local communists had a very hard time with persecussions and exiles, after democracy was restored in 1974 the people started to reward them with mayoral posts. This is the political dimension of the mysticism of the place. So for several decades you had KKE partisans fixed in public posts through which European Union funding came and every time they said: «Leave it. We won’t take it!» They wrote all that on their balls, something that may have seemed criminal at that time, however today you can say that they may have been saved exactly because of that. Because it’s a place that hasn’t changed

 

😛


Final cut: These Mountains Are For Dancing !


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«No, dear friends, our mountains are not «of lesser cultural and touristic value» as it is often sαιd as an excuse by those who aim at their distruction for the purpose of profit. Our mountains are valuable free spaces with wild beauty and open horizons. Besides that we like them and we walk them, we also need them to dance!  Watch us!»

(Quote from «These Mountains For Dancing» in the blog of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria.)

Το σλάιντ απαιτεί την χρήση JavaScript.


Dance and make a point!

Save the free spaces of this world

from speculators! 😡

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Prep: These Mountains Are For Dancing


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Γεια σας

Για δεύτερη φορά φιλοξενούμενος σ’ αυτό το μπλογκ, κλήθηκα από την Ελένη να προδημοσιεύσω μια φωτογραφία από τη μικρή performance που κάναμε πρόσφατα στις κορυφές του Αθέρα και να γράψω δυο λόγια για το νόημά της.

Το δικαιούται, άλλωστε. Άπειρες φορές, τόσο μέσα από τούτο το μπλογκ, όσο και με τις φωτογραφίες της στο Flickr, έχει υπερασπιστεί τη διατήρηση της φύσης και την ακεραιότητα του ορεινού τοπίου του νησιού μας. Ειδικά δε, όσον αφορά τις ανεμογεννήτριες και την απειλούμενη καταστροφή των βουνών μας εξαιτίας τους, ο αγώνας της υπήρξε πολύχρονος, με πολλές μεταπτώσεις, πάντα με φαντασία και αίσθημα, ένας αγώνας συχνά μοναχικός, αληθινά επικός.

Αυτά όμως είναι παλιές ιστορίες. Η προδημοσίευση γίνεται εδώ κυρίως γιατί η Ελένη έπαιξε τον πιο σημαντικό ρόλο στην διαμόρφωση της τελικής ιδέας του happening: να βγούμε στις βουνοκορφές, να παίξουμε μουσική και να φωτογραφηθούμε χορεύοντας!

Τα μέλη και οι φίλοι του Ορειβατικού Συλλόγου Ικαρίας που μεταφέραμε την ιδέα στην πράξη, την ευχαριστούμε θερμά. Με το «These Mountains Are For Dancing» κάναμε μια πραγματικά «θετική διαμαρτυρία» ενάντια σε κάθε λογής «τέρατα» και τερατώδεις ιδέες που απειλούν τα βουνά μας. Περάσαμε ωραία, ωφεληθήκαμε ψυχικά και όπως νομίζουμε, βγάλαμε ένα σωστό αισθητικά αποτέλεσμα.

Θα μπορούσα να πω πολλά, όμως αυτά αρκούν προς το παρόν. Περιμένετε το πλήρες οπτικό υλικό που θα δημοσιευτεί σύντομα στο μπλογκ του Συλλόγου. Εκεί, εκτός από τις φωτογραφίες και βίντεο που θα δείτε, θα ακούσετε και τη μουσική!

Άγγελος Κ.

Ikarian pathman

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Paper Island


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Why some islands are not just islands?

Why can some islands be both real and fictional?

Why do some islands attain a second life in literature?

What do some islands seem to attract big ideas, illusions and dreams?

Why are some islands, more often than others, chosen as sceneries of tales of escape?

Why do some islands appear in novels, satires, utopias and moral tales, more than other islands?

Why some islands, besides being made of rocks and soil like all islands, can also be, as I am calling them, paper islands?

