Δευτέρα, 30 Απριλίου 2012

Comfortable in my skin

Sitting here, thinking what I want to write about.

I'm thinking I cannot force anything. As my teacher Jonah states " I cannot push the river".

The more relaxed I feel in the moment, the more joyful I am during the moment, the easier life gets. Whether it is travelling or anything else.

At the moment I am just smelling my lots of "nows".

A nice smelling food made by my mother.

A conversation with my dad. Without the anger and resisance to his thoughts and words.

A trip with my sister.

A visit to an old friend who has a 3 year old running around...

Yes, I could moan about the lack of spiritual people. Yes, I can be angry of all the people judging my hair and clothes.

But I decide not to be angry. I'm just listening to the words and letting them flow off me like water. These words don't hurt me like they did in the past.

I feel more conforable in my skin.

And I realise that this city of 70.000 inhabitants is full of life. Citizens cleaning the forests. Music schools performing in theaters. My old teachers are going into politics.

I sit back and take my time. Who am I going to speak to next? What event am I going to attend? Observing rather than engaging. 

I am more than certain that the right people will come my way. The right circomstances will be perfect for me to blossom. And this is a kind of wisdom I aquired through the years. I used to be very anxious to do, to do, to do. I could not wait. I could not observe.

I move but I don't expect. I walk, but I don't expect. Expectations are painful and I try to avoid them.

I just am...

PS I could not resist posting some more photos from my trip in Naousa...

Δευτέρα, 23 Απριλίου 2012

Music, nature and creativity in Naousa

Naousa. A small city in the north of Greece. The town of fresh rivers and waterfalls...

My sister is playing the clarinet in the Philarmonia of our hometown Lamia. Apparently it's one of the best in Greece. So the municipality and philarmonia f Naousa invited the philarmonia of Lamia to play for some patriotic event that happened ages ago.

Two buses, one hundred individuals and their instruments and some guests. The ages of the musicians are from 10 to 70 years old. There are families where the grandmother, the daughter and the grandson play in the same band...

The city is built on a hill and it is like hanging above the ground. Its' end is like a balcony that overlooks the plane lands underneath.

When we arrived at the hotel I gasped. So much beauty! It was on the mountain, in the forest next to a river. I literally run to see the water and listen to it's refreshing sound! Forests, rivers and mountains are my favorite places. Full of fairies and elfs, hahaha! I had the chance to walk around, sit on the grass, greet the ducks and find secret paths with secret streams... Breathing it all in...

In the afternoon the band had to play for Saturday's ceremonies. They got ready, dressed in their special uniforms their instruments ready to play. Both the bands became one and started to march around the city.

Now, I don't really like the idea of a marching band and I don't think I could play in one. They wear the same clothes and their repertoire is ethno-patriotic. Their individuality is deprived. On the other hand, they where so beautiful to look at, the colours of the uniforms combined with the shine of the instruments was so pretty... I took pictures in a frenzy, the details of their hands, feet, intruments, light were just perfect! I was running around to catch up with their marching... The whole process was so creative, I just loved it! I decided to overlook the whole religious-patriotic consept of the procedure and just have fun doing what I love: look, photograph and enjoy the moments.

It was dark when they finished and we all went back to the hotel to eat and rest. The river was still there, it's refreshing sound still there before dreams take over...


Since next days' schedule would be hectic, I decided to get up really early to greet the day and enjoy nature as much as I could. I got up at 7 in the morning, took my coffee and got out in the crispy cold river side. Tears run down my face as I felt the gratitude for this moment... Gratirude for the morning sun rays which played among the tree branches... Gratitude for this sound of the water... Gratitude for the spring colours... Gratitude for myself and the choices I made to get me here! It's magic. I spent three hours walking in the forest among the trees and the streams again. I wished Freeda was there with me! I - once again - made a mental note to get a driving licence and a car so I can take her with me wherever I go!

And then it was time to meet my sister and the rest of the band... This time they where wearing their white and blue summer uniforms. Such beauty in the faces of the musicians... Such light and shine as they carried their instruments!

Once more there were pictures to be taken and details to be photographed! I had run out of space in my camera but I did not need to worry. A young man from the band had seen me take photos and trusted me his expensive camera to take pictures. I managed to fill his camera too! All in all, there were 500 photographs! Photographs I can give to the band, pictures that might be part of an exhibition, pictures of the river and the forest... There is creative homework to be done and I surely love it!

After a lot of creative running around, a lot of sunburn and heat, the service came to an end. I felt so alive and I couldn't help smiling!

My younger sister was wonderful, she was enjoying her service so much and she was so beautiful in both the uniforms! I do love her, because she also sees the beauty in everything. In her own special way. She is really cool! I hadn't had the chance to get to know my sister. We were always literally miles apart. And now I can see how much we have in common and how she's grown to be a true lady in her heart. I love u sis!

