The Scholarship – Η Υποτροφια


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Αμοργός by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr

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☼ ☼

The Scholarship **

 While I was studying I almost suffered a total physical and mental breakdown and a nicotine poisoning as well. Until one day, coming back from the tabac shop, I found my room locked with a locket. Outside my room stood my grandmother with a waist-purse in hand. “Take this. You’ll find 50.000 drachmas in it and your papers. You’ll also find an Olympic Airlines ticket to Greece. In Pereus there’s a ticket to Ikaria waiting for you at the So&So travel agency. I don’t want to see you earlier than two months from now.” That was all she said, and spoke no more.

I grabbed a dress from the pile with the dirty laundry, a jean jacket from the hanger on the corridor, my beauty case and put it all inside an old military sack that belonged to my father, and fled. I wasn’t even wearing underwear. I was only worried for my flip-flops which were too old and I was afraid they’d tear. And indeed one of them tore, not in Brusseld – thank God – but at Athens airport. I threw them away and stepped on Greek soil barefooted with my head empty smiling like an idiot.

When later I tried to recall the details of that summer, my efforts went in vain. The only thing I recall – probably because it was completely against my nature – was that I couldn’t speak. My grandma who besides being a Bolshevik, was also a Christian and a bit of a witch, while sending me away in that horrid silence of hers something did to me and “struck me dumb.”

I worshipped my grandma and she worshipped me. The conctents of the waist-purse where my scholarship to be able to flee. But the dumbness was a gift to be able to feel the life, so that I wouldn’t die, so that I would live.

Instead of focusing on my mind, I focused on my body and especially… on my feer. Back then there was still in Evdilos a shoe-shop that had shoes piled on the floor. I bought all kinds of absurd, men’s sandals and galoshes. I knocked about the island wearing them, dudes, I literally tore them apart walking!

I suffered a sunstroke twice until the light gradually conquered the demon inside me and while drunk in a fair, I got my speech again, my laghter, my cry. This was exactly 40 days after I had left home. It was back in 1992.

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** integral text-
Ελένη Ικάνου

Published on friends’ request in a contest at  Flickr Group: Places of magic in Greece


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☼☼☼

Η Υποτροφια **

Οταν σπουδαζα καποτε κινδινεψα να παθω γενικο colapsus, σωματικο και ψυχικο, επισης και δηλητηριαση απο νικοτινη. Ωσπου μια μερα, επιστρεφοντας απο το tabac, βρηκα το δωματιο μου κλειδωμενο με λουκετο. Απ’ εξω με περιμενε η γιαγια μου με ενα τσαντακι ‘μπανανα» στο χερι. «Παρε αυτο. Εχει μεσα 50.000 δραχμες και τα χαρτια σου. Εχει κι ενα εισιτιριο Ολυμπιακης για την Ελλαδα. Στον Πειραια στο ταδε πρακτοριο σε περιμενει ενα εισιτηριο για Ικαρια. Δεν θελω να σε ξαναδω πριν περασουν δυο μηνες.» Αυτα ειπε και δεν ξαναμιλησε.

Πηρα ενα φουστανι απο τα απλυτα, ενα τζην τζακετ απο τη κρεμαστρα στο διαδρομο και το νεσεσερ μου απο το μπανιο, τα εβαλα σε μια παλιο σακ βουαγιαζ στυλ μιλιτερ του πατερα μου, και την εκανα. Ουτε εσωρουχα δεν φορουσα. Ανησυχουσα μονο για τις σαγιοναρες μου, μηπως κοπουν, γιατι ηταν πολυ παλιες. Και πραγματι κοπηκε η μια, ευτυχως οχι στις Βρυξελες, αλλα στο αεροδρομιο της Αθηνας. Τις πεταξα και πατησα το Ελληνικο εδαφος ξυπολητη και με το μυαλο μου αδειο χαμογελωντας σαν ηλιθια.

Ματαια προσπαθησα αργοτερα να θυμηθω τις λεπτομερειες εκεινου του καλοκαιριου. Το μονο που θυμαμαι -γιατι ηταν εντελως εναντιο στη φυση μου- ηταν οτι δεν μπορουσα να μιλησω. Η γιαγια μου που εκτος απο μπολσεβικα, ηταν και χριστιανη και μαζι λιγακι μαγισα, με την τρομερη, αβασταχτη της σιωπη καθως με εδιωχνε, κατι μου εκανε και «μου πηρε τη λαλια».

