We grow roots wherever we sow seeds

25 03 2016

Pushing the Bush with love. Oh, let the spring shine in.


  

Enormous thank you to local Angels: Daniel, Stepan and Martin. And to Kindred Spirit: Alexandra Banner. And all the friends who support Push the Bush. And especially my beloved gypsy parents who carry sunshine with them wherever they go.





a mandolin in the universe

8 12 2015

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe. – Lao Tzu

The whole universe is based on rhythms. Everything happens in circles, in spirals. – John Hartford

 

http://www.thezollaboys.com/





LOVE (crazy love) for Philomena

16 03 2015

my dearest Philomena–thank you for this beautiful card and for spoiling me yesterday. (and today and tomorrow). i love you so much. this song i dedicate to you, it’s how i feel about you all the time. And yes, maybe one day I will become a hairdresser. philomena&mami

FullSizeRender (4)





LOVE in Missoula

15 02 2015

IMG_8233 IMG_8244 IMG_8245 IMG_8247 IMG_8261 IMG_8266 IMG_8263 IMG_8227

 

 

 

IMG_8250IMG_8272

 

 

IMG_8218 IMG_8236

 

IMG_8225

 

IMG_8224IMG_8228
IMG_8221 IMG_8318 IMG_8304

 

IMG_8321 IMG_8223

IMG_8332





ECONOMICS: what can you buy for 2p?

31 01 2015

– Look, I found a coin! look, look at it. I’m going to put it in my piggy bank. (Luna)

– Well, how much is it? (Mummy)

– 2p. (Luna)

– Oh, great! So what do you think you can buy for 2p? (Mummy)

– Nothing. Nothing at all. That’s why I’m putting it in the bank, silly. (Luna)

money

 





No matter what our beliefs, we are parents first

26 01 2015

“Be curious, not judgemental” – Walt Whitman





Agape and the habitation of symbols

20 12 2014

One who has control over the mind
is tranquil in heat and cold,
in pleasure and pain,
and in honor and dishonour.
– Bhagavad Gita

 The world is a parable — the habitation of symbols — the phantoms of spiritual things immortal shown in material shape. May the blessed second-sight be mine — to recognize under these beautiful forms of earth the ANGELS who wear them; for I am sure we may walk with them if we will, and hear them speak.
– Maud Ruthyn in Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Uncle Silas, Conclusion

Dear Anarchist,

My name is Philomena and I am 8 years old. I am writing to you because I think there has been some misunderstanding. A couple of months ago I was walking past this wall and noticed what you wrote: “Fuck Israel, No Controla.” I didn’t know what it meant so I asked my mother. She explained that Israel ιs a country and that the word fuck was possibly being used because you were angry at Israel.

photo

– – How can a person be angry with a country? I asked.
– Yes, it is a strange thing to be angry with a country. I suspect that this anarchist, like many anarchists, is actually angry with the people governing the country—the people making decisions on behalf of the people living in the country. Because they feel there is nothing they can do about their frustrations, because they feel they don’t have a way to influence what’s going on in the world around them, they make their feelings known any way they can.
– What do we here in Nea Makri have to do with Israel?
– Well nothing directly, but perhaps the artist who wrote on the wall wants to let us know that there are things going on in the world that we should be more conscious about.
– Like what?
– Well leaders often forget that the people of the world all come from one family. When leaders make the mistake of thinking about the world as a game of us vs. them—of winners and losers. When leaders think about the world in terms of absolutes—where there is only one right answer. When leaders stop listening to voices of the people.
– Isn’t it the job of leaders to listen to the people?
– Yes, but they don’t always. Sometimes they become too powerful and lose their capacity for empathy. They’ve stopped feeling what the people feel. They’ve sort of detached from the people. Anarchists, like the one who wrote on this wall, probably don’t trust in their leaders—they don’t trust in their government anymore.
– Can we erase these words? It just doesn’t seem very nice to look at.

photo-3
So you see, dear Anarchist, it was my idea to cover up what you wrote on the wall.

My mom and I had an idea for something we would put up on the wall as a message to you to make you feel that your neighbours understood how you were feeling. We wanted to make an art work to symbolise peace. But we didn’t get to it in time and so then you came back to the wall thinking that the police erased your message to Israel… and you were even angrier at the police, angrier at leaders in control. But it was me. Me and my mom who erased your words, not the police. My mom explained to me some of what is going on in the world today. How leaders mix religion with politics and in so doing lose the spirit of God within them.

