Friday, August 27, 2004

Goodbye gal 

I never cry like I do when it's time to leave the island. We moved to Athens from Manhattan when I was three; with a two-year break for college in London, Greece was my home up until 1996. Moved back to New York armed with two cartons of cigarettes and $50, and from day one the City felt like coming home on so many levels. And I have been gloriously, resolutely content there for the last eight years. Two holidays in Greece in the summers of '00 and '01 were magnificent and emotional but it always felt right to be coming back to my little studio in the ancient brownstone on the Upper West Side, where kids play and flowers bloom and neighbors say hello and birds sing and the setting sun is reflected on the Hudson River as it sinks behind the flat lands in Jersey.

Just when I thought I’d successfully convinced myself that amidst the whirlwind of life’s changes, things on the island remain fundamentally the same, that I can leave secure in the knowledge that the place and people are going nowhere. Bumped into old crush from NY who just as I left for India left for Chios, moving back after sixteen years in the City on the plane from Athens in July. He seemed to have made the move ok, content with his decision and his life, relieved to be back with his family, challenged to start afresh. As I plan to do someday. Don’t see him for the entire month there- except for a chance encounter hours before my plane takes off on my last day. Saying hellogoodbye is rife with emotion since he is my example of someone who’s transitioned well, as I someday hope to do. Back to my other home. Parting triggers a waterfall of sobs, that abate only to drown me as I listen to Sigur Ross, watching the landscape leading to my favorite beach outside my window for the last time, for now.

Some day I want to no longer be leaving.

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