Musical Yards ♪♫♬ Μουσικές Αυλές

One good thing about music,
when it hits you, you feel no pain.
[Bob Marley]
.Woman dancing in Ikaria

What do I know about music?
I know more than you ever thought, dear readers.
Perhaps because my mother was Italian, perhaps because music has been for me a good way to soothe a temper often volcanic, or just because I have strong lungs and throat, I have always sung and I think that my singing is not completely unacceptable to a trained ear. I’ve never had a musical education, and yet during a year or two of my crazy young days I could sing folk songs and jazz music from Hungary – and all that in Hungarian, oh yeah! 😀

What I cannot do, and that’s a life fact, is to dance.
All I do is jump and kick and dangle and that’s a pity because I love Greek music and all the music of the countries around Greece and that music is (90% of it) associated to dancing. So, I listen to it, sing it, but all the dancing is done within me.
What to do? Nobody is perfect.
This was just a soppy introduction. Bloggers are expected to write a couple of soppy things before getting into the subject, aren’t they?
Forget it.



Musical Yards, homepage The subject here is the Music Seminar of Ikaria («Μουσικό Σεμινάριο Ικαρίας») also known as Musical Yards («Μουσικές Αυλές») and Musical Fireplaces («Μουσικά Τζάκια»), a long course of lessons, workshops and concerts organized by a small group of young Ikarians in the village of Christos Ráches every February and July.

Students dancing the Ikariotikos at the big party in the end. .

You would say, what’s big about it? There are several prestigious and popular music seminars taking place in Greece, the most known ones being in Mount Pelion and Crete. Why a seminar in Ikaria? What more does it offer? And who are this “small group of young Ikarians”? It sounds like one more boring folklore festival. At best perhaps a more sophisticated, DIY generational “panigiri”. Nothing new here.

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.This year's Musical Yards poster

Oh no, readers! Everything is new here! The seminar’s webpage does not explain very clearly the novelties of the event, so I have decided to say a few more things about it. For example, everything that goes around the Musical Seminar of Ikaria is hand-made, home-made and ever-evolving.

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Everything about the Seminar is countless hours of unpaid collective work done by local resident volunteers without support from the authorities, without sponsors and with only some help from few small hotel owners, car rentals and bus drivers.

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Playing music after the classes late in the eveningThe most remarkable thing about it is that they don’t have art directors, managers, public relations, don’t have «connections». Totally independent and willing to pay the price for this, all and all these guys have is each other and the support of their community. All and all what they want is to do it. And by some magic trick, they do it.

But how? What’s the trick?

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The trick is, first of all, dear readers, that it’s not a “big event”. Only capable of hosting a rough maximum of 200 students, the center of everything is the large yard of a countryside chapel near the village of Traditional violin classChristos.

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Several classes take place under the oak trees in that yard, while other classes are hosted -guess where?- in the yards, patios and spare rooms of the surrounding family homeBabis Papadopoulo's musical composition and orchestra classs in the neighborhood. Hence, the meaningful name of the Seminar («Musical Yards»*), a name which does not only signify the location; it says a lot about the character of the event.

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It also shows Exercises at the course of singing and vocals the support it receives from the village community, not to mention that, in my opinion, it’s a great way to say «thanks» to the owners of the homes where the classes take place.

(* The same houses, plus/minus some, during the wintertime Seminar turn into Musical Fireplaces. Cool!)

The Seminar's camping site in Ai Giannis. .

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No buses, no traffic, everything is nested in nature, including the participants themselves, around 1/3 of which choose to accommodate themselves in the campsite set by the organizers near the church.

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Secondly, “the small group of young Ikarians” is no other than the environmental, political and cultural association “Citizens’ Movement of Ráches Ikaria” («Κίνηση Πολιτών Ραχών Ικαρίας»), a 20yearold group still and always active in various fields (see my 2 footnotes down below).

At the course of musical instrument construction. .

None of them are idle or leisured patrons of arts; on the contrary, all of them are ordinary working people, faces that you see in the streets on their way to work in the morning.

Song writing course with Thanassis Papakonstantinou

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But there is an unseen difference: in spite of their smallness, in spite of their very limited financial resources, these people care! Moreover, they have skills and experience. Even though none of them are graduates of the Conservatory of Vienna, they know how to make things go right.

