LomoChrome Metropolis (100-400), GR 2021

Locations: Kastra, Ano Poli, Seich Sou forest, Nea Paralia, Thessaloniki Greece, December-January 2020-2021.

Minolta dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). LomoChrome Metropolis 100-400 ISO, 35mm film.

MY COVID-19 DIARY #2

The following blog entry includes mostly poetry about my own experience with Covid-19 a year ago in September and October of 2020. I decided to leave most of my writing in its initial and raw form because it vibrates with my physical and mental struggle with the virus. It is a stream of consciousness if you will. It certainly is a desperate attempt to put in words the 19 days of being sick with the virus that changed our lives.


28/9/2020 – 13th day of the virus

Misty it was outside,

so was it inside too,

the soul

got cold and slumber,

giving in the virus’s wishes.

 

29/9/2020 – 14th day of the virus

[walked in the park]

crunching leaves,

fallen down,

so free & careless

fresh rain falls – so silent & at ease

 

30/9/2020 – 15th day of the virus

{isn’t it gone yet?}

Βρέχει φύλλα κιτρινισμένα

ερωτευμένα με το χώμα,

την υγρή πραγματικότητα,

τον αέναο εαυτό μας.

Κουράστηκαν τα δέντρα

από το ατελείωτο καλοκαίρι-

κόπηκε η τροφοδοσία

της φωτοσύνθεσης.

Τώρα ένας άνεμος μένει

να τα πάρει μακριά

να μαραθούν με ησυχία

και φθινόπωρο.

#recovery

The freedom of endless steps

vibrates in me.

I can walk outside again

and smell the fresh air,

inhaling autumn particles

in my clean lungs.

I was lucky,

for it barely touched me,

leaving me with empty nostrils

and tasteless food

and an endless tiresomeness.

This will too pass.

Like everything else in life.

Like the yellowed leaves

traveling with the air

to meet the wet, solid ground.

This will too pass.

I was lucky, for it barely touched me

{crunchy noises-colorful footpaths-wet alleyways. Autumn is here!}

1/10/2020 – 16th day of the virus

October, Welcome.

{slept bad yesterday and was over-energetic and overwhelmed – could not let my thoughts rest}

 

2/10/2020 – 17th day of the virus

treetops turning yellow

I’m craving for some fresh air

to feel my muscles moving again

to experience the silence of the October air.

 

Slowly recovering,

remembering who I used to be.

4/10/2020 – 19th day of the virus

Today was a fine day.


5/10/2020 – [free from virus]

A new week begins with HEALTH

a fresh perspective

a new mindset

and with all

the acceptance we can afford!

The slow tempo of the season

(or is it fast)

reassures me of my steps.

One by one.


This was the second of two blog entries about my Covid-19 experience. If you haven’t read the first one, you can find it here.

PhotoMinolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). LomoChrome Metropolis, 100-400 ISO, 35mm film. Seich Sou, Thessaloniki, Greece, December 2020.

Heather Fields, Dwingelderveld National Park (NL)

Locations: Dwingelderveld National Park, Drenthe, The Netherlands, September 2020.

Minolta dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Fujifilm Provia 100 F 135/36, 35mm film.

My Covid-19 diary #1

The following blog entry includes prose and poetry about my own experience with Covid-19 back in September-October. I decided to leave most of my writing in its initial and raw form because it vibrates with my physical and mental struggle with the virus. It is a stream of consciousness if you will. It certainly is a desperate attempt to put in words the 19 days of being sick with the virus that changed our lives.


20/9/2020 – 5th day of the virus

Uneasy feeling: my stomach refuses food, it feels as if all food has stopped making sense. I want to feel better – so bad. Please let this phone call be quick and painless, like a bandage that’s not needed anymore.