I’m sorry you were so angry and thought it was the police.

photo-2

 

In response to this, we began experimenting with a number of ideas for a painting for you:

photo 1photo 2photo 3photo 1photo 2photo 3

 

 

 

photo 2photo 3
photo 5And then we finally came up with the painting below. It is meant as a symbol of hope that together we can embrace the spirit of God and find universal harmony somehow by listening to the sound of the earth’s vibrations. We are all children of the earth. We are all brothers and sisters. Please accept this as our gift to you and do not be angry. I pray that together as artists we can help the world to place greater faith in our extraordinary creative capacity for imagination and imagine for ourselves a world of peace.

With love,
Philomena (my mom says my name means daughter of light and love)

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender-3FullSizeRender-4photo 2

photo 1

 

THE BRAIN is drawn as a maze encasing a number of religious symbols. We humans often make the mistake of interpreting God with our minds, which only leads to a fragmentation of the spirit. Perhaps we can strive to find unity through the vibrations of a shared spirit that rests in our hearts instead of our head.

The PACHAMAMA: who sits at the entrance to the maze is the goddess of the Andes region of South America. She is seen as mother earth and mother time.

THE BOAT or OSRAM NE NSOROMMA: “The Moon and the Star” is a symbol from West Africa that is meant to reflect the love and harmony that exists in the bonding between a man an a woman.

THE ANCHOR: The Anchor is a Symbol of both hope and steadfastness. Each time we raise our anchor we leave the stagnant portion of our life behind to begin a new journey, a new era of our life filled with a cleansed spirit of dreams and new aspirations. We are steadfast in our vision of the pursuit of our new dreams.

The moment we decide to drop our mental Anchor once more is the moment we finally say to ourselves “here is where I now stand” and “these are the rules I will govern myself by. We are them able to ground ourselves and feel stable despite the might the waves, tides, and currents. When we are properly anchored we are able to trust confidently in the skills and knowledge that lie in the subconscious realm of our inner-self; our God-within; our Atman. (you can read more about symbolism of anchor here: http://www.aseekersthoughts.com/2012/02/anchor-as-symbol.html)

——————————thank you sweet Σοφία Μ for translation.

Αγαπητοί Αναρχικοί,

Ονομάζομαι Φιλομένη και είμαι 8 χρονών. Γράφω σε εσας επειδή θεωρώ πως έχει συμβεί κάποια παρεξήγηση. Μερικούς μήνες πριν, περπατούσα μπροστά από έναν τοίχο και παρατήρησα πώς είχατε γράψει “Fuck Israel, No Controla.” Δεν ήξερα τι σημαίνει οπότε ρώτησα την μητέρα μου. Εκείνη μου εξήγησε πως το Ισραήλ είναι μια χώρα και πως χρησιμοποιήσατε την λέξη “fuck” eπειδή πιθανόν είστε νευριασμένοι με το Ισραήλ.

