Παρασκευή, 31 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

The last day...

... of the year.
A new year is coming.
New adventures, new perspective.
Let's thank the old.
Let's embrace, understand and forgive it.
The old was new last year...

From now. Let's eat cleener foods, let's love unconditionally,  let's follow our heart's paths with joy and passion, let's search deep inside us for the answer.

On days like this I think about my teacher, Jonah. He says " its easy to love, play, laugh!"

I'll dedicate this year to LOVE - PLAY - LAUGH!

Happy new year!

Δευτέρα, 27 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

The subject we call love

Lately I have been thinking about love. It's probably because everyone talks about love on the occasion of christmas. We, the humankind, have given the name love to many things.
Control has been disguised as love. (I love you when you do certain things).
Jealousy disguised as love. (I love you as long as you don't love anyone else).
Other things that I can't really make a list right now.

I have been through the above.

But something was always missing. That's why I decided to look deeper into love and the ways I used to love. Sometimes I might even go into an older mode, until I realise it and change it. Do I believe in a universal family that loves me unconditionally? I sure do. Do I keep forgetting that? All the time.

Every time I feel desperate I have to look in the mirror. Do I love myself? Hmmm. Sometimes I don't. especially when my eyes are swallen from crying. Sometimes I can see behind the red eyes and send me some love.

Sometimes I need love to come from out there. But there is a little sparkle, voice, whatever, in me, that says that love can only come from the inside.
Inside you is the family, the lover, the brothers and the sisters, the cats, the dogs and everyone!
Inside you is the strength we keep looking for from the outside.
It's inside I have to look for love and I keep forgetting. Because I'm only human. And I can forgive myself for being who I am.

Isn't that sweet?

Κυριακή, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Beautiful, warm, Greek Christmas!

This country is blessed with warm weather. I don't particularly like cold and it was cold enough in Italy. So I feel blessed to have come back to Greece and find these temperatures.

Christmas was lovely! We hicked the mountain for hours and hours and we saw the city from up top. It was like flying over Athens... And the temperature was even lovelier, like walking in nature in the Spring ... Some people moan about the weather, but I like it a lot.

Emotionally. Peace and quiet. Playful. Adventurus. My adventures have not finished. Everyday I am cooking something different. I am expanding. Everyday I go a little bit further on the mountain. I am expanding. Every day I find a beautiful picture, a beautiful plant, a beautiful spot I had never seen before. Beauty is there for you to discover. I'm taking my time to look back before I make my next step. December is a month to retreat and look back on your achievements. January is all about setting your new goals for the new year.

My birthday was also a great kitchen adventure! We made pizza in a way we hadn't done before. Pizza with apples and honey and cinnamon! Pizza apple pie! It was my homemade birthday cake! And it was delicious... Thanks for all your wishes... 

I hope all of you are happy, loved and content. I hope all of you do what your heart desires without fear. Have a great holiday!

Δευτέρα, 20 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

On writing a new post...

Sorry I disappeared. I guess writing, like everything else in life, moves in circles. Sometimes you feel like writing a lot, others your spirit rests. Plus, my internet connection at the moment involves me, going out of my way to find a connection which does not belong to me...

All these days I have been battling with emotions. Well, battling might not be the right word. More like trying to understand my emotions. To understand what is going on in my head. Again, as the moon grows to a full and my birthday approaches – tomorrow - along with a moon eclipse, things are clearing up.

I started feeling a little bit better about my decision to come back – yes, all this time I had the feeling I was doing something wrong.

But who will determine right and wrong?  I have read somewhere that what is wrong for someone might be right for someone else.

Anyway, the verdict is this. The more I move, the more solutions are coming my way. The job has opened up because I went out there and looked for it.

That’s it for now. If you are born on the 21st of December, the smallest day of the year, the winter solstice, happy birthday!

Πέμπτη, 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

A week in Athens

I'm almost happy. I almost have a job.

My mind is straying into imaginary fights with everyone, but I try to stay calm and focused. What I need now is not fights in my head, I need to be an adult and work for money.

It takes a lot of courage to have very little and be content and grateful for all you have. Let's see what I have. I have knowledge to make bread. which I make everyday. Which saves me from spending money to go to the bakers. We are making bread with all possible ways. Bread with olives. Bread with dried tomatos. Bread with oil and oregano. Pizza with okres and potatos and red sauce (very unique and very tasty!) Pizza caltzone with greenery we picked up from the mountain next to our house. Even bread with chocolate! We are very poor and very rich in a special way. We laugh a lot. We are creative with what we have.

And, hopefully, I will start working tomorrow. I need cash. It is very easy to go into a moaning mode, but this will not help anything. I'll stay happy, focused and creative. I brought myself here, I will take me out of here.