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.Evgenios Voulgaris, the lute teacher

Thirdly, the teachers! If anyone ever thought the Music Seminar of Ikaria is some kind of groovy thing, just a glance at the list of teachers is enough to change their minds. Each one in his or her own music, mostly the Oriental, traditional Greek or Balkan genre, as far as I can tell, they are the best among the best!

How come?

Singing course 3. .

Because these teachers trusted the organizers and they liked the concept. Some of them even, who come again and again every year, have proved to be truly committed to this event. They brought along their own students, they helped the organizers with valuable advice and in general, they did a lot to improve the Ikarian Seminar and Guitar lessongradually establish it in the agenda of musical education in Greece.

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Against the tourist legend that no serious work can be done in Ikaria because everything is unfocused and relaxed, the Papadopoulos and Siotas in one of the concertsclasses are as demanding and as strict as anywhere in a city environment. Besides this, every  year the teachers, to show their understanding of the concept of the Seminar, offer three evening concerts which are open to everybody. Arranging themselves in small groups in these concerts, the last of which always blows up to a big party, they play for hours without being paid.

The teachers playing at the big final concert. .

A large audience from all over the island gathers to attend that last concert in the Yards and all the money collected is used for the causes of the Citizens’ Movement, the first of them always being the preparation of the next seminar.

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The goal of the Seminar:

«Culture, communication, living together and playing music, teaching and being taught, knowing each other and having a good time too».

Yeah, we know, we know…

I know you know but I don’t think you know everything.

Singing course 1So, let me elaborate and add a few throughts of my own. They are strictly personal -although I don’t think I am totally wrong in what I am going to say. It’s no coincidence the Ikarian Music Seminar “Musical Yards” started in 2012. That was the terrible year when the Greek economic crisis peaked. That was the year of suicides, the year of social cannibalism when everybody blamed each other for the crisis and the dept.

Singing course 2. .

In several occasions during that year, Art, and more particularly Music, did a lot to keep Greek society from breaking apart. To say the least, Music, and more particularly Greek (traditional and post-traditional music), reminded to us that in spite of our differences, we can still love the same songs and can still sing together.

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.Tsambouna - Aegean island bagpipe

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Because 2012 was a bad year for Ikaria too, this was, in my humble opinion, the reason why the Citizens’ Movement, instead of some other activity, chose to put their bets on music. After all music plays an important role in the life of the island.

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One out of four mostly younger inhabitants play a musical instrument, one out of three is an excellent dancer and absolutely everybody loves to go out to places where there is live music – no matter Spaced percussionistwhat kind, no matter how good. So, why not invite other musicians to the island, not just for a concert or two, but to stay longer and share their art?

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To cut this short, against all odds, with crisis on one hand, and the love for music on the other, without any support from the authorities and no sponsoring, the first Musical Seminar of Ikaria was crowned with success.

Careful listener. .

Although small at that time, Musical Yards was a pool of forgetfulness and forgiveness, a pocket of equality and fraternity, a refuge for the young for inspiration and hope, a spot where music was played, taught and performed without interruptions or interferences – other than the song of the cicadas on those old oak trees in the hospitable churchyard of Ai Giannis.

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The course of the lute behind the churchIt is still like this and now – 2018 – is their 7th year!
Who would have thought!

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Composer and singer Thanassis Papakonstantinou in the concertLast year I was there for only one day but that one day, as I was guided around by a friend, was enough for me to witness all of the above. The Music Seminar of Ikaria is cultural and social barrier breaker and meltdown. I think everybody involved in musical education – and I dare say all education- have something to learn from the way things go during its course.

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Trumpet!I support Musical Yards with all my heart!




.Chapel altar window, Pablo Picasso (unsigned), Ikaria, round about 1620 😉 Partying in the Seminar Music ♪♫♬ bubbles in the air .

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June 15, 2018

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Except the first taken by kikiller all photos featuring in this article belong to Musical Yards. They can be found in the files of their website and their page on facebook. © All rights reserved 2012-2017.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 3 ➕


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Hello readers!
This is obviously the third part of the second part and the first part. But in this post there is a big [[]]! Because as I was browsing through Instagram to choose some last pictures from Ikaria to show you, I looked again at a picture I had added in PART 1 and I realised that it wasn’t just one random holiday snaphot. More pictures followed and all of them belonged to a story – a story written in a blog!
But first things first. Take a look at my last 50 selected grams from Ikaria and then scroll down to read my English translation of Virginia’s «Sobre una mujer sola en una playa». As you will see in the end, I have reasons to cherish very strong personal feelings about it. But far besides that, what matters more is that I find her adventure and more importantly the way she describes her adventure the best to this moment, most edgy and wonderfully dramatic example of the attitude I’ve spoken about in Part 2:

«Enjoy and respect. This is the new DIY generation who are not looking for ready-made things but for the true experience, for whatever that takes.»

