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.

⛰️The mountain meditation⛰️

I am a mountain,

tall and silent

I stand,

while seasons change

and the weather rages.

 

I am a mountain

steady with trees,

rocks at my core,

and water flowing at my feet.

 

I withstand change

and I celebrate it

when it takes over

everything around me.

But it does not affect me

– it can’t.

 

I am a mountain,

solid and tall,

that sits proud

for thousands of years

and will continue

standing and rooting

for more years to come.


Photo: ‘View from a mountain’. Nikon N4004s (35-70mm). Kodak Gold 200, 35mm film. Thessaloniki, March 2016. Credits to Nikos Grivas. 

♠ Ode to the Now ♠

When our lives were happening,

we couldn’t stand still.

Now that our lives just are,

we cannot move forward.

 

Embracing Silence is all we can do,

embracing Stillness is all we can do,

embracing ourselves is all we can do,

embracing our weaknesses is all we can do,

 

for us,

our families,

the world,

now is the time to look inward

then gaze outward and

just BE.


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

Refuge

Layers upon layers of restlessness,

upon layers of unburnt stars,

of overheated supernovas

and overflowing dark matter.

 

Poetry,

is my only refuge now.

 

I can’t look myself in the mirror anymore,

no reflection is looking back.

Eyes are dried out – forgotten –

almost like dying stars

we only see in our dreams.

 

The rooftop has fallen

on us

and our dreams,

it has ‘2020’ carved on it

and its debris attacks the silence

while we laugh at our own jokes.

 

If only I had time to read more.

If only I had time to watch more movies.

If only I had time to catch up on my to-do lists.

Now there is time,

but no soul to put into it.

 

The sky is dark,

like the inside of my room.

Words escape my mouth

but bounce back at the walls around me

and enter my mouth again.

 

No sounds,

No world.

 

My jaw is broken now,

the lines are blurred,

and stars flicker above me

in the night sky.

They remind me that life

is like Silence:

You fee it the most

when it is the only thing you hear.


Photo: Nikon F75 (28-100mm). LomoChrome Purple, 100-400, 35mm film. Groningen, the Netherlands. May 2020.

Our Summer

Dead bugs around me

dead end

no land can caress my sorrow,

no land has room for my depth

and the crows’ screams.

 

At night we see others swimming

steadily and slowly

into dark blue waters

while crickets sing

undisturbed.

 

Soft waves touch our skin.

A light sound that reaches our dreams

reflects on the water’s surface.

No memory

or sense

stay undisturbed.

 

This is our summer.


Photo: Nikon F75 (28-100mm). LomoChrome Purple, 100-400, 35mm film. Agios Ioannis, Pelion, Greece. August 2019.

Celestial Connection

Millions of worlds apart

and thousands of words

are missing

between the space

we created for ourselves.

 

We stop conversations,

mute or misuse them,

while the big ice rocks fall apart,

like our lives when we refuse

to listen to ourselves.

 

This world is scary,

full of angry people,

but Earth remembers

and promises to color

our dreams and hopes

with gold dust extracted

from the deep, dark, daunting

place we call space.

 

And right into that moment

we glow furiously;

full of celestial body magic,

we dive back into the blues

and the greens of our reality,

the worlds we build

and the ones we destroy,

conquering one more day

from the eons that await us.

 

Photo: Livraria Lello, Porto, Spring of 2019, Portugal. Minolta Hi-Matic S, Rokkor lens, Kodak Portra, ISO 400, 35mm film.

 

One line a day

One line a day,

I promised myself to write,

even if it is bs.

 

One line a day,

to exorcize the evil spirits,

to de-demonize my heart,

to clear out the air of the room.

 

One line a day

might not seem enough

or good enough,

but it’s there,

written,

engraved out of the soul’s depths.

 

One line a day

is all I need to start over

fresh,

anew

like an explorer in a strange land,

but this time,

I’ve been invited over

to sit and talk

with its people.

 

One line a day,

as I wake up at dawn,

alone in my chamber,

like a maid whose

day’s work is daunting her.

 

One line a day,

as I go to bed at night,

after working hard

on earning the food

that’s waiting for you on the table.

 

One line a day,

for the pain,

the misery,

the world around me

I can’t explain,

the clouds,

the forests,

the lakes,

the dead flowers in my yard,

the travelers,

the workers,

the family,

the friends,

the light in the morning,

the darkness at night.

 

One line a day

for the words buried in me,

haunting me,

and the ones that came before me.

 

One line a day,

for tomorrow,

our dreams

and Hope.

 

Photo: Walking in Stadspark, Groningen, NL. December 2018. Minolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Earl Grey Lomography Film 200, 35mm film.

Paper Flowers

I walked past our street today and saw flowers blossoming on the walls of the building. Bright pink and blue colored flowers were there, like the ones you used to hang above our fireplace every spring morning. You would wake up overwhelmed and struggle to reach your armchair. But, you would ultimately sit down and then open your drawer, determined to get out the paper for the flowers. You would do that straight out of bed, even without drinking coffee. Later on, while holding a hot cup of coffee in your hands, you would admire your own dedication to your little ritual. ‘I am never patient enough to finish anything’ you would say. And I would agree, but I would also kindly remind you of the things you actually accomplish through the day. After getting the hard paper for the flowers, you would take the patterns of a lily and a chrysanthemum and you would carefully and meticulously create something beautiful with it. The flowers were dashing. So simple and so pretty.

The first time you made flowers, right after you came back from the hospital, you thought it was a silly, childish thing. But when you saw how much it helped you, you stopped degrading it. I loved it instantly. Seeing you having something that sparked joy in your yellowed eyes, was all I needed to start believing again. Believe that you would make it. After all those hospital visits and the masks on your face. The looks of pity you were receiving when you lost your hair, and that moment when the doctors said it will not be easy. You were strong and fierce for months, but after the last chemo, you almost gave up. Your eyesight was very damaged and you struggled even with the simple daily things. After a while, you became so tired that you couldn’t even move your hands. You wanted so badly to touch those bouquets next to your bedside table. The texture of flowers soothed you, you used to whisper at night. But that wasn’t enough, you wanted to really look at those flowers. That is when I started asking people to bring you vibrant colored ones. In that way you might enjoy them better, I thought. Later you told me how much it meant to you, to see those beautiful faded colors next to you. It was your everything when you felt you had nothing.

And now, here I am, looking at the real flowers bursting through our wall. It’s so weird. You always created paper flowers to remind you of those difficult times, and the same day you pass away, I see colorful flowers popping on the wall of our building. You would have loved that. You would have laughed so loud with this ironic beauty, the whole neighborhood would have come out to see what’s wrong. You would then smile at them, tell them it’s all good and we would slowly go back inside to finish our tea.

Photo: Kipos, Kozani, Greece. October 2018. Minolta Dynax 7000i, Earl Grey Lomography Film 100, 35mm film.

 

the fall

She stares at that window all day. She dares.
Through its broken frame, she stares. Then she dares to fear.
She dreams.
Above the concrete and the clouds, she dares to dream.
She screams. Into the shadows of herself, below that window she grows.
She stares. She dares to scream out loud.
No voice echoes.
The power of those walls. Empty and silent. Like her dreams.
In that room she dares; to talk and crouch upon an ego.
Those dreams.
Scattered in all the corners of those rooms.
She fears.
Of the life she cannot dream. Of the life she hasn’t dared to fear.
All those years.
The years to come.
In the beauty of loneliness, she dares. When she dares she dreams.
When she stares she fears.
And then I saw a smile upon her face.

(Photo of my mother at our old place, Kozani GR, Nov 2013. Pentax)

5.1.2016