Meanwhile, these two guys are showing me what unconditional loving means. Thank you, you lovely creatures!

Κυριακή, 12 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

My beautiful new home

It's all new. I live in a place which is not mine, but is becoming mine slowly. Here, I don't have to pay rent. Here there is a relationship which I tried to end but is too strong to dissolve. Me and my man are setting new rules, new foundations. This is what I asked for after all. A loving relationship. This man supports me in whatever decision I make. There is trust. Three days in Athens. Three days of reconcilliation.

Tomorrow is Monday. I will start looking for a job.

I look back at what I did and I'm proud. Two months in Italy. Tuscania, Assisi, Viterbo, Rome. Living with Italians. Tasting the food. Working really hard until I crashed. This trip showed me a lot. Next time I will travel lighter. Next time I will go to a place which requires less work. Next time I will have money to last me. For a week, for a month, for as long as it takes. Now I know it's not that easy to find a job abroad.

It was snowing yesterday. White fluffy snow. Zero temperature. Very unusual for Greece. but in by heart there is warmth. About making the right decision. About being in an emotionally warm place.

My journey continues here in Greece. I have a lot to learn and I have a lot to remember.

Meanwhile, I am perfecting my skills in making pizza and foccacia, eating chocolate with peperoncino and drinking Jim's homemade limoncello. Italy is here, in our plates and taste. Narrating stories from the olive harvest and Rome and everything I did. It's a very creative process. And one thing I realise is that every country gives you something to take home. Some kind of knowledge and some kind of air. Sharing all these is irreplaceable and wonderful!

Thanks for being here my beloved friends. Thanks for being here my beloved self.

Παρασκευή, 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

My body in Athens, my mind still in Rome

 And now I’m back in Athens. At a warm environment full of love. Antonis picked me up from the airport. I was so glad to see him! And I cried when I saw Freeda…

…but I haven’t stopped thinking about Rome. So let’s see what I did on my third day in Rome! First I wanted to see Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It was just around the corner from the Pantheon, but I missed it the previous day. What was interesting about this church is Bernini’s little elephant in front of it. It’s a bit dirty, but it’s still cute! And a Michelangelo sculpture of Christ inside… Michelangelo and Bernini. The two superstars of Rome.

After walking around a bit and enjoying the sun, I decided to go up at St Peter’s Basilica.  I was sure the view from up there would be great... So, here I am, standing in the queue one more time... waiting and waiting... until finally I can go up. 550 stairs without the lift. 350 with the lift. I went with the second option. So up we go, me and everyone else. Higher and higher to a dizzying small staircase. There was a stop just under the basilica, inside the church. I could see all these little people walking around the church underneath me. Christian extravaganza!

Even higher was the cuppola. A small balcony on top of St Peter's. It took me a while to get used to the hight and to get rid of this scary feeling that the handrail will fall and we will fall with it. I am very good at making destruction visions in my head... Anyway, I sent these bad thoughts away and started enjoying myself... Now that I go back thiinking about it, it was terribly high! But it was an amazing experience! 

Even the descending was dizzying!

 Anyway, I was thinking of going to the Vatican galleries too, to see Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel, but I was too hungry! So walking I discovered a tiny little trattoria where Romans where eating. It did not have a sign and it was definately not touristic. And it was full of locals. That's where you want to go for a real taste of Rome! And my nose did not fool me. Pasta carbonara (with eggs and not cream, like the Italians make it) and two HUGE meatballs that I did not manage to eat because I was so full!
My next stop was again piazza Navona where I sat down and digested my perfect lunch. And started looking at the crowds. During Christmas there is a street market full of Befana dolls. Befana is the lady who brings gifts to Italian kids on New Years or later I can't remeber, and she looks like a witch! I must have spent at least two hours walking around and sitting around...

I was told I sould avoid the famous Fontana di Trevi because it's too crowded with people. But I still went because there was nothing else I could think about doing. And it was full of tourists. Still, it was a big, beautiful fountain.

The next day I walked and walked and the highlight was Bernini's sculpture of St Teresa. I wanted to see this sculpture up close because I almost did a Phd on the eroticism of the Renaissance. She really looks like she's having an orgasm! It was really a highlight!

And now I'm back after a difficult night of sleeping at the airport for my 7 o clock flight...

And I'm very content. Two days now I make pizza's for my beloved man and walking my beloved dog! It's so good to be home!

Τρίτη, 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Walking in Rome all day...

...can be challenging. I have walked for kilometers the past few days and my feet are screaming "no more" but I have one more day left so I'll make the most of it.

Let's see...