  • Πώς μπορεί ένα άτομο να είναι νευριασμένο με μια χώρα? Ρώτησα
  • Ναι, είναι περίεργο πράγμα να είσαι νευριασμένος με μια χώρα. Η αλήθεια είναι πως αυτοί οι αναρχικοί, όπως όλοι οι αναρχικοί , είναι στην πραγματικότητα θυμωμένοι με αυτούς οι οποίοι κυβερνούν αυτη την χώρα – με τους ανθρώπους οι οποίοι πέρνουν αποφάσεις εκ μέρους των ανθρώπων που κατοικούν σε αυτή την χώρα – και επειδή νιώθουν πως δεν υπάρχει τίποτα που μπορούν να κάνουν , επειδή νιώθουν πως δεν υπάρχει κατι που μπορουν να κάνουν ώστε να επηρεάσουν τον κόσμο γύρω τους , εκφράζουν τα συναισθήματα τους με όποιο τρόπο μπορούν.
  • Τι σχέση έχει το Ισραήλ με την Νέα Μάκρη?
  • Λοιπόν όχι άμεσα, ο καλλιτεχνης που το έγραψε ήθελε να μας ενημερώσει για τα γεγονότα που συμβαίνουν στον κόσμο για τα οποία πρέπει να προβληματιστούμε …
  • Όπως ?
  • Λοιπόν οι αρχηγοί των κρατών συχνά ξεχνάνε πως οι άνθρωποι του κόσμου προέρχονται από την ίδια οικογενεια. Κάνουν το λάθος να πιστεύουν πως ο κόσμος είναι ένα παιχνιδι για χαμένουν και νικητές. Όταν οι ηγέτες βλέπουν τον κόσμο με όρους και προυποθέσεις – τότε υπάρχει μόνο μία σωστή απάντηση. Όταν οι αρχηγοί σταματάνε να ακούνε τις φωνές των ανθρώπων …
  • Δεν είναι η δουλειά τους να μας ακούνε?
  • Ναι αλλά δεν το κάνουν πάντα. Καμιά φορά γίνονται τόσο ισχυροί και χάνουν την δυνατότητα να αντιλαμβάνονται τις ανάγκες μας. Σταματάνε να νιώθουν ότι νιώθουν οι άλλοι άνθρωποι. Οι αναρχικοί όπως αυτοί που γράψαν αυτό στον τοίχο πιθανότατα δεν εμπιστεύονται τους ηγέτες .
  • Μπορούμε να σβήσουμε αυτές τις λέξεις? Δεν φαίνεται πολύ ωραίο να το κοιτάς.

Οπότε όπως βλέπετε, αγαπητοί αναρχικοί, ήταν ιδέα μου να καλύψω αυτό που γράψατε στον τοίχο. Η μητέρα μου και εγώ είχαμε μια ιδέα για το τι θα μπορούσαμε να βάλουμε στον τοίχο για να καλύψουμε αυτό το μύνημα για να κάνουμε τους γείτονες να καταλάβουν πως νιώθετε. Θέλαμε να κάνουμε ένα έργο τέχνης με μυνήματα ειρήνης. Αλλά δεν το ετοιμάσαμε στην ώρα μας και μετά ήρθατε εσείς στον τοίχο και νομίζατε πως το μύνημα το έσβησαν αστυνομικοί, επειδή ήταν θυμωμένοι με τους αναρχικούς. Αλλά ήμουν εγώ. Εγώ και η μαμά μου σβήσαμε αυτές τις λέξεις. Η μαμά μου, μου εξήγησε τι συμβαίνει στον κόσμο αυτές τις μέρες και πως οι ηγέτες συγχέουν την θρησκεία με την πολιτική και πως με αυτό τον τρόπο χάνουμε την πίστη μας.

Συγνώμη που θυμώσατε και νομίζατε πως ήταν η αστυνομία.

Σαν απάντησε σε αυτό , ξεκινήσαμε να πειραματιζόμαστε με διάφορες ιδέες για να ζωγραφίσουμε για εσάς

Και μετά επιτέλους καταλήξαμε σε αυτή την ζωγραφια. Η οποία είναι το σύμβολο της ελπίδας όπου μαζί με το πνεύμα του θεού θα βρούμε κάπως την αρμονία ακούγοντας τα μυνηματα της γης. Όλοι είμαστε παιδιά αυτού του κόσμου. Όλοι είμαστε αδέλφια. Σας παρακαλώ αποδεχτείτε αυτό σαν δώρο για εσάς και μην είστε άλλο θυμωμένοι. Προσεύχομαι πως όλοι μαζι σαν καλλιτέχνες μπορούμε να βοηθήσουμε αυτό τον κόσμο να βάλουμε πίστη στην δημιουργικότητα μας και να φανταστούμε τον κόσμο με ειρήνη.

Με αγάπη,

Φιλομένη( η μητέρα μου λέει πως το όνομα μου σημαίνει κόρη του φωτός και της αγάπης)

Ο ΕΓΚΕΦΑΛΟΣ: είναι μια μάζα η οποία ανακαλεί έναν αριθμό από σύμβολα. Εμείς οι άνθρωποι συχνά κάνουμε το λάθος να ερμηνεύουν το Θεό στο μυαλό μας, το οποίο οδηγεί σε καταστροφή του πνεύματος. Πιθανότατα χρειάζεται να προσπαθήσουμε να βρουμε αρμονία μέσα από τα μυνήματα για ομαδικό πνεύμα τα οποία θα ξεκουράζονται στην καρδιά μας και όχι στο μυαλό μας.