……………………..⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Note: I have displayed the pictures randomly and democratically all same size. None of them (including the ones inside the Virginia’s story) have been downloaded but embedded into this post directly from the source. All rights reserved by the respective owners © 2012-2017



Αν δεν κοιτάς εκει που θες να πας, θα πας εκει που κοιτάςΗ Έλλη χαμένη στην ΙκαρίαΤι να πειςΣεϋχέλλες ΙκαρίαParadise islandΣτο φαράγγι!!!!Take me back - 8.9.17 - secret νας IκαρίαChilling and reading ξεμαλλιασμενη ας χελλDancing the IkariotikosUnknown woman in a panigiriOrange sky in Nas IkariaIs this even real life?'Then I was young and unafraid. And dreams were made and used and wasted'Hot like the sun, Wet like the rain, Green like the leaves, Life is a game.le chien etait adorable...Because sometimes lying under trees and walking barefoot on the earth is the most spiritual thing you could ever do in your life. To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miraclesSwam some more, climbed up rocks and claimed them as our ownJai Guru Deva Om'I was overlooking the heights and I felt somewhere in between...'Ikaria island summerIkaria-kerame CityRevolution starts from each of usMy bedroom - Feels like home - Gypsy hearts forever - Exoria stin ikariaΙκαριες - Rηξικελευθες πτησειςAmphitrite in Kambos, Ikariaνιώστε το βράχο - IkariaThe Cave in Seychelles beach, IkariaWaking up in Manganitis, IkariaO TarzanAnd the living is easy in IkariaAlceste in IkariaPeaceful naked moments in Nas IkariaSummer days in Aris river, IkariaΗ ζωή του camper: Τρώγοντας πάνω σε ενα φρισμπιSometimes in the wind of change we find our true directionGommorna på lägerΣαλτάροντας...Ikariarelax stressfree sea girl nas ikaria copertoneIkaria you stole my heartSorelle nella naturaSorelle nella naturaLine up......Find me where the wild things areIkaria, summerambianceΞυλόφουρνος του ΓεραλήWith my fav personRaches, Ikaria

😌 😌 😌

«Sobre una mujer sola en una playa»
(About a woman alone on a beach)

«Later that evening, we were sitting there and I could hear a church bell from the Orthodox church around the corner. My ear followed the sound there and back, there and back, my eye trailing the distance to the church in the dark. I asked my aunt if she was awake. She stirred in her chair and said yes, she was. I said, how did you make it so long. She asked what I meant. I said, there are so many years. How can you be alone so long. She said she didn’t know.»
[Jesse Ball, How to Make a Fire and Why]

La aurora de los dedos de rosa, diria Homero

«Last year with Adrián we decided to take a trip. He asked me where I wanted to go, and I told him that for some time I had in my thoughts the island of Ikaría. He wondered why. I do not know, I told him. He asked me again: what is there? Nothing, I said. It is an island where there is nothing. He told me, that’s an answer.»

«He asked me again: what is there? Nothing, I said. It is an island where there is nothing. He told me, that’s an answer.»

Ese dia fue muy largo y muy dificil y muy hermoso y a la noche dormi adentro de un mausoleo en un cementerio a unos metros de la playa

«There was a turning point in the trip and it was the day of the monopati. By then I already had severely infected soles of the feet. I think about the precise moment, a few days before, in which the blisters that almost completely covered the metatarsals broke and I still get goosebumps. I remember it with my head but I also remember it more with my body, it was a burning like I had never felt before, I felt it break, tear. And if walking most of the day with a heavy backpack on my back, sleeping little and feeding mainly on the figs and grapes that we found on the way, it was already difficult, every step I took with the blisters open and beginning to become infected was a torture.»

Aυτά τα δέντρα δε βολεύονται με λιγότερο ουρανό...

«There was a turning point in the trip and it was the day of the monopati.»