Yesterday the weather forecast was saying it's going to rain. No problem. I decided to head to the Campodoglio, where the infamous stairs and piazza of Michelangelo is. Once I crossed Tevere - the river - I got lost of course. I was looking at the walls, then looking at my map, then looking for a sign, then my map again... no luck. I couldn't figure it out... And there comes an angel. An elegant lady in her sixties, dressed in a fur coat and some gold jewllery and asks if I am lost and if I need help. I told her where I want to go and she was going the same way. So here I am, guided by this elegant angel through the Jewish quarters of Rome and she tells me that the Romans owe everything to the Greeks. She even knew that Greece was left behind on everything because of the Ottoman Empire... I tell her I am an art historian and she compliments on my well spoken Italian... I was in heaven. I thanked her very much and I went on my way!

From then on, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, thanks to my friend Stephanie... I wanted to go to the cafe of the museum and have a cappuccino on the terrace! Which was overlooking the whole of Rome! Heaven one more time!

And then I walked to the ancient magnificence of Rome. All the way to the Colosseum. The road was scattered with antiquity, temples of ancient gods and arcs of emperors. Sorry, I can't provide more information on what I saw, I like walking, but I don't like to read pages and pages of historic stuff...

Slowly I approached the Colosseum. I have one statement. It's another exaggeration. It's huge! I guess it's in the blood of Romans to exaggerate. Let's make the biggest temples, the biggest stadiums, the biggest piazzas, the biggest churches! What else can I say... They were competing the Greeks, they were even competing with each other on the biggest achievements! It started raining when I got to the Colosseum so I bought a green umbrella from a Pakistani guy. Like in Greece, as soon as the first drops of rain fall, they appear. And they are really useful!

Back to the centre of the city, I walked to Piazza Navona one more time. I read a cool story about the fountain. It's all about four rivers meeting and the most interesting fact is that one of them is Nile. But his head is covered because they did not know where Nile's sprung from at the time! I like little details like that! So here is a pisture of the blindfolded Nile...

Then from Piazza Navona on to the other end of Rome, Piazza del Popolo. Another huge piazza. With a huge obelisc and huge fountains representing Greek gods. Seen this done that. Ok. And then I walked again to what seemed like a very rich part of the city. It was called via del Campo and it was packed with stores. The highlight of the street was a yellow ferrari that everyone was taking pictures of. Really beautiful. I took a picture too...

I then went to the French quarters to see the Carravagio's. There is somehting magnificent in experiencing the actual work of art in it's actual space. I mean, I had seen these paintings before, but watching them there, on the spot, was something else. They were beautiful.

And then it was time for dinner. I spoiled myself in a trattoria. And what did I eat? The plant I planted when I first got to Italy. Remember? Artichokes! Beautifully fried artichokes with parmesan cheese on top and lemon on the side! A glass of red wine and red pasta. And chocolate dream for dessert.

And then I went to bed!

I am so happy to be here... I am so glad to be walking these streets... There is a certain lonelyness that haunts me, but I know I can share all of it with my readers. Thanks for following. Thanks for reading. Today's journey can be described tomorrow. Right now I am too tired to write. So bare with me...

Κυριακή, 5 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Roma, Roma

Everything they say is true. Rome is an exaggeration. An exaggeration of antiquity, religion, wealth and art.

The first thing I did after I dumped my luggage in the hostel (remind me next time to take less things with me and travel lighter please!) I headed for the Vatican. It was walking distance from my hostel. No, wait. I fisrt had two slices of pizza near the hostel! Very good. Ok. Now the Vatican. I walk up to the square of St Peter and think I'll get in the church from the left. No, no, no. I have to walk aaall over to the other side of the Piazza, get in line to be checked for weapons and then get into the church.

The verdict. St. Peter's is the epitome of exaggeration. The biggest, the highest, the whateverest. Full of gold, full of marble, full of pope's statues. The only thing that I really admired was Michelangelo's Pieta and it's so small and delicate compared to everything else in the church. he was very young when he made it and it's really beautiful. Other than that, it was the church saying you little people, you better respect us because we are so big and rich... Anyway, I don't want to be too bitchy, all the superstars of the Renaissance made something for that church. Michelangelo and the rest.

And then I walked around. For hours and hours. Rome by night. I followed the crowds to Piazza Navona. It had all the founains and it was beautiful but full of stalls selling stuff for tourists. it was packed with people and I guess the Romans were out too since it's a Sunday.

All Romans go around Rome with their little or their big dogs, pure breeds or strays, everyone seems to have one and they take them everywhere, the train stations, the cafe's, buses... I wish it was like that in Greece too... And they are very elegant. Really beautiful people the Italians of all ages. Great sense of taste.

By seven o clock I was very tired. I thought I'd go home and start early tomorrow. Here is where I am staying. I tried to use the shower but it doesn't want to work for me. I kind of had a shower with a little bit of burning hot water and a little bit of cold water. I'm a little bit blonde and it's taking me some time to figure it out.


