May 24, 2014


Cafe at Mega Livadi.  Typical to
have such lovely tavernas on the shore.

Just as images of Greece entered my mind before coming, thoughts of Olympia USA are arriving without effort as my stay here comes toward a close.  It’s natural to have this happen.  Here in Serifos the tallest trees are royal palms although the tallest tree I saw, a giant eucalyptus, stood behind the tribute to Constantinos Speras.  The tree looked old enough to have been there when he was alive.  In Olympia, it’s all trees. trees, trees.

My supermarket and a black cat on the road looking
like a he's ready for a shootout in Dodge.
I have not been in Livadi entirely as a tourist.  Every day I have simply lived here in somewhat the way the Greeks live here.  Granted I’m not Greek so it’s presumptuous of me to say this.  But I’ve done my laundry and hung it out to dry, shopped at the local markets with the regulars, cooked food that made sense to me even though it wasn’t truly Greek flavors, cleaned my house with the tools that are used here, endured the wind the same as everyone, walked around, rode the bus, carried away my trash, did everyday life.  So I am feeling a certain connection here that is warm and I’ll take back a sense of relatedness.  At the same time, I have not done much talking, just listening to the world here, taking it all in.  When I did speak with people I generally asked questions.  I was typically not asked questions in response.  I won’t mind being in company again with known friends and taking up another kind of everyday life.

Old door at the Hora.
Yet five and a half days to go on Serifos.  I return to Athens by boat on Friday evening.  On Saturday it will be at the National Archeological Museum.  Sunday morning, June 1, I fly out from Athens to Toronto to Seattle.  There is always more one could do or could have done but I’m not the sort to have to conquer every detail of a place.  I saw a couple at the Hora who were looking at the hiking map of the island with some sense of distress and they were saying, “Oh, we didn’t go on this trail.  Maybe we should do that one.  And we didn’t go on the west trail.  We didn’t see it.”  It seemed as if they had a need to gobble up every inch of the island to say that they had actually seen it. 

Pretty much, having driven around the whole island, it is the same although there are some different spectacular views from one place to another.  Being content with what one has seen and holding it as one’s own experience is quite fine for me.  I don’t have to say that I’ve walked every inch.  I prefer to say that where I walked was realized.  On days when I stayed downtown and helped with the mural, I was entirely content with that adventure.  On days when I battened the shutters against the wind and stayed home, I felt equally content.  Some days I just stayed home, wrote, walked downtown, sat on the patio and looked at the bay.  I’m getting old and simple and a little can go a long way.  But I think what I’ve seen and felt was a lot and I feel enriched for having experienced the antiquities and to have carried the mythic stories to this place.  I can only think that when I watch the Perseid Meteor Shower in August, the constellations of Perseus and Andromeda will offer new meaning and I’ll have the treasure of having stood on this ground where people believe that the real people of Perseus and Andromeda actually walked.

There are eleven cats in this collection
that run around all day pestering for food.
During siesta they will not
move even if I begin work
in my kitchen.
They've obviously just been fed.
And these cats, there are actually eleven of them, will have to find a new source to beg from.