«We spent the night in a forest on the outskirts of Raches and the next morning we started walking very early. In the course of the day we had to descend an altitude of nine hundred meters extended along twenty kilometers by mountain road and reach the coastal town of Karkinagri, at the south-western end of the island. We had no choice. Between Raches and Karkinagri there was absolutely nothing, no food, no water, no shelter, no firm terrain to camp, only a narrow monopati that descended sinuously and abruptly down the mountain.»

El punto mas alto, justo antes de encontrar el monopati

«The first challenge was to find the mentioned monopati. The map of Ikaría that we had pointed out as villages what we, upon arriving, discovered that they were only scattered houses, many of them abandoned (one night we camped inside one, it was the night that I really thought I was going to die, that until then everything had arrived, but that is another story).»

El bosque de espinos

«After walking for a few hours we arrived at what we hoped would be a town, where we expected to replenish our water and ask for directions for the rest of the way, but all we found was a half-demolished farm in which a very old man milked a goat. He approached us with the wooden bucket full of warm, steaming, perfumed milk. The milk had a pregnant smell, cloying, a bit repulsive. I was dying to try it, I felt that my body was asking for it while the man told us that in his youth he had been a sailor and had been in Buenos Aires. French fries, he said in Spanish. His dogs barked at us with fury. We asked him about the monopati and he indicated where to go.»

La pequena iglesia de San Isidoro, en medio de la montana

«Later we heard voices and followed them and in the middle of the forest we found a neat land with an orchard and a house made of a container. Under a tree a group of men and women talked and worked. We asked them about the monopati and as Greeks as they were, they invited to come in, unconditional hospitality is practiced even in the depths of the forest, especially there (if a Greek refuses philoxenia to a stranger in the middle of the forest and there is no one to witness it, do the Erynias overwhelm him?). They served us a strong and delicious coffee (we had not had coffee for days, we had not done many things for days, like bathing) and they invited us with figs from their garden dried in the sun.»

Un claro en el monopati

«The owner of the house, about forty or forty-five years old, had grown tired of life in Athens and had exchanged it for that rectangle of land on which he lived most of the year, growing his own food and reading the classics, receiving friends during the summer. He was a serious man, serene, a man who spoke slowly, beautifully. The beautiful Greeks are truly beautiful, slender and proud, with marked features and deep wrinkles of expression. Beside him, Adrian, with his blond curls and his upturned nose and his reckless speech, looked like a teenager.»

A mitad de camino entre Karkinagri y Manganitis

«We continue advancing and at the highest point of the mountain, in the middle of a thorny forest, an enchanted forest, the most beautiful I saw, we found a tiny church and sitting at the door a shaggy man, the caretaker. Hour after hour and day after day he would sit there, alone, in silence. We asked him about the monopati. He showed us the way. He himself is walking up and down on it every several weeks to get provisions from the town. We were reassured by this concrete reference that the monopati existed and it was not far away.»

El desayuno en la taberna de Manganitis

«Finally we found it and the descent was slow and difficult. My feet were in deplorable condition, I felt the stockings alternately wet and stiff, as blood and pus sprouted and dried. We walked slower and slower, and Adrian became impatient. He advanced alone and he waited for me later, feeling solicitous and confused. We got lost several times. The monopati at times became so narrow that it was easy to mistake it with openings that appeared naturally among the vegetation. Several times we took the wrong direction. We opened and closed gates. We climbed trees and stones. We crossed a dry river in a valley.»

«It had been a difficult day for two people who knew little of each other, who began to glimpse with a mixture of rejection and compassion into the miseries of the other and to remember their own miseries, those that one tends to forget when there is no witness around, when conveniences and routines camouflage them a bit.»

La playa de Manganitis al atardecer donde la mujer y yo nos acompanamos un rato (en el momento exacto en que la foto fue sacada)

«Around four in the afternoon we arrived at the town. We hated it immediately. Ikaría does not receive too many tourists, but the few that were there were there. We ate something quickly and decided to continue on our way and spend the night in [Manganitis], a nearby town. We resumed the march in silence. It had been a difficult day for two people who knew little of each other, who began to glimpse with a mixture of rejection and compassion into the miseries of the other and to remember their own miseries, those that one tends to forget when there is no witness around, when conveniences and routines camouflage them a bit.»