Αυτή η αναμονή με σκοτώνει. Δεν μπορώ να συγκεντρωθώ. Κοιτώ τον ήλιο – αυτόν τον ήλιο που μάτωνε τα γόνατα – τον κοιτώ κατάματα μήπως και μου δώσει απαντήσεις. Το καθαρό μπλε του ουρανού κοιτώ, το καθάριο συναίσθημα που μου δίνει. Χάνομαι στο βάθος αυτού του μπλε, του έντονου μπλε του ουρανού. Γράφοντας κοιτώ το κενό, τα μάτια μου τσούζουν από τον ήλιο. Είμαι ακόμη άρρωστη, να πάρει, κι όμως νιώθω πως η αρχή του τέλους απλά … τελειώνει. Χρειάζομαι ησυχία και γαλήνη και ηρεμία και όλες αυτές τις λέξεις που κρατάς σφιχτά στην αγκαλιά όταν νιώθεις χαμένος. ‘Η γλώσσα είναι σε μένα’. Είναι μέσα μου, βαθιά και αχώριστα στο σώμα μου, μ’ ερωτεύεται κάθε μέρα και εγώ την ερωτεύομαι ξανά και ξανά κάθε φορά που πιάνω τα μολύβια μου. Η έκφραση της ζωής, η εξήγησή της είναι κανόνας μαγικός και δεν μπορώ να ξεφύγω από τα όριά του. Θα ήθελα όλες οι λέξεις μέσα μου να έβγαιναν, σαν γάργαρα νερά να γλιστρούσαν από μέσα μου και επάνω στο χαρτί, λευκό και άτρωτο, μέχρι να γεμίσει λέξεις αναλλοίωτες στο χρόνο.

Exploring an eternity of Septembers, again and again reacting to time and space.

Do you remember that moment in time when you felt the world was going to crush us down? Yes, so many of them – multiple moments, multiple times. Escaping the earthly world to hid behind the words.

21/9/2020 – 6th & 1st day of the virus

Yesterday I received a call that I have Corona. And I do. And it’s in me. And I hate it.

I feel OK. Not too many symptoms. No fever. No cough. I am sneezing today. If I do too much, I feel tired and drained. I want this to be over. I want it to get out of my body. The numbness, the tingling in my head. The swollen glands and loss of smell. I feel utterly confused and violated.

If I do too much, I feel tired and drained. I want this to be over.

The very first day I felt a scratching sensation in my throat. It stressed and scared me, but I moved on to go for a ride with my bike and take pictures. When I reached a certain point in the Onlanden – a wonderful natural region in Groningen – I walked toward the narrow path, only to discover how silent it was. A type of white silence surrounded me, it caressed my ears, almost like an old friend; it spoke to me, told me stories of the past and of the future, stories I would have liked hearing in my sleep. The silence embraced me, tingled my soul and my then full ears. I walked slowly and mindfully, feeling the soles of my feet every step of the way.

The narrow path I took that day

23/9/2020 – 8th day of the virus

I feel numb at times, feeling the need to taste and smell everything I put my hands on. The loss of two of my senses makes me feel incomplete, almost non-human, a development of the virus through my body that I would have never expected. I feel that a big part of me is taken away from me. I feel empty, drained, agitated. And people laugh, they dismiss it. I have to explain how it feels in simple terms, so that they get it. What do they know? It’s so great speaking of it when you’re not experiencing it. I wish they’d shut up about it. “You’re lucky!”, “You should be grateful”, “Don’t overreact”, “It’s just a cold”, just a cold, just a cold, just a cold. If it was just a cold, then why do I feel like that? Totally disconnected from my own body. The thoughts that go through my head are not connected with the ones that I feel through my body. Do you get what I mean? No one seems to get that. This virus is beyond a cold and the way it makes me feel is proof of that. If only I could put it into words. I want to break the barrier between my body and my mind and just write about it, talk about it. I want to be free, to be able to think, to liberate myself from this horrible disease.

If it was just a cold, then why do I feel like that? Totally disconnected from my own body.

25/9/2020 – 10th day of the virus

I am getting better. A veil is slowly lifting off my brain. There is an itch and burning sensation now in my brain and on my face. I still feel tired and managed to work yesterday, but my body starts to ache now like it is awakening from a deep slumber. Tingly face, tingly brain, I feel a little bit more like myself today. It’s been a ride. I feel so grateful, so grateful. Everything has a new light, a new shine, a new allure that I admire. Fall is here and I am grateful to be alive and healthy to experience it. It’s not that I saw death, no. But experiencing the virus was intense, physically but also mentally.