Η ΒΑΡΚΑ : « Το φεγγάρι και τα αστέρια» είναι ένα σύμβολο από την δυτική Αφρική το οποίο αντιπροσωπέυει την αγάπη και την αρμονία τα οποία υπάρχουν ανάμεσα σε μια γυναίκα και έναν άντρα.

Η ΑΓΚΥΡΑ : η Άγκυρα είναι ένα σύμβολο για την ελπίδα και την σταθερότητα. Κάθε φορά που υψώνουμε την άγκυρα αφήνουμε πίσω ένα κομμάτι της ζωής μας για να ξεκινήσουμε ένα καινούργιο ταξίδι, μια καινούργια εποχή της ζωής μας ξεκινάει με καθαρό το πνεύμα των ονείρων και καινούργιων φιλοδοξιών. Είμαστε απτόητοι στον τρόπο που βλέπουμε τα επιτεύγματα των ονείρων μας.





4 Kids?!

1 12 2014

“The soul is healed by being with children.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky





Clinging to Summer in Nea Makri

29 11 2014

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

IMG_5373.JPG





Little Miss Luna: age 6

26 11 2014

IMG_5267.JPG

photo-20IMG_5251.JPG

IMG_5249.JPG

IMG_5286.JPG





Consciousness: Home is where the heart… longs to be

25 11 2014
 
When you are in your home, you don’t glorify home: you don’t feel its importance and its intimacy, but when deprived of home, it turns into a need and a lust, as if it is the ultimate aim of the whole journey.
Mahmoud Darwish (1941 – 2008).
 
“Look at Athens and Sparta. Athens was an open city and Sparta kicked people out. Go and look at the ruins of Athens and Sparta now and ask which of the two cities made the greatest contribution to civilisation.” – Boris Johnson (Mayor of London)
Immigration_by_country
 
 
Philomena – Mummy, I want to go home. 
Luna [interrupting] – Which home? Greece or London?
Philomena – London, that is our proper home.
Luna – No, Greece is because this is where we are right now. This is where our family is.
Philomena – Our family is in lots of places–in America, in Bolivia, in Mexico, in Austria but London is our home because we were born in London. That’s where we’ve lived all our lives till now.
Luna – But we’re not English. We speak like English people but we’re not really English.
Philomena – Yes we are.  
Luna – No, Philomena, we’re not. And we live in Greece so this is our home. Right now, this is our home. With the turtles.
 
Poetry and exile 
works by Abdallah Benanteur, Ipek Duben, Mireille Kassar, Mona Saudi and Canan Tolon
http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/poetry_and_exile.aspx
1 October 2014 – 29 March 2015 (Free)




Escape to FREEDOM

14 10 2014

On Saturday my girls and I decided that we needed a bit more life in our home. A dog was not an option, nor a cat or a rabbit. But we went to the pet store anyway in search of just about any other creature with whom to share—expand—our love. The first thing we saw upon entering the pet store was a wall filled with singing yellow canaries, finches and parakeets. I thought of the recent philosophy dinner I organised on the topic of FREEDOM and the tables I had decorated with open birdcages that my girls had painted, each sprinkled in gold glitter. My girls must have been reflecting on the same ambivalent emotion. All of a sudden Philomena says:

– Mummy if we were to get birds, could we let them out of their cages during the day? Let them fly around the garden? Would they come back if we let them go?

– No, I explain, These birds have their wings clipped.

What do you mean?!

Well they clip birds so that they can’t fly away. It doesn’t hurt them though.

– OF COURSE IT HURTS THEM! Luna shouts up at me. If a bird can’t fly it hurts!

Relax Luna. Listen, I don’t want to buy a bird either, I say.

Thankfully, a moment later, we came across a small pool filled with tiny fresh water turtles. It was love at first sight. We agreed we would take 3 of them home with us. Once at the check out counter, however, I looked over at Philomena, she seemed upset.

– What’s wrong, I asked.

– Mummy, do you think these turtles will be sad to leave the other ones? They were hugging and climbing all over each other and then we just pulled them away from the rest of their family.

In my makeshift Greek I asked the man at the store: are the turtles all from one family? what does one family even look like anyway? how long has the family been living together?

– All one family, yes, all family, ne, ne. At least that was all I was able to understand.

Philomena looked up at me again with her big, round, weepy eyes.