First pages of Jesuit Johann Bissel's satirical novel of 1637 with engraved allegoric title and engraved utopian map of Icaria with imaginary names of cities, rivers, etc.

I say, the more an island is an island, the more it makes you dream

Because democracy is no good in dreaming, we can say it loudly :

  Some islands are more islands than other islands

«The élan that draws humans toward islands extends the double movement that produces islands in themselves. Dreaming of islands – whether with joy or in fear, it doesn’t matter – is dreaming of pulling away, of being already seperate, far from any continent, of being lost and alone – or it is dreaming of starting from scratch, recreating, beginning anew. Some islands drifted away from the continent, but the island is also that toward which one drifts; other islands originated in the ocean, but the island is also the origin, radical and absolute.»

Gilles Deleuzes 

I have found the words of this contemporary French philosopher through a comment by a learned person in Kristin’s blog or Mararoa’s blog which unfortunately I am unable to spot now. That comment linked to a chapter of the glorious wikispace «Dream Islands» which I think, sustains and explains my humble thoughts herebefore. That chapter is entitled:

Scope of Islands

Island as a ‘catch-all’ concept

After Deleuzes’s quote it goes:

«Islands burn into the minds of children from an early age. They emerge in the first literature where they are prominent in Homer’s Odyssey, and Plato’s island of Atlantis is perhaps the most famous mythical island of all time. The seclusion and autonomy that an island suggests has nourished the literary imagination for millennia, but the island setting as a site for the spiritual, emotional, or psychological transformation of human character has remained a constant in Western literature. The Greeks were the first to develop the island-book as such, but Roman writers showed much less interest in insular themes. On the fringes of Europe, Island stories were generously developed in the ‘imrama’, which were medieval Irish accounts of mythical Atlantic island voyages of chiefs and saints.
From Homer to Charles Kingsley the island narrative..

The other chapters of Dream Islands are very enlightening too. Notably :

An antidote

«Islands are no longer bound up so immediately with a self-sufficient agrarian life, its rituals and the cultivation of social solidarity. They instead begin to function as an antidote to the increasing division of labor and social stratification of the mainland. For modern islanders their environment functions as a vehicle for the display of individual temperament, talent, and interest, which runs against the grain of a standardized mainland global consumer culture. Islands therefore become loci of the impress of distinctive personality, interest, and emotion in sensuous production. In particular, they often function as a font of individual artistic production compared with the old rituals and epics, such as the poems of Homer, primeval biblical history and the Icelandic sagas, which linked everyone to common ways of life.

An important resource for modern islanders is nature. What we seek on islands is what we love in nature. Friedrich Shiller described…»

Classification of islands

«A dream island is a distinctive and desirable place to be, which is defined within a physical, cultural, administrative, biological, mental, or virtual boundary. It is likely that most people’s dream islands would fall within the physical, administrative and biological categories.»

(Don’t miss the link to «Cultural Islands» )

 Islands – poetry and art

«Paradise or Purgatory, Heaven or Hell, islands leave no one indifferent – and least of all the world’s artists, poets and writers, musicians and scholars, as reflected in the sampling the following links : Writings and Art

Unfortunately the link to the last chapter «Islands as Utopias» is no more valid. Instead, I am giving you a link to the standard Wikipedia :

List of fictional islands

That was all on the subject and I think it wasn’t too little. Read about one of the oldest ideas in the world and be inspired. But some day leave the paper behind and follow the dream to find out what truth there is to it. Defy the distance and sail through the shoals and the booming high surf.

A real island may be waiting for you thereafter and therein.

Ikaria, October 26, 2013

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What I believe


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[Ikaria, isole Egeo orientale, Grecia]

permafrost.click's buddy icon by Silvia  (‘permafrost.click’) taken in Ikaria, featuring in her set (abandoned)
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.

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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://i2.wp.com/static.mediapart.fr/sites/all/themes/mediapart/mediapart_v4/images/mediapart.png