During the hot summer months in Athens my mother liked to sit on the balcony in the afternoon and eat pieces of watermelon. This would be her last summer of doing just that. She had this bad habit of spitting out the seeds. Many of them would stick to the marble floor. But, there were some seeds that landed in the pot in front of her. A pot that I had planted a yucca in. By some strange miracle the seed germinated just a few weeks ago and a watermelon vine started growing. And now there is a cute little watermelon growing from the vine! I have tried countless times to plant seeds in these pots and most of the time they have not germinated. It’s a hit or miss with seeds, that’s why the more seeds planted the better chance of success. So my family and I were shocked that this seed actually germinated. It was such a funny, yet comforting thing to have happen close to a year after her passing. Perhaps it’s a message that life continues and to flourish and to grow and not to give up even in difficult circumstances.
Happy new month!
‘Today is the first of August. It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: ‘After a heavy rainfall, poems titled ‘Rain’ pour in from across the nation.’ Sylvia Plath
Cracks on my building.
I’m still in shock about Friday’s 5,3 earthquake here in Athens. Yes, Greece is a seismic country and we have dozens of earthquakes everyday, bust most are not felt and they are not that bad. One seismologist said that Greece has a 5 Richter quake each month, however, this was something else! I have never felt one like this before. It was like a nightmare. Everything was shaking violently. I wasn’t in Athens for the last huge catastrophic 1999 quake. So this was my first big one. Everything was falling all around me. Most buildings in Athens are anti seismic, but when the ground shakes you are going to feel it no matter what kind of building you are in. There was no warning from seismologists (scientist don’t know everything even though they think they do) and no smaller earthquakes had occurred before to prepare us for a bigger one. It just came fast and furious! I thought it was the end! After the earthquake I had a migraine and was really shook for hours after the quake. I didn’t want to go inside and there were dozens of aftershocks-I only felt one. Another crazy July! I am beginning to really dislike the month of July.
Earthquake Safety Tips:
1.Do not panic too much (easier said than done) but try not to panic and scream.
2.Do not run around like a scared mouse (again easier said than done).
3. Hide under a heavy table or got to the center of the room and cover your head. Glass and falling debris might fall on you. When an earthquake strikes it is hard to move. You are in shock and panicked. There is no time to run outside, so it’s best to duck for cover.
4. Avoid the stairs and elevators. The power will go out and you will get stuck in the elevator. The stairs will shake and be too wobbly and you can have an accident.
5. If you live in a country with lots of seismic activity avoid putting up a lot of shelves on the wall or glass objects and frames. A few glass items in my room had fallen and I cut myself when I was cleaning up. I can’t imagine what would have happened if i was in the room while all the glass was falling everywhere! 😦
6. Be prepared for headaches. A lot of people get them after a quake.
7. Always make sure that you are in a anti-seismic building. Avoid old structures. There were a couple that collapsed in the downtown area of Athens.
The smell of rain in the summer air Η μυρωδιά της βροχής στον καλοκαιρινό αέρα
everything is changing όλα αλλάζουν
the sky rages ο ουρανός μαίνεται
the ground shakes το έδαφος κουνιέται
unstable mother earth ασταθής γη
angry since birth. θυμωμένη από τη γέννηση της.
The old man sat on his chair with a look of confusion and sadness worn on his face.
“What’s is it?” I asked
“I had a crazy dream last night. I’ll never forget it.”
“Alright. So what? I can tell you a million crazy dreams that I’ve had. Don’t let whatever you saw bother you too much.” I said to the old man/ I was worried that the old man was going to give himself a stroke.
“Let me tell you about the dream. I bet you’ve never seen or heard of this kind of dream before in your life!”
The old man proceeded to tell me his dream with great enthusiasm.
“It took place in Egypt in one of the pyramids. A group of archaeologists had just uncovered a tomb belonging to a pharaoh from four thousand years ago. When they opened the tomb the mummy opened his eyes. The archaeologists were shocked. The mummy slowly sat up in his grave and his bandages began to fall off. He asked for a translator. In the next scene he was looking out at the landscape of the world. Looking at all of the chaos. Then the pharaoh angrily exclaimed ‘savages, those people are savages!”
I looked at the old man with a look of disbelief.
” You’re kidding me now?”
“Why would I kid?” said the old man with an air of annoyance.
“He was so angry. “Savages” said the Pharaoh!”
I didn’t know what else to tell the old man. But, that he was right I had never heard of such a dream before.
Later that week I came across an article about a four thousand year old tomb of a pharaoh that had been uncovered. Chills poured down my body. The old man knew nothing of Egyptology how could he have guessed the date correctly?
I sometimes wonder about our ancestors-all of our ancestors. What do they think of us modern humans? They cannot be pleased with what we have done to the planet and how we treat each other.
This is a message from the beyond that they are horrified by what they are seeing on this earth.
*Based on a true story
Μy 500th post! Wow that’s a lot :)))
The beautiful gladiolus flower takes 60 days to bloom, but it is well worth the wait. 🙂
Το όμορφο λουλούδι γλαδιόλες διαρκεί 60 ημέρες για να ανθίσει, αλλά είναι καλά αξίζει η αναμονή. 🙂
‘Hikikomori’ Illustration by Angela Zafiris
After watching a documentary about the Hikikomori in Japan I was inspired to write this post and make a little illustration.
The word ‘Hikikomori’ is a Japanese for a reclusive person or a ‘modern -day hermit’. Usually young people who don’t leave their rooms for up to 6 months or even years. Although there are many people who are reclusive in most countries, it seems to be a big public health issue in Japan, as over half a million Japanese youth are said to be Hikikomori. Social pressure, shyness and depression are all contributing factors to the problem.
Η λέξη «Hikikomori» είναι μια Ιαπωνική λέξη που σημαίνει ένα απομονωμένο άτομο ή ένας «σύγχρονος ερημίτης». Hikikomori είναι συνήθως νέοι που δεν εγκαταλείπουν τα δωμάτιά τους για 6 μήνες ή και χρόνια. Αν και υπάρχουν πολλοί άνθρωποι που είναι απομονωμένοι στις περισσότερες χώρες, φαίνεται να είναι ένα μεγάλο ζήτημα δημόσιας υγείας στην Ιαπωνία, καθώς πάνω από μισό εκατομμύριο Ιάπωνες θεωρούνταιι ότι είναι Hikikomori. Η κοινωνική πίεση, η συστολή και η κατάθλιψη αποτελούν όλους τους παράγοντες που συμβάλλουν το πρόβλημα.
My beautiful lilium bloomed again this year.
Secrets never revealed in the light of day
Hidden, too frightened to come out to play
too slow to burn
too fast to catch
Too shadowy to be your object
to aim and strike at
I remain with a watchful eye
like a creature in the night
Watching the bright stars fall and fade away
Smile in the grey shade
Resilience is the key to the dream.