Stop, we have to stop! I really want the turtles but I can’t separate them. I’m sorry but I’d rather not get any.

– HEY I KNOW!!!! WHY DON’T WE JUST GET ALL OF THEM?! Shouted Luna. THAT’S AN IDEA!

And well, that was an idea. Five minutes later and we were all in the car, driving home with 10 little water turtles in a small tank adorned with a plastic palm tree.

Good mother, good mother, the man at the store said to me as he placed a plastic palm tree in my hand, patting my shoulder with his other hand and smiling from ear to ear. Nerocheló̱na love tree.

The girls took our turtles into the house and immediately began giving them names.

We should name them after rock-stars, they say.

By the following day, however, Philomena was not pleased with the living quarters of this big family.

– This tank is too small. We need to build something with rocks and mud, make them feel like they are in a real pond. I think they are sad in there.

Fortunately, it’s still summer here in Greece so we filled up a paddling pool and turned it into our pond. For hours the turtles frolicked in their new pond, climbed rocks and basked in the glorious sunshine. The girls meanwhile transformed into scientists, recording how long some of the turtles were able to hold their breath under water. They then got out sketchpads to draw beautiful turtle shell patterns. After a while, I went inside the house to make lunch.

A short moment later, Luna came running into the house screaming.

One is missing, Mummy, one is missing!!!! It escaped and we can’t find it!!!!

I ran outside and began counting the turtles to see if a mistake had been made. It seemed impossible to me that they would be able to climb out of the pool. But then the girls confessed, tears streaming down their faces, that they had taken all of the turtles out at the same time to let them walk on the grass.

So we began the search. We combed through the long grass for hours. – We’re so sorry mummy, we’re so sorry.

Body slumped over in the grass, Philomena asks,

– Can we go to church and light a candle? I want to go to church Mummy and say a prayer to God for the turtle. Of course, I say.

I was at a loss as to how to make them feel better so off we went to light a candle in the little shrine outside of our local Greek Orthodox Church, St Constantinos.

– Mummy, which God should I pray to? Is there a God for turtles—for animals? Pacha-mama, right? Before I could answer, Philomena answered for herself,

I will pray to Jesus and Pacha-mama to keep him safe and also to St. Phanourios so that she might find her way back.

Phanourios is known here as “the saint of lost and found”—there was a celebration in his honour when we first arrived in Greece. The girls also mysteriously found some lost items just after the celebration, so they are strong believers now.

photo (1)

 

Later that night before tucking the girls into bed, we walked the grass once more with flashlights.

– Maybe she’s lost and when she sees the light of the flashlight, she’ll come running back to us? suggests Luna.

But no luck. The turtle was nowhere to be seen.

Or maybe, I suggested—as I wiped their tears once more—maybe we can be happy for the turtle. After all, the turtle is free now. We were only meant to look after the turtle for a while but the turtle really belongs to the earth, not to us. Now she is free to go where she pleases and to live among nature as turtles are meant to do. And who knows, maybe the turtle will find another turtle and keep expanding her family. Think of her as an explorer, a pioneer. The turtle that broke free.

– We don’t live anywhere near a pond, Mummy, says Luna confidently. There are no other turtles around to MATE!

And anyway, adds Philomena, why would she want to break free? She was happy with her family. She had this family. We made her her own pond and it was bigger than the one at the store. She didn’t even have to find spiders on her own, we fed her.

– Well Philomena, maybe she started wandering, not realising how far away she had gone, and then she couldn’t find her way back? Or maybe she realised how lovely it was to walk through the tall grass on her own. Maybe she needed to keep wandering.

I stayed in the room with my girls until they fell asleep.

But later that night, while I was reading outside, hoping that turtle no.10 might miraculously appear before me, the garden sprinklers turned on; they do this automatically at 2am every night. That’s it, I thought to myself. The turtle escaped, yes. She has left the little pool but she didn’t leave her family. She is still quite close by. She is hiding in the grass somewhere safe but in an environment where she feels truly free. And she will survive because the garden sprinklers will create puddles for her to swim in every night under the moonlight. She will find rocks to climb and continue to soak up the sun every day. She will find a perfect space to burrow herself in a small mound of mud, never too far away from the rest of her brood.





Philia is: Family Unity

12 10 2014

 

 

 

 

Meet Pina (note the arabesque):

Pina