Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thirty one 

Ready, now. Fall becomes Athens. Also makes mind and spirit yearn for pre-practice SoHo, pink skies and wan sun, empty street with yesterday's litter strewn everywhere flying up in the cooler air, singing too loud and wearing too many layers. Knowing warm space and spirits await in the yellow rooms on Broome Street.

Very special birthday. First Friday birthday in years. Self-practice in my friend Yianna's spacious living room, with the bright heater a small encouraging sun. Tattoo on my left ankle, there for a few years, became manifest finally, after Zymdad etched it out and I got it inked in my old neighborhood. Finally balanced, well. Crescent moon to right ankle's Venus, keeping each other company in the skies, embracing when I sit in lotus. Feeling, well, complete.

Evening congregation at the oldest taverna in Psyrri, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens. First shift included family, niece and nephew, old friends of my mom's, old friends of mine. All caught up in catching up and capturing these golden moments, these images, this love. Me? Eyes beaming, joy-filled smiles so wide almost grotesque. In lieu of cake, massive tray piled mountain-high with an assortment of my favorite greek (phyllo-nut-honey sirruped variations) desserts, topped with mastic ice cream and cinnamon. Candle and sparkles were there, also. Second shift, more friends for drink at favorite rock bar, not too far from there. So fulfilled and content. Better than I ever dared to hope it could be. Now, I can take another ten years abroad. Now, I'm looking forward to another however-many years abroad.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Skyros photos 

Finally posted a few pics from the magic that was Skyros. On my flickr page. My piece of land and "villa kotetsi" are just to the right of the beach inland, past the pier ("molos") in the photo above, in the Kambos area ("Valley"- valley). You can see the main town, Chorio, perched on the cliff, and, well, whatever else leaps out.

The intensity and beauty of the Crete experience tried to diminish the love and wealth I found on this tiny wind-battered island. This place of waves purring and village hiding in the clouds and street dancing and beachglass collecting and house cleaning and picking heavy pomegranates and figs from my trees, and sunfall watching and donkeys patiently bearing their masters and goats as wedding presents and child-sized carved chair to take to America as parting gift, and few washing machine and rinsing blankets in sea, and snails and wild greens gathering, and open doors and laugh-crinkled eyes. All hugged by Chios in the distance.

If you took a boat from Molos and headed due southeast, you'd hit the west coast of Chios. Pretty wild, that, too.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Moonday practice 

Whoops. Ashtanga is traditionally undertaken six days a week, Sunday thru Friday, with the exception of moondays- new, and full. Having enjoyed nightskies bright with stars, with Venus rising over pink clouds and golden waters, silver shaft on dark nightsea, a coupla days ago wondered when the moonday was. No-one seemed to know. Evidently it was Monday-or-Tuesday. Ahh, so.

Don't want to judge practice, and for the most part usually do ok with leaving things be and accepting where I'm at, but I will say: practice has been awesome here. It's taken about these two months for my body to begin to recover from the assault it took with all the repetitive motions that waitressing entails. Much as I love doing it, walking and lifting and pouring and walking and standing all night are not especially conducive to "advancing" one's asana practice. Not to mention the fatigue by week's end, quadriceps screaming, shoulders howling. These last few weeks, keeping at keeping at it, have actually seen some movements and capabilities not seen since my days in Mysore. Except there's more depth and patience now. She says. Ay-yuhunh, practice has been awesome here.

There's something very special lurking just around the corners, here on the south shore of the southernmost island of Greece. Warm south winds taunt and tease the surface of the sea, colors and texture everchanging. If one could take a boat and head straight down, one would hit African shores. Wild, that. May have to revisit these shores, this place, these people.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ulyssean moments 

Always used to watch the gargantuan Crete-bound ships, departing one gate down from the dwarfed Chios vessels, with a touch of wistfulness, curiosity. They were bound for the southernmost part of Greece, the mythical isolated proud autonomous Megalonissos (Large island). They seemed more special, somehow, towering bulk of self-importance impossible to ignore, like their destination itself- hiding secrets the uninitiated could not hope to guess at or fathom. One such titan glided smoothly into the night as it sliced dark waters southbound, chased by foam white. Distant ships, distant shores twinkling orange-yellow-white, beckoning, winking, teasing. Inviting.

Felt like paradise, beach-moment yesterday. Alone at beach bar, honey through the speakers: Reed, Stones, Stevens, Dylan. Count people on the beach: two, four, nine. Is all. Look up, restless configurations of cloud and sky, brights and grays. Down at the sand on my toes, beach glass brown blue clear green nestled in paper cup. Left, right, empty deckchairs and yellow umbrellas, shifting light and shadows, sand and quiet, kilometers of snaking beach, embraced by soft waves. Looming mountains reach up to clouds in elaborate flirtations. Out, sea as vast as eyes can reach- until it marries the sky in clean line of blues.

Sweet autumn kisses Athens, with afternoon sprinkles and cool evenings. It’s still summer on Crete. Free from fear of talk and judgment, consideration of others, schedules, restraints. Blissfully alone. Sometimes wonder whether a hand to hold, to envelop mine, could possibly enhance some of this, all this. Then I catch a breeze to follow and I forget and relish. This can be as good as it can get. Easily.

I could stay here for a while.

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