La playa de Manganitis al amanecer, despues de la noche en el mausoleo

«We arrived at [Manganitis] at sunset, and the place was a dream. A tiny village, quiet, no more than fifteen houses. A warm tavern in the shade of a vine. A bay of white stones, turquoise waters. A small church and a cemetery near the edge of the sea (where we would spend the night, sleeping in one of the mausoleums between candles and coffins, but that’s another story). A group of men and women swam naked. Adrian also undressed and got into the water. I sat on the still warm stones of the shore and soaked my feet. The salt water washed my blood and the pain worsened first and then it started to ease up a bit. The group of bathers left and the beach was deserted.»

Χρόνια πολλά Ελλάδα

«It was almost dark when a woman in her fifties appeared. Adrian had swum away, and we seemed to be alone on that silent beach at the end of the world. She took off her clothes and got into the water. She swam for a long time and then came back to the shore and wrapped herself in a towel and stayed there, looking at the water until it was completely dark. Then she got dressed, took her things and left.»

Manganitis desde la altura, camino a Seychelles

«All this preamble is to say that last night I thought about that woman. Many times, I think about that woman, and last night was one of those times. I was in bed and was cold (because the days are warm and sunny, but still cool at night) and I began to rub my arms and legs with my hands to warm me up. And I do not know why that gesture made me suddenly feel very aware that I am alone. That I brought myself to this bed in the house of strangers in a city in another hemisphere and I am responsible for giving me heat, I am both the injured foot and the salty sea that heals, the woman alone and the woman alone who looks at the woman alone.»

TEXT: ΤΡΕΙΣ ΜΗΝΕΣ: «Sobre una mujer sola en una playa»
PICTURES: Virginia Rech on Instagram
Virginia Rech on Instagram

** «Monopati» («μονοπάτι» in Greek) = footpath, a more or less narrow trail usually across nature or rural land.

*** There is a slight confusion with placenames. To all evidence the final scene of the story takes place in «Trapalou» instead of «Manganitis» which is a relatively large village located much further to the east.



Was it I the other woman alone? The woman alone who was looked at by another woman alone in that cut-offMy Ikaria book cover by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr place and moment? Yes, perhaps it was I. I turned fifty last year. And as often as always I like to swim in remote, quiet places at dusk. Thank you Virginia. All Virginias of this world, thank you!!!

So long and take care



The News in Brief (for April 06, 2006)




The News in Brief

#1-> I’ve finished work. All 3 projects have been completed and sent. There are no news, so I assume this is good news. ^^’

#2-> I walk a lot. I’m charging my batteries, as they say. I hope it will be warm next week so that I start to swim too. I won’t have to take «the 40-waves cure», but I must absolutely swallow and gargle a lot of salt water and clean my breathing system.

#3-> I drive to Rahes and I walk there mostly. I was asked to «test» the new paths there. It’s fun. The paths are designed in a very interesting way. They look as if they had always been there, but in fact they are not. This is Land Art, very carefully concealed. My business is to check if this ‘Land Art’ makes sense as an activity as well. So far I can say that it does (though it takes an early wake-up, and this is very difficult in Ikaria. However, art demands for sarcrifices). A fruitfull sense of ‘total loss’ is achieved. You know… «it’s the road, not the destination» -that kind of —-

(I’ll return to the subject; I don’t feel very genius right now). 😛

#4->Doctor‘ made a slightly ironical comment to my last entry: «You are too modest«, he wrote. «I’m trying not to be, man, I’m trying. But they are not letting me!» I reply. From the point they suspected me of being a spy, an agent of the Turkish intelligence, a loose whore, a drug addict in the process of clean-up etc., now they are calling me «serene highness». Until we reach a compromise and I’m just called «Eleni«, «Elenitsa» or even better «to Elenaki» (the sweetest Greek diminutive form for a first name -and in neutral !…), I have to say that I’ll fully enjoy my royal title. When I was a young girl, my father who was very anti-royalist, never called me «princess» or «queen«. He used republican names instead, such as «skatoula» (=piece of shit), «andartissa» (=she-rebel), «katsika» (=she-goat), «teras» (=monster or freak), «agapi mou» (=my love), «moro mou» (=my baby).