And this is where the trip ends. Two days full of colours and creativity and beauty. New aquaintances. They want me to join the band but I don't feel that's my role. I might follow them as their photographer, who knows? Time will tell. I might do a photography exhibition in their honour, or sing with the jazz brass section.

The fact is, that I met a group of individuals who love what they do, they are commited to their cause and this is refreshing. It really shows that small cities are alive and active and it's the individuals' choise to be active or passive. It was really a preconseption of mine, that I would be buried in this small city. My misconseption is crumbling. Ho - rayy!


Παρασκευή, 20 Απριλίου 2012

travellerlina emerges effortlessly

 The days go by quietly. My walks with Freeda are really rewarding. New light and new paths in new mountains.

Tommorow I'll travel with my sister to a town called Naoussa in the region of Imathia.

It seems lately I have many chances to travel in the mainland of Greece. I don't know much about the beauties of the mainland and I'm really happy to be exploring them. After my trip to Davlia-Delphi-Amfissa-Galaxidi-Araxova with my griend G., I'm really exhited to travel up North!

I'll be back on Monday with images from the city... 

I chose the title, because it seems I don't have to struggle or fight for these small trips. They come effortlessly. They are part of life. Simple, but very important to my phsychology.

It seems I've gone a long way to love myself, trust myself. Notice how changes come quietly, gently... At least I'm noticing...

Have a good day!

Σάββατο, 14 Απριλίου 2012

Tradition...

 Spring has fully blossomed and a lot has happened the past six days. I met old friends and made some new already. I walked on new trails on the mountain with Freeda. I helped my mom dye eggs red. I even went with her to the church for the decoration of the "Epitafios" Christ's tomb, on Thursday night. The church's protocol is as follows:

Thursday night, Christ dies.

Thursday midnight until Friday morning, the women decorate a wooden tomb.

So I went to take some pictures and do a sociological study... The women were really happy. There was a lot of noise. There was a lot of christian gossip about how they did not like the final look of the tomb. Around 3 in the morning I was so bored, I fell asleep on a wooden chair. My mom took pity on me and said we can go now. But on the way home she wanted to see the tomb of the central church. So we went in this church. She found her friends, started helping them with the decoration and I continued sleeping on another wooden chair until 4 in the morning. More christianic gossip about the money spent on flowers. Very interesting. I made a mental note, not to do this ever again in my life.

Friday night, each church takes out it's decorated tomb and they all go around town until they meet in the center of the city. Lots of people, lots of priests, lots of gossip about which tomb is better. Lots of nonsense...

My sister was playing the clarinet in the Philarmonic band for the first time. I couldn't miss it! She was great and the music piece they were playing was exellent. I was constantly worried my mom would burn someone's hair with her big candle. She kept turning round to talk to me and she did not pay attention to the flame...

Saturday night, at midnight it's the ressurection. Lots of noise, lots of people wearing their best clothes. Lots of gossip. We go to the church for 10 minutes and then go for the food. The easter fasting is officially over. We can now eat meat. So we stuff ourselves with a soup called "magiritsa" made of lamb's guts, aniseed and fresh onions. my personal favorite, I just hoped I did not have to eat it in the middle of the night...

I'll skip the church bit and go straight for the food. I had enough religious experiences to last me for many years.

On the bottom line, it was fun doing something with my mother.

Hope you enjoy the photos...



















Κυριακή, 8 Απριλίου 2012

Vindication

So I spent Thursday and Friday crying. Feeling the solitude. I was so sad I was kicked out of the house I was living the past year and a half.

During Antonis's illness, apart from the friends who helped us, there were two people who were really close. Antonis's cousins. I would call them and they would be there. They would cook for us. They would stay with him when I had to go out of the house. They came to the hospital to pick me up in the middle of the night when Antonis died.

I was so hurt they did not stand up for me when the house was locked... I had lost my trust in them. I sent them an angry message. They replied that they do understand my rage and that the were not involved in this outrageous situation. They were ashamed. They would help me get my belongings back.

So me and my father drove back to Athens yesterday. Until the last moment I was unsure about their intentions. I called my friend to be a witness in case the police came again. I would not go in the house.

One of the cousins waited for me. She told me to get inside and get my stuff. I refused and she insisted. So I went inside. And started loading the car.

The fabrics I bought, the curtins my mom made for us, the chairs I had before I met Antonis, the cushions I brought from Cairo... the list goes on. My life with him. His cousin said I deserve at least one box of CDs and a box of books. I took them.

The car was loaded and I felt relieved. I said goodbye. Never again. Greeks have a saying. "Throw a black stone behind you". It means never return to a place again. Everything was quiet. Everything happened quickly.

The situation made me think. Of my attachment to material things. Of my attachment to my relationship with Antonis. Are we the objects? No. But we need the connection. We need to be reminded of all the beautiful things we created.

So now I am officially done with Athens. I have officially moved to my hometown.