Τη λατρεβα τη γιαγια μου και με λατρεβε κι εκεινη. Τα περιεχομενα της μπανανας ηταν υποτροφια για να μπορεσω να φυγω. Η αλαλια ομως ηταν δωρο για να νιωσω τη ζωη, για να μη πεθανω και για να ζησω.

Αντι για το μιαλο μου, επικεντρωθηκα στο σωμα μου και ειδικα …στα ποδια μου. Τοτε ακομα ηταν ενα απιστευτο μαγαζι στο Ευδηλο που ειχε παπουτσια σε σωρους στο πατωμα. Αγορασα διαφορα κουλα αντρικα πεδιλα και μποτες εργατικες. Φοροντας τις, αλονισα το νησι, μιλαμε μαγκες, το εφαγα με το κουταλι!..

Δυο φορες επαθα ηλιαση ωσπου το φως σκοτωσε σιγα-σιγα το δαιμονα και σε ενα πανιγιρι μεθυσμενη ξαναβρηκα τη λαλια μου, το γελιο και το κλαμα μου. Αυτο εγινε στις ακριβως 40 μερες απο τοτε που εφυγα απο το σπιτι μου. Το ετος ηταν το 1992.

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** αυτοτελες κειμενο –
Ελένη Ικάνου

Ikaria 075

Δημοσιευτηκε to 2007 κατα παρακληση φιλων σε διαγωνισμο στο Flickr Group: Places of magic in Greece

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Express EUROPA


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Express Europa: I am travelling back to my island

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º Ikaria º Piraeus º Athens º Thessalonica º Sofia º Budapest º Brussels º Amsterdam º Rotterdam º Brussels º Liege º Brussels º Rotterdam º Budapest º Sofia º Thessalonica º Athens º Piraeus º Ikaria º

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In Nana's blog: a photo of me sleeping in our shared house in Ikaria after a very long journey across Europe and back.

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TERMINUS

Ikaria 083

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Comments

(11 total)

Express EUROPA? And you-are-the-bomber? :- ha ha ha :- What a depressing film!.. But you have the gift to make everything end well. Welcome back!

Monday July 9, 2007 – 12:14pm (EEST)

I shed a happy tear for you and Sideraki.

Tuesday July 10, 2007 – 11:08pm (BST)

2-3 entries more and we turn off the steam. Let’s have a deeep holiday.

Wednesday July 11, 2007 – 11:48am (EEST)

if the engine-expert says so, ok
yes, 2-3 more entries while the engine is still hot
then we go deee-eep *blip*

Wednesday July 11, 2007 – 02:21am (PDT)

Oh yes! Turn off the steam of the engines and heat up the pans! I will eat those potatoe-fries at last!

Thursday July 12, 2007 – 10:25pm (EEST)

Glad to hear you took the express and made it back already! Hope you all enjoy the Meltemi for rest of the Summer. It seems I took the slowest train in the world to get back to the Aegean shores.

Saturday July 14, 2007 – 10:01am (EDT)

Hello Can! Glad to have you around again. So you know what the meltemi is. I didn’t doubt.

Saturday July 14, 2007 – 01:09pm (PDT)

Fly quicker than the mind? Goodness, my muscles are suddenly stiff.

Monday July 16, 2007 – 04:23pm (PDT)

Oh don’t take it too seriously; it’s much harder than it looks. This is just the blog after all. Not the real thing.

Tuesday July 17, 2007 – 01:16pm (PDT)

333!

Wednesday July 18, 2007 – 08:44am (CEST)

pas encore 😉

Saturday July 21, 2007 – 01:10pm (PDT)


Côte de Naufragés Sauvés


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Finally, readers behold all… well, …most of the photos from that memorable day in that secluded rocky cove, taken on May 14, 2006, finally exposed.
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Ikaria 276

Ikaria-Mavri-003 Ikaria-Mavri-006 Ikaria-Mavri-008 Ikaria-Mavri-007 Ikaria-Mavri-009 Ikaria-Mavri-010

Ikaria-Mavri-011 Ikaria 279 Ikaria 285 Ikaria 283 Ikaria 281 Ikaria-Mavri-014

reader digested Ikaria 289 Ikaria-Mavri-017 Ikaria 290 Ikaria-Mavri-021 Ikaria-Mavri-023
Ikaria-Mavri-025 Ikaria-Mavri-028 Ikaria 291 the end of the trail Ikaria 317 Ikaria-Mavri-029

Original post : Tuesday February 6, 2007


ΓΙΑΤΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΚΑΡΙΑ; Μια συνέντευξη με την Ελένη.