#5-> Ah, that ‘Doctor’ again… He posted in Flickr a photo of an animal which broke my heart. As I usually do in such cases, I fought very hard against falling for it. I called it a «yak», I thought of it as the pet of the abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, then I tried to convince myself that it was mutant, or a by-product of the mad-cow disease …anyway, I tried and I tried in vain to calumniate the poor mamal. 😥 I had never seen a picture of it taken in its natural environment. I loved it! My case would be desperate and I’d present symptoms like Pasiphae’s,

  Ikaria 161

if… my demon had not found for me a replacement.
This replacement is bound to die in a few weeks during Orthodox Easter-time in the evening while the church bells call for the Epitaph. Moral: «Never grow too fond of something that tastes good and you like to eat it». 😥

bIG nAIL, from my article: 'ze nnews im mbrief'

#6-> What the hell is this photo with the earth digger? 😛
Well, this is part of my plan to reconciliate with my nightmares. This big earth digger here is equiped with a BIG NAIL. It works with compressed air. It makes BIG HOLES in the earth. My father used to work with a similar (smaller) machine, which made holes in the earth, UNDER the earth. Unlike my father’s holes which were in places the sun never reached, the holes this BIG NAIL digs, are in very sunny places. Unlike my father’s holes where nothing could grow, many things can grow in and around the holes this BIG NAIL digs. In fact, this is just a digger after all. It brings new earth onto the surface. It’s up to us, isn’t it, to see what we will do with the mess afterwards.

Ikaria 140

Oh, readers… 😦

… I’m trying… don’t you see? I’m trying to …»swallow and take down an earth digger». (*)

Stand by me and perhaps I’ll make it. You may see me writing, but in fact I’m mostly a woman of action. I can’t attack an earth digger (maybe I don’t want to after all). I may «chew and swallow» it. (Oh Gof, I love me when I think B I G…)

(*) I used to think that the queen of Knossos’ name «Pasiphae» meant «eat all«. Eventually I think now that it means something like «the one who is gradually and totaly consumed in front of and seen by everybody» -simpler -> «self eaten in public«. Doesn’t it sound terrible? Doesn’t it make you think that the ancients were «gothic» etc. Well, not at all actually. «Pasiphae» was originaly a name for a female goddess (not of the Olympian 12theon but prior to it) and a very friendly one. We still see her «eat herself in public» today. Who may this goddess be? Image




(7 total)

φχααρστώωωω!.. *γαληνότατη* for the photo of the *green machine* (Ikaria #160)
You must be in the middle of a machine.. oop, no, I meant a storm. Is there a storm now?

Friday April 7, 2006 – 04:50pm (EEST)

I was fishing on the ocean beach last month and met three other guys fishing. Was talking to one of them, Jupiter was his name (really), and I told him I loved the ocean because it made me think, made me meditative, contemplative, made me ponder the mysteries of the waves, the tides, time and space. He said, «yeah, it clears up my sinuses too.» So yes, you better gargle sea water girl.

Friday April 7, 2006 – 06:56am (PDT)

You are a machine too !
I know what kind of machine you are.
You are a «housewife» machine !

Imagine my mood: it’s Friday evening and still at work. I remembered your ‘barn’ in Ikaria and how exceptionaly neat it is. You ARE a housewife -in every good sense of the word and pls don’t punch me for this. One way or another you ‘ll swalow and tidy up everything, outside of you or inside you or maybe both. You are a good *machine*.

* * *

__hey (1), I’m gonna change my ‘icon’ here. Don’t be scared by the new one. I have my ups and downs too (+spring), you know. BTW, when are you going to «add an RSS feed» in your blog?
__hey (2), the ‘face carved on stone’ man is fun; I assume he is the one who wrote the «mechanical analysis» under «Ikaria #160 in Flickr. You are right, ‘stone man’. Me, I see things in a much smaller scale -«micro-mechanics», that’s me, hehe 😉

Friday April 7, 2006 – 08:21pm (EEST)

Yes, it is I Nana. It’s OK that you see the micro and I the macro, because of course there are worlds within worlds. Elle I think sees both.