26/9/2020 – 11th day of the virus

The world keeps on moving – as always. I felt frustrated and suffocated again.

floods of … everything

inside my body

[ιέ φύγε απ’ αυτό το σπίτι]

no endings, nor holidays

expect me to find myself again.

I roar at silence

and commence again

my life journey.

Are you with me?

Rain tingles on the window

rough, but subtle sounds emerge,

we cry ourselves to sleep

lucky to have survived

one

more

day.

 

27/9/2020 – 12th day of the virus

Waiting for the day till I find myself again.


This was the first of two blog entries about my Covid-19 experience. Stay tuned for the next article where I document the slow recovery from the virus.

PhotoMinolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Kodak Ektar, 100 ISO, 35mm film. De Onlanden, Groningen, the Netherlands, May 2020.

Before going to bed

Lights are dancing on the walls at night,

flickering shadows talk to me.

The silence is too big to handle,

it suffocates us all in.

And the writing of it,

brings the sleepless tension back.

 

Can the past hear my whispers?

Can it read my lines?

 

Dropping love in the dark

I shiver.

I wouldn’t trade this silence for the world.

 

The morning’s light breeze

wards off the endless thoughts.

Keeping my mind busy

is all I can think of.


Photo: Minolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Fujifilm Provia 100F, 35mm film. Dwingelderveld National Park, the Netherlands, September 2020.

Blossoming, Groningen 2020

Locations: Stadspark, Groningen, The Netherlands, March 2020.

Minolta 303si, (35-80mm lens). Kodak Gold 200, 35mm film.

For the Women who came before us

My body breaks,

it shatters into millions of pieces.

I carry the voices,

the screams,

the whispers,

the beggings,

of all the women who came before me.

I, too, feel their pain,

deep in my skin,

it goes through the flesh,

and reaches my bones.

Cold, it crushes me.

 

The pain lingers,

in the dark rooms of our bodies

it fades,

it withers and then stops,

leaving only remnants of suffering.

In its place

anything ugly

is transformed

to strength

and courage.

It breathes survival.

 

And the flowers in our heads

blossom,

out of coal and ash,

our saliva becomes sugar between our tongue,

washing over the bitterness in our mouths

and we swallow

all the false masculinity,

or whatever is left from it.

 

We are one.

Our bodies connect

through hundreds of years of abuse.

The pain in our bodies,

now a tree

with deep strong roots,

is capable to defeat anything.

 

Our mouths make sounds

as last!

they move,

they vibrate,

they tell the stories of pain.

 

Our voices create waves and waves and waves

of endless vibrations,

weaving webs of strong fibers,

ready to catch a sister who might fall.

Our voices are the voices of truth and pain,

and all that’s in between.

Our voices are strong,

they finally echo.

[I cry with them too]

21.10.2018


Photo: Nikon F75 (35-70mm). Kodak Ultra Max 400, 35mm film. Warns, Friesland, the Netherlands, July 2020.

Με τη γευση χαμομηλιου

Με τη γεύση χαμομηλιού στο στόμα

ερωτεύομαι,

τον εαυτό και τον κόσμο

ανασυντάσσω.

Στη βουή του μεγαλείου

αποζητώ το τίποτα

και το γιορτάζω

με χρυσάνθεμα και φως.

Πλέον τίποτα δεν χωράει σε κούτες.

Όλα (εκεί) ελεύθερα υπάρχουν,

ανήκουν σε όλους,

με τον ήχο του ήλιου

είναι_

Χωρίς αποσκευές

προχωρώ.

Αυτά που γεμίζουν τις τσέπες

ελαφραίνουν την ψυχή.

12. 2. 2017


Photo: Nikon F75 (28-100mm). Lomography Color Negative 800, 35mm film. Terschelling island, Friesland, the Netherlands. October 2019.