 
«Στην Ικαρία πήγα για να μείνω μόνη μου, με την έννοια του να αποφύγω
τον ανθρώπινο θόρυβο. Είναι για μένα το νησί της ελεγχόμενης μοναξιάς
Πήγα για να ξεκουραστώ, αλλά και να δουλέψω ένα σενάριο.
Έχει ανοιχτούς ορίζοντες τριγύρω.
Σου ανοίγουν τη φαντασία. Επιπλέον, βρίσκεται εντελώς στην περίμετρο
των εξελίξεων, χωρίς όμως να είναι κι απ' έξω. Είναι σαν δορυφόρος
σε τροχιά, άρα λοιπόν μια πολύ καλή θέση για κάποια σαν κι εμένα
που η δουλειά μου είναι να κατεβάζω ιδέες...»

 

(Εδώ Νανά Η παρακάτω συνέντευξη σίγουρα θα ξεπαραμυθιάσει όσους θέλουν να πιστεύουν την Ικαρία ώς «νησί της αφασίας». Αυτό μόνο είχα να πω αντί για εισαγωγή. Επίσης να πω ότι έκανα πάρα πολλές επεμβασεις στο συντακτικό για να βγαίνει νόημα σαν συνεχής λόγος. Το αναφέρω αυτό για να μη νομίσει κανείς πως μιλάμε έτσι όταν ήμαστε μεταξύ μας…)
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– Γειαάαα…

– Γειά σου.

Μετά από δύο χρόνια σκληρής δουλειάς στο εξωτερικό, πήγες και πέρασες ένα ολόκληρο χειμώνα στην Ικαρία. Γιατί στην Ικαρία;

– Στην Ικαρία πήγα για να μείνω μόνη μου, με την έννοια του να αποφύγω τον ανθρώπινο θόρυβο. Είναι για μένα το νησί της ελεγχόμενης μοναξιάς. Πήγα για να ξεκουραστώ, αλλά και να δουλέψω ένα σενάριο. Έχει ανοιχτούς ορίζοντες τριγύρω. Σου ανοίγουν τη φαντασία. Επιπλέον, βρίσκεται εντελώς στην περίμετρο των εξελίξεων, χωρίς όμως να είναι κι απ’ έξω. Είναι σαν δορυφόρος σε τροχιά, άρα λοιπόν μια πολύ καλή θέση για κάποια σαν κι εμένα που η δουλειά μου είναι να κατεβάζω ιδέες. Αυτό, δηλαδή το κατέβασμα ιδεών, μοιάζει να είναι κάτι σαν εθνικό σπορ για τους ντόπιους. Όλοι έχουν διάφορες απόψεις για τα πάντα. Υπάρχει μια φιλοσοφική θεώρηση της πραγματικότητας, ένα συνεχές ψάξιμο. Χρειάστηκε μεγάλη πειθαρχία για να μπορέσω να τελειώσω τη δουλειά μου χωρίς να παρασυρθώ σ’ αυτό το παιχνίδι. Ή να μη με παρασύρει το τοπίο και να με ρουφήξουν οι γνωστοί αργοί χρόνοι που προκύπτουν και επιβάλλονται από αυτό το τοπίο. Όταν την τελείωσα, εντάξει τότε αφέθηκα να παρασυρθώ.
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Δηλαδή χρησιμοποίησες την Ικαρία σαν βάση, αλλά δεν ήθελες να σε απορροφήσει η Ικαρία;