Friday April 7, 2006 – 11:20am (PDT)

yes there’s a big storm. BIG WIND bends trees, dries the land and the sea is white (photo-squalls x 5). There will be rain, they say, in the weekend.

yes, by some miracle there’s power. It’s perhaps because the local elections are getting nearer (October). No electricity, no votes, so simple.

yes, I’m a housewife (machine). I behave like that whenever I feel at home. Economy (Oikonomy), Ecology (Oikology) and (N)Oikokyra, the Greek word for «housewife» derive from the same «OIKOS» =house, foyer, habitat.

yes, me too like the «Jupiters» of this world and humour such as e.g. «poems, flowers, sounds and senses etc. and you can open a can with it too» -lol : I’m thinking of writing «A Poet’s Survival Handbook». What da ya tank av dat?

yes, (thanks ‘greg’) I see both. I’m so glad I followed a wise uncle of mine’s advice «1st rule: earn your own daily loaf of bread! -no other rules.»

yes, work, work, work, Nana, come Easter holiday Ikaria play x x x

*who’s going to guess who is the goddess who «eats herself in public» ? A tip for those who know Greek: think of my name… *

Friday April 7, 2006 – 01:17pm (PDT)

«Pasiphae», the «eat all of herself» is the Waning Moon, the particular goddess who governs the particular phase of the waning of the moon. In common everyday Greek the moon is «fegari». This is a figurative word describing a property: it shines and lightens. The «good» Greek word for the moon is «Selini» or in some ancient texts «Selana». It means something like «aurora». The Greeks call themselves ‘Elines’ which used to be «Selines» =the tribe of the moon. As it usually happens it was their enemies who called them by this name, because the ‘Elines’ walked (raided and invaded) at night under the moonlight and they were not afraid of the demons of the darkenesses.
You name is «Eleni», the same word actually as «Selini», the particular goddess of the particular phase of the full moon -in popular lore «the face of the woman we see on the round disk of the moon». Very strong name, this is why it was given to the Beautiful Helen of Troy and then to one of the most powerful female saints of Christianity, Roman Empress and Holly Woman, Saint Helen.

ουφ τέλειωσα -τι κερδίζω;

Νανα, τρομερή εικόνα ! Παναγία μου ! Μόνο που σε μικρό είναι πολύ σκοτεινή. Την είδα που άλλαζε ενώ έγραφα «comment». Είσαι «on line»; Το Σάββατο βράδυ τα «αγρίμια» δεν βγαίνουν στην πόλη;

Saturday April 8, 2006 – 10:09pm (EEST)

κερδιζεις ενα CD με τη ‘Σονατα υπο το Σεληνοφως’ του Μπετοβεν και την αγαπη μου, αγγελε-φυλακα που ξερεις κ 5 γραμματα.

Saturday April 8, 2006 – 01:07pm (PDT)

After the Snow in the Aegean 2nd thoughts

Hello readers !
I wouldn’t mind writing more about pork chops, or about how well Greeks can deal with contradictions etc. etc. But I can’t share those thoughts in a short blog entry like this. So I’ll just state a few facts:
1) without the terrible surf and devastating winds of the winter, the sea wouldn’t be so blue, the rocks so round and clean and the sand so grainy and warm in the summer.

2) the mountain wouldn’t be so green and the trees so tall, neither would there be so many various herbs, without snow and frost in winter.


3) the poeple wouldn’t be so warm and hospitable
(though reserved at first sight), if (let’s suppose) there was a railway connection to the island in winter.


4) neither ‘tragopodaros’ nor I would find fresh water and falls to bathe
(and chill), if the mountains of Ikaria were lower and didn’t gather clouds and rainfall in winter.


5) finally in the summer the festivals in the villages wouldn’t be so jovial, if the place wasn’t poor and young people needn’t leave.


Here’s a practical example of contradictions :

The facility which I miss a lot in ‘the barn’ is a closet. All my clothes are hanging from nails on a wooden beam fixed on the wall. In my heavy coat now and waiting for the fireplace to heat the room, my eyes fell on my bikinis and they looked like objects from another planet! Yet these pieces of textile act as my usual underwear or onlywear after April ! In the same way in summer my heavy coat looks like a horrible dusty pile of dark hair like the skin of an extinct prehistoric animal. I can’t even remember myself having ever worn such a thing! This is contradictions, or if you wish call them antithesis, or just surprises, according to me.



(4 total)

Didn’t someone once say beware of Greeks bearing gifts of pork chops and contradictions?

This is a good one Elle.

Φοβού τους Δαναούς και δώρα φέροντας
yeah, the man is right

Monday January 30, 2006 – 11:25pm (EET)

You’ve expressed so much in few lines! Strong!

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 01:07am (EEST)

Thank you! Here is one for you: what is the name of the bridge that bridges contradictions?

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:00pm (PDT)