Για τη Μνημη

Το παρελθόν ελευθερώνει τη δύναμη που κρύβει ο πόνος και επιτρέπει στις ουσίες μας να καταλάβουν την τωρινή τους κατάσταση.

Την πρώτη φορά που μου μίλησε η Μνήμη, δε θυμάμαι πως την κάλεσα. Καθίσαμε μαζί στο λευκό μας τραπέζι και συζητήσαμε, κάτω απ’ το φως των αστεριών, για τη ζωή και τον Χρόνο, τη φωτιά που μένει και τη δύναμή μας. Ήταν περίεργη η γλώσσα της, αλλά την καταλάβαινα. Μεταξύ μας υπήρχε η άνεση παλιών γνωστών και τα χέρια μας μιλούσαν για όλα όσα μας ενώνουν.

Παράξενη η ώρα που περνάει αλύγιστα από πάνω μας. Παράξενη και η φύση του εαυτού μας.

Μετέπειτα γίναμε φίλες καλές, ανίκητες στα σημάδια του Χρόνου, σαν να μην τον ένοιαζε για τη φθορά μας. Τα μάτια μας έλαμπαν κάθε φορά που κοιταζόμασταν, το δέρμα μας έκαιγε απ’ όλα όσα είχαμε να πούμε η μία στην άλλη. Κάποια στιγμή, το φως των αστεριών ξεκίνησε να σβήνει και ο πόνος (μας) σταμάτησε να (μας) δίνει δύναμη. Έδινε μόνο Πόνο.

Η Μνήμη με επισκέφθηκε άλλη μία φορά. Ήταν αδύνατη και χλωμή. Τα μάτια της δεν έλαμπαν πλέον, τα χέρια της ήταν κενά. Μου έδειξε όμως τις πληγές που είχε στο σώμα της και μου είπε πως δε θα ξαναέρθει (σύντομα). Θα φύγει για λίγο ή για όσο. Θα γυρίσει πίσω (στο παρελθόν). Δεν αντέδρασα. Ήξερα πως η μέρα τούτη θα ερχόταν κάποια στιγμή. Της έσφιξα το χέρι, τη φίλησα στο μάγουλο και είπα αντίο. Γύρισα την πλάτη και καθώς έβγαινα από το δωμάτιο, έκλεισα το φως. Το γράμμα που άφησε δεν το άνοιξα ποτέ. Ίσως απόψε που θα κλείσει ο κόσμος γύρω από τον δικό μου. Ίσως και όχι. Θα το αφήσω στο λευκό μας τραπέζι, εκεί που το άφησε το βράδυ εκείνο. Όταν το ανοίξω θα ξέρω πως θα είμαι έτοιμη.


Photos: Praktica MTL 5 (1.8/50). Kodak Gold 200, 35mm film. Groningen, the Netherlands. April 2020.

Thessaloniki in b&w infrared, GR 2017

Locations: These wonderfully contrasted pictures were taken a couple of years ago in Thessaloniki, Greece (December 2017). The intense contrast of the infrared b&w film is offering a dark and almost hopelessly dreary vibe to the pictures.

I decided to upload these picture now because I visited Greece during the Christmas holidays once again in 2020. Last time I was there during this festive period was three (!) years ago. This year, I also had the pleasure to revisit the “Umbrellas”, a landmark in the boulevard of Thessaloniki. Designed by George Zongolopoulos in 1997, this sculpture has been photographed countless times both by tourists and locals. Especially during this pandemic, I have noticed people walking up and down this boulevard, photographing again and again this amazing artwork. Just marvel at the wonderful contrast of the umbrellas against the overcast sky of that winter evening in 2017. My best friend is modeling for me in some of the pictures, while some fishermen posed ignorantly, hence their backs on the pictures. Notice how the Christmas lights seem to hang from the sky like a carpet made of little stars. I will always cherish those holidays. Happy New Year and hopefully in the future we can travel again and you can visit and photograph the “Umbrellas”.

Minolta dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Washi Z 400/135 BW Film. 24 exp, 35mm film.