– Ακριβώς έτσι που το λες. Για να μην μπερδεύονται με τη δουλειά μου, ό,τι έβλεπα και ότι σκεφτόμουν για την Ικαρία τα έγραφα στο μπλογκ ή και στο φλικρ. Ομολογώ ότι χρειάστηκε αρκετή πειθαρχία. Ήταν σαν να άλλαζα κασέττες στο μυαλό μου και αρκετές φορές βραχυκυκλώθηκα. Ιδίως ύστερα από μεγάλες βόλτες έξω στα βουνά και στα χωριά γύριζα και σκεφτόμουν μόνο ό,τι είδα κι άκουσα. Δεν ήθελα να κάνω τίποτα άλλο. Ευτυχώς όμως αγαπώ τη δουλειά μου, τους φίλους μου εκεί, αλλά και τα χρήματα και την ανεξαρτησία που μου παρέχουν κι έτσι γρήγορα επανερχόμουν στην τάξη.
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ikaria 26des
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Πόσα μπορείς να αποκαλύψεις εδώ για το σενάριο που βγήκε;

– Να μη νομίσει κανείς πως είναι κάτι φοβερά πρωτότυπο. Έχει σχέση με το τρόπο που οι γενικές πολιτικές, οι ιδέες και οι μόδες επηρεάζουν ένα μικρό τόπο. Πως χωνεύονται και δουλεύονται μέσα σ’ αυτόν τον τόπο, πως διαστρεβλώνονται αν θες ή πως γίνονται καλύτερες. Πως «υλοποιούνται» όπως λένε οι τεχνοκράτες. Αλλά και το αντίστροφο συμβαίνει και αυτό είναι το ζουμί του σεναρίου. Πως ένας μικρός τόπος μπορεί να επηρεάσει με τη σειρά του, αν όχι τις γενικές εξελίξεις, τουλάχιστον μερικούς ανθρώπους που ορισμένοι ανάμεσά τους μπορεί να είναι σημαντικοί άνθρωποι με τον τρόπο τους και μπορούν να επηρεάσουν τις εξελίξεις.
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Είναι σχετικά με τη 17Ν;

– Όχι, όχι … (τρανταχτά γέλια) …
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Πόσο σχέση έχει με την Ικαρία;

– Ελάχιστη σχέση. Το αγαπημένο μας νησί λειτούργησε απλά ως έμπνευση. Η ιστορία διαδραματίζεται σε ένα άλλο μέρος που μοιάζει πολύ, αλλά δεν είναι νησί. Μετά από τόσα ταξίδια με χαρά μπορώ να πω ότι υπάρχουν κι άλλες Ικαρίες στον κόσμο, και μάλιστα στην Ευρώπη που δεν την φανταζόμαστε και τόσο αντιφατική κι εξωτική. Είναι π.χ. κάποιες μακρινές επαρχίες, κάποιες κοιλάδες ανάμεσα σε βουνά, και κάποιες συνοικίες σε αρκετές πόλεις.
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Πρόπερσι περπάτησες ολόκληρο το κομμάτι του Ε4 από την Ουγγαρία στην Ελλάδα. Σ’ αυτή τη συγκεκριμένη διαδρομή, ας πούμε, πόσες «Ικαρίες» συνάντησες;

– Πάρα πολλές. Δεν φαντάζεσαι πόσες. Απλά η μόνη διαφορά της Ικαρίας που ξέρουμε, είναι ότι είναι νησί, όχι μεταφορικά, αλλά πραγματικά. Έχει πολύ συγκεκριμμένα αυστηρά γεωγραφικά όρια, πράγμα το οποίο είναι πιο εύληπτο και παραγωγικό. Από την άλλη πλευρά αυτά ακριβώς τα όρια είναι υπερβολικά αυστηρά καθορισμένα. Η βασική ιδέα θα ήταν ξεκάθαρη, όμως η υπόθεση θα ήταν πολύ περιορισμένη, πολύ φτωχή. Θα έβγαινε σαν ηθογραφία και φολκλόρ, πράγμα το οποίο ήθελα να αποφύγω. Κοίτα όμως… μπορεί να μην έκανα ένα σενάριο με σκηνικό την Ικαρία, ωστόσο, μετά που το σενάριο τελείωσε, σαν παράπλευρο κέρδος από τόσες πεζοπορίες στα βουνά και τα λαγκάδια, βγήκαν κάποια πολύ ωραία παραμύθια.
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Είναι αυτό που είπες πιο πριν, δηλαδή ότι τελικά αφέθηκες να παρασυρθείς;
– Πάντα έγραφα ή διηγιόμουν μικρές ιστορίες. Αν παρασύρθηκα, ήταν ότι αυτή τη φορά, έχοντας όλο τον χρόνο και το χώρο δικό μου, σκηνοθέτησα τα παραμύθια μου και τα δοκίμασα με τον εαυτό μου. Στα φυσικά σκηνικά του νησιού παράστησα διάφορες κλασικές μορφές όπως τη «Λαφίνα» και τη «Κόρη Ξανθή» από δύο Ελληνικά δημοτικά τραγούδια που λατρεύω, έπαιξα την Οφηλία του Σέξπηρ, τη «Κόρη του Κάστρου» (αυτό είναι από την Ικαρία), και από τις μοντέρνες μορφές έπαιξα τη «γκρουβαλίνα» στη Χάλαρη – (γέλια)
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Ikaria 015 des
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Γιατί όχι και την «καλή τρομοκράτισα»;
– Ό,τι άλλο θες αλλά τέτοιες φαντασιώσεις ποτέ δεν είχα, γλυκιά μου. Ούτε καλόγρια, ούτε ιεραπόστολος, άλλωστε, πράγματα τα οποία εμένα μου ακούγονται σχετικά. Με ξενερώνουν -για να μη σου πω με απελπίζουν. Δεν γουστάρω ούτε να προσεύχονται, ούτε να πυροβολούν για μένα, εν ονόματί μου και για λογαριασμό μου -για να με σώσουν χωρίς να με έχουν ρωτήσει.
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Οικολόγος όμως ναι;

