Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I;ve been thinking of you, often.
I'm still here, but I'm not sure that here is still the same place. Shifting, changing, moving, flowing.
the crisis is not a crisis anymore, crises are supposed to be moments, violent shifts...what about a long lasting continuous violent change that goes on and on/?
It has been a most amazing and wondrous time
scary and exhilarating
day to day
riding the storm
We are ok, making do
I am learning,
breathing in and out,
just letting anxiety, scary thoughts, hard emotions flowwwwwww through
being conciously grateful for good health, beauty in the world around me, kindness in peoples souls, love and poetry.
some news, epigrammatically:
*I'm letting my hair do its thing- no combs, no blades. just keeping it clean. it is dreading. I;ll be a 50 yr old greying dreadhead in a couple of years. WILD FUN!! Is it the hippie or the witch inside me that is being set free? I don;t know and it is unimportant to know..
*I love what I'm doing because I'm doing what I really love.. The lack of paying work has helped me decide to do what makes me happy, and it is working. I tell and teach Homer, Odyssey and Iliad, working and searching for a 21st century oral epic way..
*I keep chickens..another epic voyage..they are the funniest beings on earth, so vulnerable, so silly, so wise, and they are performers of miracles. Eggs! perfect form! food! they eat little and they give so much-
*I am in the chorus of an amazing theatrical production of the Bacchae by Euripides.
*It has been revealed to me, and I'm not entirely joking here, that we are standing on the belly of the god of Silliness..when we get too serious he laughs out loud, deep belly laugh and all is shaken- tsunamis, crises, storms..when we  let ourselves play and do silly things he/she? sighs quietly and smiles.. silly things like standing still and practicing stillness, walking barefoot in the sand, swimming at nighttime, singing and dancing, making up worlds and sharing stories..spending hours composing an ode to the dishcloth in perfect metre..
oh, and loving passionately whatever you are doing isn't that the silliest thing?
loving passionately
maybe just that

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

what I do

I know, it is awful, manipulative, makes you angry and sad
but I want both my sons to see it
I saw it today, made me cry a bit.and helped me think

getting a story ready for telling induces a dreamy state, or is it inducing a dreamy state gets the preparation of a story going? I don't know, but I sleep a lot when I'm making a telling, at odd hours, and it;s never enough

I saw this after a midday sleep, before coffee- all synapses started firing simultaneously

the story of what is going on:
violence is erupting, neo nazis have been voted into parliament, taking the law into your hands is being silently approved of by society, (that is not new, and not exclusively right wing- riots, destruction, verbal abuse even beatings of politicians, members of parliament have not been vehemently dissaproved of or legally persecuted by the political parties) people are getting killed or beaten up.
it is escalating
people are afraid. The old, the "different, the "alien" the "weak" are terrified.
first thought: living in fear is living in bondage. it is a non life.

secondly, the story I'm working on:  the Cyclops, from the Odyssey

fact: there is no image more terrifying than being in total darkness, absolute, thick blackness and having ONE eye glint at you

(the genius of the master storyteller- two eyes is familiar, may be dangerous, fierce, whatever, but one eye?..in a cave where you can't get out?.)

 it has never been a coincidence, choosing the story I'm going to tell, even if I discover why after I've made the choice

this is what Homer whispered in my ear as I sat there in the Cyclop's cave, watching Odysseus do his thing
*look the beast in the eye. basic. identify it, talk to it, learn about it. that is how you will find out what its weakness is
*use your anger as a weapon, wait for the right time, you will know when that is. otherwise you might be trapped in the cave.
*do not reveal yourself too early.
*make do. use what is within your reach.
*use your resources- do not "save them for a better time" (he did have that potent wine, a gift for showing mercy, why not take it along- it was the undoing of that lawless, merciless beast)
*be ever ready. be awake.
*if you are just a human, do not kill the being that has the power to roll back that rock that is keeping you trapped
*and after, tell the story.

now I know what the story is that I'm going to tell on Friday, to children. once more, homer just before the elections.
I did the killing of the suitors before may 6
I will be telling of what one man did, many thousands of years ago, when he got himself and his men trapped in a cave with a monster. I'll let the listeners make their own connections. if I remember to i migh hint or nudge with a comment at some point..

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

there is so much to say
too much, maybe
but there is nothing worse than being silent.
so for today:
Good Morning