The fact is, I am glad I am here, I'm really happy to be walking around Rome with a really tight budget and I'm really happy to be going back to Greece!

Σάββατο, 4 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Heading to Rome tomorrow

When I first came here, the sun was up at 6.30 in the morning. Now it’s seven in the morning and it’s still dark.

Tomorrow I am leaving. I packed my bags and I am ready to discover Rome. I always thought that one needs at least a month just to get the idea of what Rome is like.

I did get an idea two days ago, when I went to deliver some of Lorenzo's stuff. But I did not get out of the car so all my photos are from the car. Still, it llooked pretty impressive!

I have four days. Sunday to Wednesday. I’ll play tourist this time. I’ll walk around and see the sites. I’ll eat pizza and gelato. I may even try a restaurant. I want to see at least one real Caravaggio. And one Bellini, and maybe one Michelangelo. Rome is full of art. Antiquity, to Renaissance, to Christianity. Isn’t it funny, that the Romans were so severely against the Christians and still Rome became the biggest center of Catholicism? The center of Europe, the center of manipulating mass consciousness by religion and fear… Sorry to all religious people out there, but I refuse to believe in a God that will punish you if you don’t do certain things. I prefer to believe that I am my own God and I can create my own reality. Maybe that is why I haven’t been to Rome yet.

Let’s see the feeling I get from the city. My friend Stephanie drw me a couple of maps of her favorite places in Rome. I can't wait to go to her favorite pizzeria! Tomorrow then...

Πέμπτη, 2 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

My baby dream...

I know I have to move.

Move where? Do what? I have a ticket. To Greece. Back to safety. Back to the things I know well. Back to love. Back.

Back to set priorities. Back to organize better. To leave again with a different mind setting. No more leaving with anger. No more leaving with quilt. No more leaving with uncertainty. I need to make some kind of peace.

Sometimes I do things like that. I get so anxious and scared that it will never happen, that I do it in a rush.

But now I have done it. I have already prepared the ground. I managed to spend 2 months in wonderful Italy. And I wrote all about it. Nothing will ever change that experience. I have already done it. I am a writer and a traveller. That’s what I wanted to do. I did it.

I am enriched by living in all those places, closer to nature. First, on the mountains of North Evia. Then, in the planes of Skyros. Now, in the wavy volcanic land of North Lazio. I like the farmer’s lives. Food tastes better. The air I breathe is better. Animals are very close. I don’t want to stop doing that and I won’t.

We have grown away from the earth that feeds us. We have put so many chemicals on it. But I need to educate myself by helping the ones that don’t see earth as pure income. There is art and beauty and aesthetics in nature. I have a teacher who inspires me. His name is Jonah. He always asks us to listen to our hearts. That love will lighten our paths. That’s what I’m trying to do every single day. Listen to my heart’s desires.

My next best idea is to go and help in a farm in Spain. Several farms have already invited me to join them. And I will do, after I spend Christmas with my family and friends. My journey continues.  

I'm not giving up on my dream. I just want to stabilise my dream. It's still a baby and it needs to be comforted. I don't want my dream to be full of fear. I want it to be safe and full of joy, like it always is.

I have tried to find any job in Italy. I had good references to do anything, babysitting, house sitting, house cleaning, anything. But nothing opened up. And there is a reason. I'm sure there is a reason. Going back to Greece will give me some time. To organise better. I don't have any bills to pay over there and that's making my life easier.

I will continue writing aand I have faith in myself. I think it takes more courage to admit I want go back. I know I'm brave and I know I'll do whatever my heart desires me to do.   

Τετάρτη, 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Life is full of changes

I am free to decide whatever my heart desires. I got my ticket for Greece and I am so happy! I can actually meet my friends, share all my experiences and takee my time before I go somewhere else!

Myself is very considerate. Elina does not punish Elina because she did or she did not do something. I love my decisions and I respect my decisions. They are mine after all.

I found myself in a crossroad and I respect what my heart desires.

My plan is to work, raise money and leave for Spain in February.

I am peaceful and serene. There's no rush and there is no expectation. There has been turbulance inside of me. But it's all clear now. And the people that really love me still support me whatever I decide. That is what I call pure, unconditional loving. And everyday I try to love myself unconditionally. There is a certain power in that.

Have I failed some of you? I am really sorry but this is not about you. It's about me. And my love for myself. I hope everyone had this attitude for themselves. This would definately be a better world.

So, I'll go back, feel the warm welcome and leave again.

And before I leave Italy, I'm going to spend some time in Rome, which I have never seen. And that will be my next adventure!

Be well, be happy, be loved by yourselves!