– Ναι. Αλλά για μένα, όχι για τους άλλους. Όμως γιατί να παίξω αυτό τον ρόλο; Τι άλλο ήμουν παρά μια «οικολόγος» έτσι όπως κυκλοφορούσα στην Ικαρία; Με τον βιολογικό πατατόκηπό μου, με τους ατελείωτους περιπάτους στα βουνά, με τα χορτάρια που μάζευα, κτλ. κτλ. ήμουν ας πούμε μια οικολόγος. Αλλά δεν νομίζεις ότι αυτός ο όρος έχει καταντήσει πια τελείως ηλίθιος και στενόχωρος; Οι μισές Καριωτίνες γυναίκες που ξέρω είναι «οικολόγοι». Ε, και λοιπόν; Δεν είναι ρόλος αυτός για παραμύθι. Είναι μια αληθινή στάση ζωής.
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Έπαιξες και τον Ίκαρο;

– Όχι. Πρώτον γιατί ήταν άντρας και δεύτερον γιατί έχει κακό τέλος. Από φτερωτά, έπαιξα τη Σεραφίνα, μια αγγέλισσα δικής μου επινόησης (γέλια … παύση…)
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Lafina Manganitis sun Lafina Manganitis bush Lafina Manganitis resting rock
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Θα κάνεις κάτι με αυτές τις μικρές ιστορίες τις σχετικές με την Ικαρία; Επαγγελματικά εννοώ.

– Η Ικαρία, ξέρεις, βολεύει πάρα πολύ για τέτοιες RPG φάσεις. Πρώτον κανείς δεν σε παρεξηγεί, άμα είσαι εντάξει και δεν προσβάλεις και δεν ενοχλείς κανέναν, δεύτερον απουσιάζει εντελώς το κυριλέ λάιφσταιλ. Δεν έχεις πρόβλημα να εμφανιστείς στον μπακάλη με σκόνη στα ρούχα και ξερά χορτάρια στα μαλλιά. Μπορώ να σου πω πως το θεωρούν τιμητικό κιόλας…
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Μήπως γιατί έτσι δείχνεις ότι έχεις «τριβή» με τη φύση του νησιού; (γέλια)

– Ναι, αρκεί να μην είσαι έτσι όλη την ώρα. Αυτό θα ήταν προσβολή και «γκρουβαλοποίηση των ηθών». Έτσι εγώ για παράδειγμα μπορεί τη μια φορά να ήμουν ιδρωμένη με τα κουρέλια και την άλλη εμφανιζόμουν καθαρή-καθαρή, χτενισμένη και ντυμένη με ένα πολύ ωραίο σετάκι απογευματινό… (γέλια)
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Καλή πληροφορία αυτή. Χρήσιμη για μερικούς-μερικούς για να ξέρουν. Λοιπόν ας ξαναγυρίσουμε στην ερώτησή μου.