Everytime I go to a new place to stay for a while, it rains. It rained in Evia, it rained in Skyros, it rained in Italy. Yesterday, on our way home it was raining. It's a good sign.

My life continues...


Πέμπτη, 5 Απριλίου 2012

Strong healing, strong opposite polarity

I'll write this down once, so I don't have to think about it again in my life.

Yesterday I had packed my things and I was ready to leave Athens. Before I left, I would do a Tai Yi session with my teacher, Kanta Katz.

I woke up in the morning and - walking with Freeda on the mountain - I was felling so grateful about everything, all the blessings that were before my eyes, the clouds, the sun, the city, spring, trees, flowers... My day had started wonderfully!

So, I had my session, it was fantastic.

And then I went home. The locks were changed and I could not get inside. Freeda was locked in, my laptop and my clothes were locked in. I was outraged! Thankfully, the house was on ground level and I got in the front porch climbing the fence. I tried to break in from the window but they changed that lock too. I asked for a hammer from the neighbors and started smashing the shutters. I was smashing, shouting, cursing, I was sooo angry! This was the "thank you"? For staying with their son all night long in the hospital, while they were coming and going and not asking if we need anything?

I called my dad and he said he is coming right away. His house is two hours driving.

I started taking out of the house what I could. My clothes, my laptop, my dog, my dad's tv, my sister's keyboard, some framed works by antonis...

Called Antonis's cousin and she said there was a restraining order against me and I could not take anything. I took my stuff to the neighbors. I was crying. This was the real death of Antonis. Nothing to remind me of him. All these hundreds of CDs, the Stereo...

The police came. I was very scared. Are they going to take me to prison? For fucking taking what was mine? The police said everything is going to be ok. I should not worry. The family started yelling at me. These were the same people who said that all these thak you's crying? For what I did for their child? That's scitzofrenia! No wonder Antonis developed cancer and died... Such a family!

They did me a favor and didn't press charges for the shutter I smashed. They let me get some more things. The neighbors stood up for me and I stood up for myself. I could not believe the hatred and the rage.

I mentioned Tai Yi in the beginning because this is what happened. Jonah says that when you make a step into the light an opposite polarity will come and check your willingness to step to the light. The stronger the step, the stronger the healing, the stronger the opposite polarty. And this was such a strong opposite polarity! Meaning, the healing I did yesterday was very strong healing, shaking my beliefs big time!

When this was over, I thought what had really happened. I had to move on. I had to turn the page. Many things would remind me of my past life. The traveller must travel light. I'm sure that this is what Antonis would want for me. I stood by him. Not only through the illness, but all the years we were toghether. because I loved him. I admired him. He was my whole world. The past 4 years, when he met someone he said he does not have a family. That they are all dead. He was right. He was not this mentally ill family. He was a human with a divine light surrounding him.

Our house was full of light and colours. When I went in to get my stuff it was dark and heavy. These people had instantly changed the energy of the house. Instead of talking to me, asking for that they want, they sent the police. Good for them. This is their state of mind. It was a wonderful opportunity to detach from any emotional connectivity regarding the family.

My friend Anastasia came. She hugged me. She loves me. Like a sister.

My father came. He loves me. He is my father. 

He drives a Mercedes. Am I worth a Mercedes? Yes. I am worth all the abundance and help from the universe. Yes, my father drives me nuts sometimes, but at the bottom line he is a good man who loves his family.

By 8 o clock I had the key to my new appartment. It looks like a hotel room, it's tiny! I thought this is a good start to my travels, I better get used to live in hotel-like rooms, hahaha!

So I'm starting all over again.

I'm travelling light.

Antonis is in my heart and he will always be in my heart.

But now I've got a book to write. The book of Elina's life. Travellerlina's life.

Goodbye old, good morning new.

Have a good day...

Τρίτη, 3 Απριλίου 2012

A new chapter is about to be written...

What should I say...

On September 2010 I was moving from my house in the center of Athens with a plan to travel around the world.

On December 2010 I came back and lived in a house in the western suburbs of Athens.

On April 2012 I am moving once again. Boxes, bubble wrap, scissors, tape. My history repeats itself.

I can't sleep very long, I am too anxious. One more time I'm saying goodbye to Athens.

One more step, one more beginning.

Life moves in circles and my circle here is coming to a close. This house has not got nice memories. It has memories of a winter in poverty and then a winter in disease. Some say this house is cursed. This once was the house of a family of 5. Three are dead, one is in a mental hospital and the tragic father who built this house has long gone to live in a village. There is a heavy heritage in this house. It's going to be empty and dark after I go. No one to claim it.

Antonis wanted to write a book on his tragic family story. But he never did. And this was his book, I'm not going to go into the details of it.


My book continues through this public diary. The laughs and the tears, the exhitement and the fear. It's all here. Made on the go.

On the fifth of April, a new chapter begins. In another city. Close to my family.

To be continued of course...