Thursday, February 16, 2012

the world is changing

I know I have been quiet for too long, this is just a note to keep in touch:
the computer conked out because of power surges due to the instability of the countrys electrical system..because we were (are?) not able to import energy to support the winter use of air conditioning systems for heating (due to the fact that many people are unable to buy petrol for heating) and the system had (has?) to rely on its own resources which are not enough to support demand. A new cold snap is coming and they are talking of the risk of power cuts. I do not know how much of what I hear are shock tactics, but there is an overdose of that
shock tactics, I mean
and shocking stuff happening, too
today is tsiknopempti, "smell of barbecued meat Thursday", the week before last of the carnival, last meat eating week before Lent. Next week is cheese and milk week, then no meat or dairy products for 40 days until Easter
so even in our urban times, today was a day to go out to tavernas with friends and eat. I heard on the radio the butchers at the meat market have a tradition of cooking meat and giving it for free the past few years. Today they gave out more than a tonne of meat, there were queues of ordinary people waiting for hours in a freezing drizzle to get a pork chop.. grandfathers, the man said, my mother and father, your mother and father, and his voice broke
I went down to Athens yesterday, coming out of the metro the air was heavy and smelled of tear gas and burnt stuff
during Sundays riots about 90 buildings were burnt, 10 of them historical and architectural landmarks, 19th century-
they were piling trucks with scrap metal
everywhere, in the heart of the city, broken marbles, broken traffic lights, electrical boxes
shocking is the least I can say
the smell of burning in the air, the face of hunger on the people you see around you, isn't that the essence of war?
I got pork chops cut rate, the boy is trick or treating, yes, this is when we do it, in the darkest heart of winter, they dress up and roam the village "to scare the old people" and get sweets as an appeasement. It used to be the grown ups, dressed in black goatskins. This year the boys set out earlier than other times- parents are afraid. he'll be back for his meat. Traditionally.

I leave you, for now, with the healing music of Stella Rambisai Chiweshe.
once, a long time ago I had the honour of meeting her and she allowed me to play with her in a couple of gigs in Istanbul, I was very green then.. she said I should play louder, I was, I think just petrified!
One night, we younguns gathered to say goodnight before we went to our rooms in the hotel. She sat in her chair and we went up to her one by one. When i went up she said:
Goodnight, my child, and take care, the world is changing
Goodnight,  goodnight, all, goodnight Stella who taught me what a queen is, and thank you for it all, then, and now.

Friday, January 20, 2012

at last, the bright side. Bread and Books.

this crisis thing, or recession, or depression-call it what you like. Sometimes its a foggy road on the mountain

 sometimes its scary like what if there is a hole in the fence
 but sometimes it can be light, clear and beautiful
Like today, in Nea Makri
I went to meet up and have coffee with a friend. we actually had never done this before, we only meet at rallies and committees
so today we met to talk. At a cafe, with this view. After days and days of freezing weather, the sun was hot, so we sat outside
amongst other topics we talked about my books.
I am a booklover and a bookeater, and, until recently a book collector. Until this summer, I finally realised that books are made to be read, and not for sitting on shelves collecting dust. so since July I've been taking them down, keeping only my stories and storytelling reference books, much read and loved.
and then piles of books- what to do with them..
I tried freecycle, gave away good university bibliography to open university students. Others needed to know which books I'm giving away, but they are so many I would need years to just write the titles and organise them..
tried looking at the bookcrossers sites, but again, something about them just didn't click
(maybe that self- congratulation..or the tracking down of books- and, no way would I "label" these books) that helped me think- I want them free, to be read, cherished, shared ..or thrown away..
to make a long story short
I am taking them to the cafe next week to start an open, liberated libray
and I am talking with other places in Athens
and we are starting a storytelling club as well. And it was soooo easy.
But that is not the magic part.
on my way back, I stopped at the bakers, in Marathon. There was a pile of books on the table. I asked, and they said..oh, my brother in law leaves them here, people take them and read them and bring them back..
that is the magic part
we are all beginning to think about ..well, everything
this would be unthinkable a couple of years ago..books in the bakers!

Friday, January 6, 2012

the world is made new today

the day after they all left I got up long before dawn, drove over the hills, past the lake, took a train to the south, boarded a ship and travelled over the sea to a land of summer
  I went toSyros to tell stories for a night.I am always amazed and wondering at how, in this country, you can go to so many different places so quickly.
I was transported to a place of almost indescribable beauty.

I saw pidgeons doing their courting dance, people swimming in the sea.

had a drink with friends, slept, coffee at the port, and then I was transported back home following the sea path, the one that gets left behind. The path you make.
here it is windy, rainy and very cold..winter, at last.

today, the 6th, the custom is that the priests bless the waters- all over Greece, in all bodies of water, the blessing is chanted and a cross is thrown in the water- men jump in to retrieve it, and he who comes up with it is the lucky man for the year- he takes the cross to all the houses bringing his good luck with him.
it is usually very cold, the people watching wearing coats and scarves.
it is called the festival of lights in greek- Ton Foton- that says something about sea and sun- but the wind is wailing too loud for me to formulate thoughts into words..
have to check the dripping leaking windows
so today when everything is blessed, cleansed and new
happy new everyday

Monday, January 2, 2012


this boy did go to sing carols with his violin

marathon 1930- Argos's forefather, picture taken at the souvlaki place
a lot of cooking, baking, eating
new years day at the beach.. boys and dogs
i think we burned our whole supply of wood..
tomorrow my eldest son and his dad leave again. it was soo good to be all together these days.
I was having coffee with a friend, telling her that there are three things I want to do -keep in mind- practise this year: live every day, every moment, breathe through the soles of my feet, and love, wholly, totally, everything.

and while i was speaking the alley where we were sitting was filled with music- dauli and zurna- very loud.
and I remembered how this magical, mystical music has been part of the most important moments in my life, pushing me into the realisation of truth through its power
(the video is from youtube -for the flavour)

wishing all the best for all
may it be a good one!

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