in case you don’t know me, I am Nana (to agrimi),co-author in Eleni’s blog
who though I have a blog of my own, chose to write and post this entry here. The reason is that lately the views of our blogs took off very suddenly! This blog in particular has received several hundred views over the last days!
What was the matter?
The last time we were that popular was in Minoan times when we recorded the fall of Icarus at the shores of the island.
Centuries after that we made a good score when we covered the declaration of independence of Ikaria as a communist state, making us another pocket of resistance to capitalism between Cuba and North Korea.
Asking around we found out that the reason of our sudden recent popularity was the issuing of this seven page article by Dan Buettner in the prestigious NY Times:
Therefore it seems that the dream of flight and freedom and the dream of a communist egalitarian society both fade against the biggest dream of all:
THE DREAM OF LONGEVITY
which perhaps (if aging wasn’t involved) the next best thing to
But why does our island generate so many dreams?
I will tell you my opinion. I am an accountant and therefore, unfortunately sometimes I am on the practical side of things. The reason is nostalgia. The rough mysterious landscape (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) and our way of life (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) generates a nostalgia, a homesickness for old values, old raw ways, direct approaches to life, supposedly carefree and happy, forever lost in urbanization and globalization.
That was all I had to say.
We actually spend our evenings cracking almond shells. We have picked them from Eleni’s famous tree in the intro picture above. We sprayed the nuts with salt water, we roasted them and after they cooled off we stored them in glass jars. On these jars we have written:
Almonds of Longevity
«no» votes: 1
«don’know»: votes: 6
«a fool is a fool»: votes: 2
Great entry, stupid poll. But then again who knows? Maybe the answer is not so obvious for everybody. If you had put up an entry and a poll as commonplace as «In ecotourism lies the income», you would have many comments and votes.
But people who are on the net know very little about olive trees, the rain and fools!
Sunday September 28, 2008 – 04:03pm (EEST)
I like to collect olives. My boyfriend and I collected a lot in Ikaria last December. Great days and great nights too by the fireplace!
Sunday September 28, 2008 – 02:24pm (EDT)
I hope you come back this year too collect olives with us again.
Sunday September 28, 2008 – 09:59pm (EEST)
In principle I am very interested the olive, although, apart from consumption, all my knowledge is very distant.
But I am interested…
Are they really collected in December?? That seems very late. They don’t seem like Christmas things, like Satsumas do for instance.
I planted an olive close to the wall (1m) at my shared holiday house in France.
Am I a fool? Will the house fall down?? Can you move an olive tree?
How did Thales know what he knew dendrosophically speaking? He knew that water was important? Is it all-important?
Wednesday October 1, 2008 – 11:18pm (CEST)
ok, we have a full house now!
– The olive crop in the valleys and from terraces on hills is collected December the latest. The olive crop in the plains is collected sooner.
– Water is all important. The correct balance of water, that is.
– Olive trees are easy to transplant. You dig a big hole around the roots and then bring a crane to uproot the tree. It’s a nice tree, tamed and given to the humans by Athena the goddess herself. If the owners are hard working, the tree does whatever they want it to do. Even if you are not a hard worker, it is sufficiant that you talk to the tree every now and then.
(Did you follow the tradition and planted the tree when your son was born?)
– Who voted «no»???? A hawk of the stock market?
Friday October 3, 2008 – 03:56am (PDT)
There is also the sun.
«μέσα στον ήλιο αναγαλλιάζουν οι ελιές» = in the sun the olives rejoice
(The beautiful assonance of 4 «L»s in this verse by Kavadias is lost in the translation.)
Friday October 3, 2008 – 11:06pm (EEST)
I see in wikipedia
that there are some very long lived olives; they must be good at withstanding the hot and dry, as well as the frosty years. Also that they do best on poor rocky soils.
We planted ours as soon as we got the house. It’s not the mediterranean, but the soil is chalky. I may need to get a crane. And a beatiful tall straw hat.
Monday October 6, 2008 – 04:37pm (CEST)
After a few centuries people might call it: Simon’s Olive tree. The tree which the teller of tales planted and looked after. The tree under which he sat and told his tales. The tree that provided the oil for his salad and for the wheel of his eloquent tongue.
Monday October 6, 2008 – 12:37pm (PDT)
I voted ‘no’ not because I am a «hawk of the stock market» (:lol:), just a small business ordinary accountant. I voted no but because olive trees need A LOT OF WORK!
Tuesday October 7, 2008 – 09:19pm (EEST)
«…it is sufficiant that you talk to the tree every now and then. …»
I like that!
Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 01:26am (EEST)
That’s easy. The hard thing is to talk to the olive press factory man and stop him from polluting the rivers!!!!
Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:19pm (PDT)
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,
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». 😥
#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.
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?
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)