– Ομολογώ ότι επίτηδες ξέφυγα από το θέμα. Αυτές οι ιστορίες είναι προσωπικά, δικά μου πράγματα. Μπορεί να τις διηγηθώ προφορικά ή να δώσω ιδέες σε άλλους, αλλά δεν θα τα κάνω «δουλειά»: σεναριακή αφήγηση με σκηνογραφικές οδηγίες και διαλόγους. Είναι η δική μου ευεργετική σχιζοφρένεια και θέλω να μείνουν όπως τα φαντάζομαι εγώ και να τα αλλάζω κάθε τόσο, ανάλογα με τη διάθεση. Είναι οι κοριτσίστικες ουτοπίες μου και δεν τις πουλάω. Όμως δεν ξέρω κιόλας, μπορεί άμα γεράσω, να αλλάξω γνώμη και να τα βάλω στο χαρτί τελικά. ‘Η μπορεί το περιβάλλον της Ικαρίας να κινδυνεύει να καταστραφεί τόσο πολύ, ή να παρουσιαστεί κάποιος άλλος κίνδυνος, οπότε θα γίνω «στρατευμένη λογοτέχνις» και να τους πάρει όλους ο διάβολος (γέλια). Τώρα όμως με το μωρό δεν σκέφτομαι πια τέτοιες ακτιβιστικές φάσεις. Το μωρό μου είναι αρκετός ακτιβισμός από μόνο του –
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(Τα τελευταία αυτά ειπώθηκαν ενώ το Σιδεράκι είχε αρχίσει να κλαίει.
Κι έτσι εδώ διακόπηκε και τελείωσε η συνέντευξη.
Γειάααα…. Τα λέμε πάλι.)


Αθηνά Σκ.
Comments

(2 total)

Όπως θα προσέξατε, σ’ αυτή τη συνέντευξη δεν υπάρχουν λινκς για φωτογραφίες και άλλα συμπληρωματικά στοιχεία. Είστε ελεύθεροι /ες να χρησιμοποιήσετε τη φαντασία σας.
Monday January 29, 2007 – 09:47am (EET)
Χελόου, Ι λαβ γιου, γουον’τ γιου τελ μη γιορ νέιμ.
Χελόου, Ι λαβ γιου, λετ μη τζαμπ ιν γιορ γκέιμ.
… ΧΕΛΟ-ΟΥ!
Wednesday January 31, 2007 – 09:57am (EET)
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WHY IKARIA? An interview with Eleni.


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…)

Yaaa…

– 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.)

Athina Sk.

Comments

(7 total)

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)

(for ‘simonsterg’)

Η ΛΑΦΙΝΑ

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)

(for ‘simonsterg’)

THE LAFINA

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)


«Ze Sntory Ov My Live» (Episode 1)


«Ze Sntory Ov My Live»


(oops, I forgot to blow my nose, …HONK, ok, so here we go again…)

«The Story Of My Life»

Starring Eleni Ikanou Image(as Eleni Ikanou) and others (as others)

EPISODE 1

—————-

My name is Eleni Ikanou. I was born in B. capital city of B. 30+ years ago.

que tren que tren by ibarak

My father, Kostas, is Greek but my mother, Francesca, was not Greek. She was from M., a big city in I. She died from a severe heart attack a while after I was born.

Both my parents were immigrants in B.; my father was a first generation immigrant, my mother was second generation. That was during the coal&steel industry boom in B. after WWII. I was born on a Saturday of May at about the end of all this in the 1970s. I was a «fruit of love». My parents were not married when I was born. They intended to do that later when they would visit Greece in the summer. Things didn’t work out that way.

——————————————————————————————————–

ADS

-> car ad

-> supermarket ad

-> cell phone ad

-> cheese ad

-> CD with the O.S.T. of «The Story of My Life» ad

——————————————————————————————————–

My mother worked in the offices of the coal&steel company and my father mined coal in the pits. When I was a teenager I wanted to believe that my parents’ lives were as dramatic as the lives of the heroes in Zola’s novel «Germinale». They weren’t. My parents were happy, working, consuming and lovemaking in B. In Greece there was a military dictatorship. Mini-skirts (for women) and long hair (for men) were forbidden.

From babyhood to childhood I grew up under the broad warm wing of my father’s mother, Eleni K. So not only I didn’t feel orphan, but I was rather spoilt. Fortunately my grandmother, who came from Ikaria, did not show her love for me with words but with acts. Through her acts she taught me the old mediterranean laws of honour, obligation and gratitude; she showed me the basics of how to be ressourceful and self-sufficient («you do it or you do it», she said); she told me stories and she also taught me the basics of how to make and tell stories (she didn’t start with «once upon a time» but with a casual and sudden «hey listen, did you know…? You didn’t ! Oh no ! So sit down right now and let me tell you…»).

I heard so many wild narratives from her that I’d surely have been a crackpot or a fool, if she didn’t make me always look at her in the eyes («look at me, look at me; look at what I’m saying» she ordered). While she was talking her eyes changed colours and shades, shined on-off, closed and opened, and so gradually I learned how to make out which part of the story was true, which was a lie, which was just for fun or a game of the mind, which part was didactic etc.

«Look at the kid, mother» my father protested. «With the wild stories you tell her, she goes around with her mouth wide open. Her teeth will grow too big and she will never be able to close her mouth again»!

That was a joke of course. It was my father’s practical way to make my granny stop overexciting my imagination by filling my mind with stories. There was no other way to make her slow down and let go a bit, but via a practical threat that I would be deformed. That was because the great storyteller of my life, Mrs Eleni senior, was completely unable to understand the meaning of the word «imagination» («fantasia» in Greek). She thought it had to do with ghosts («fantasma» in Greek). «I never told any stories with ghosts to the kid», she answered.

Eventually my teeth grew too big for my mouth. The kids at school (the Greek Orthodox Community school in B.) had started calling me «hanos» (a small fish with a big mouth always open, «swallow all», «eat air», stupid). I didn’t let them say that on me for too long. I told my first full story in public at the age of 9. We were in the school bus and caught in a traffic jam. The story was the summary of a new James Bond film which I was supposed to have seen with my father the previous evening. How could I? I was too young. I improvised the plot from the photos that were posted outside the cinema.

The outcome was something like «James Bond Saves the Little House in the Prairie»…

I have a clear recollection of that first story I told out in public, because I was forced to narrate it to the school mistress later that day. There had been a scandal; the word had spread in the school that I was allowed to go out downtown in the evenings and watch James Bond films !

TO BE CONTINUED

(hopefully next week or earlier; whenever I cash the cheques from my sponsors)

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NOTICE: For only this particular group of entries I’d rather not have any interaction. So please, my 7 stars, friends of this blog, hold and do not post any comments. To go on with the story the storyteller needs most to have a silent audience.

Tags: ελένη, belgium, γιαγιά, χαζό-χαμόγελο, my-sponsor, teleplaywright, story-of-my-life | Edit Tags

Thursday March 23, 2006 – 12:48pm (PST)


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


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as much I Imagelike the nomad backpackers, as much I like those people who have adopted and cherish only one particular place on earth. I can be a fancy tourist resort, a park, a block of houses in a town, just a street, a beach, a starved African country, a desert, a forest, a noman’s land, a wasteland. All these places for those people are *islands* : bigger than an average sized appartment, smaller than the earth, the ideal size for someone to have the illusion of ownership, or rather let’s say *control*, or at least a sense of *familiarity*.
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Exactly the same as chimps, humans are territorial. Some are Abels (residents), some are Kains (nomads). I’m turning and tending to become an Abel Image these years. I’m learning to admire the residents. I found many people like that in Flickr. There is one Imagethat I like very much. Exactly like me who take only pictures of Ikaria, he takes pictures of only a forest, «Foret de Bouconne» in the Northern Pyrenees near the city of Toulouse, France. This forest is this man’s island, his isolation, (has become a part of) his identity.
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There’s nothing spectacular or exotic about that particular forest. For sure it’s not Tolkien’s Fangorn. Oaks and beeches and mushrooms and streams and probably deer and wild boar as well like in the forest around Asterix’s cartoon village. It’s a European forest; how boring, how wonderful. I kissed and was kissed for the first time in a forest like this *; how commonplace, how unforgetable. But why?

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

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https://i2.wp.com/www.inachisio.com/data/media/29/DSC_4907_4M.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.inachisio.com/photo-foret-de-bouconne-237.html
It was by ‘zian’ ( http://www.agora-photo.com ) The original title is «Allee en automne – La brume s’engouffre dans cette allee de platanes. L’automne donne a ce lieu une pleiade de couleurs chaudes et envoutantes… «

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Comments

(9 total)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

from Prof Athina assisted by the senior USDA staff
φιλάκια

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

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

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

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

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

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