Economics: Greek disburdenment

3 07 2015

Dear Solon,

Friend and poet, to where have you disappeared?

Please rise from wherever you are. We the Greeks, and the whole of Europe, are at a crossroads; we so desperately need you to listen and translate messages from the Oracle.

Is there no pupil of yours capable of immediate travel to Delphi? This is of utmost urgency.

We need you to write us a new poem.

Please can you help us to better understand what you meant when you asked us Athenians to “take the mid-seat, and be the vessel’s guide”?

Because things have come full cycle you see, once again the cycles of economic and political deadlock weigh heavily upon us all.

And it is for Greece as it is for the whole of Europe. Perhaps the whole of the West.

We are once again questioning our ideals around economic growth and prosperity. Questioning whether democracy may constrain and destabilise our national–our continental, our global–stability.

Is it true that the original meaning of the word demokratia was coined by aristocratic members of the Greek public – the rich elite who did not like being outvoted by the common people? Did demokratia originally mean ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’? I do remember that Plato warned us about the economic consequences of democracy–that “democratic leaders would rob the rich, keep as much of the proceeds for themselves and then distribute the rest to the people.”

Although we celebrate democracy today, and over half the world’s population live in a democracy, our modern governments continue to maintain complete control of our economy. The political elite, despite being elected by the masses, remains dominated by an aristocracy of birth. Even in America, we bear witness to political positions of the highest offices, kept within family blood lines, even shared among spouses.

Do you recon John Adams was right when he told us to remember that “democracy never lasts long”? “It soon wastes,” he said “exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation.”

You may be surprised, but Greece today is not so radically different from your time. There is a loss of confidence in all our institutions–the rich, the poor, the middle, have all lost confidence in the formal structures that are meant to sustain us. The eupatridae (some are simply disguised as others) continue to monopolize government and own the best land; poor farmers continue living in debt; the middle classes of middling farmers, merchants and artists remain excluded and resentful of government. The lack of trust in our political leaders has cast a terrible spell of doubt that leaves us unable to depend upon the institutions we once so desperately believed in. This lack of trust means that despite the passing of so much time, we never corrected our tax-collection system.

What is worse, and most pressing at this precise moment, is that our relations with neighbouring countries are growing sour. As it was in the past, the major neighbouring powers continued to have a strategic interest in ensuring Greece’s stability. Although we have continued to be capital-poor and import-dependent, although we have been unable to rid ourselves of a political culture of patronage, our neighbours have insisted in helping us build up our economy. Build up to what? you might wonder. I too wonder. You would be shocked to learn that we have long since forfeited our fiscal sovereignty to external creditors. Our monetary policy is in the hands of the Germans not the Greeks. At least at the moment.

debt. or to use your words: disburdenment.
i so often wonder how much ideas are worth.
the value of ideas and ideals
monarchy, tyranny, oligarchy democracy:
all borrowed from the Greeks.

Perhaps you would not be surprised, but creating and collecting debt remains good business the world over. Oh, I do remember dear Solon, your first public measure–the enactment for existing debts to be remitted. This act of humanity, and to the augmentation of measures and the purchasing power of money, relieved the poor not by a cancelling of debts, but by a reduction of the interest upon them.

Currency. Do you remember how you made the mina to consist of a hundred drachmas, which before had contained only seventy-three? I wonder if something like that is possible today. The Euro is our modern-day, shared currency, used as mechanism to maintain “stable” economic unity across Europe and grow (“together”). Member states (there are 19 of us) are allowed to issue euro coins, but the amount must be authorised by what we call the ECB beforehand.

Along with a number of other nation states, our most recent debt crisis began in 2009. We Greeks stopped hiding it and came clean about the extent of our indebtedness and openly communicated the imminent danger of a Greek sovereign default.

The future of Greece now rests in the hands in democracy–demokratia.

Dear poet, please shine your wisdom upon us, help us be the vessels guide.

εν αναμονή συμβουλή σας

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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.

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– – 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.

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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.

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

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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)

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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.





Beauty: Valley of Astonishment

7 12 2014

IN the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. – Dante 

peter brooks

http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/greeceonthespotlight/municipal_theatre_the_jewel_of_piraeus_is_open_again





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

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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)




faux FREEDOM

5 11 2014

“I can’t explain freedom, Mummy. Its just something you feel when you’re being free.” – Luna

“I will say this about the abstract concept of ‘freedom’; it’s possible you are freer if you accept what you are and just get on with being the person you are, than if you maintain this kind of uncommitted I’m free-to-be-this, free-to-be-that, faux freedom.” – Jonathan Franzen





LOVE: “The game of life is love.”

18 10 2014

“let’s be love.” – Υ.Π. Σ.Κ.Τ.

(Graffiti in Nea Makri)

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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.

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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.





FREEDOM is: forgiveness

13 10 2014

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.

– Hannah Arendt on Freedom

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Hannah Arendt





Happiness is finding the perfect office space

2 10 2014

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Beauty is watching people come together through dance

29 09 2014

“As I watched the seagulls, I thought: That’s the road to take; find the absolute rhythm and follow it with absolute trust.” 

“We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the eternal rhythm.” 

– Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek 





LOVE in Greece: Piraeus’ Children

19 09 2014

 

The MELINA MERCOURI FOUNDATION, adopting the fundamental ideas of the policy that Melina Mercouri planned and implemented when she was Minister of Culture, aspires to contribute to the promotion and dissemination of Greek culture in Greece and abroad.

Already during the first days of her term of office, Melina Mercouri, setting her priorities, decided to strongly support the project of conservation of the Acropolis monuments and at the same time she undertook the initiative for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. These two essential choices Melina Mercouri made, relied upon a firm conviction: that the Acropolis monuments, as an integral entity of unique artistic value, convey the classical Greek spirit and as universal symbols, embody values, principles and ideals which contemporary societies strive to attain.

http://www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr





Philotimo: a Greek secret

11 09 2014




FREEDOM: Walking like Giants

27 08 2014

I used to walk like a giant on the land
Now I feel like a leaf floating in a stream
I wanna walk like a giant
I wanna walk like a giant on the land

Me and some of my friends
We were gonna save the world
We were trying to make it better
We were ready to save the world
But then the weather changed
And the white got stained
And it fell apart
And it breaks my heart

But think about how close we came
I wanna walk like a giant on the land
I wanna walk like a giant on the land

Tried to head for long and straight
We were riding on the desert wind
We were pulling in the spiritual
Riding on the desert wind
We could see it in the distance
Getting closer every minute
We saw the lights and spiritual shining
Getting closer every minute
Then we skipped the rails
And we started to fail
And we folded up
And it’s not enough

Think about how close we came
I wanna walk like a giant on the land
I wanna walk like a giant on the land

Whenever I see the big fire coming
Coming to burn down all my ideas
I try to hold on to my thinking
And remember how it feels
When I’m looking right in your eyes
And hearing your happy laughter
When I’m seeing your blue eyes shining
And hear your happy laughter
So the moment came
And the big sky rained
And it put out the fire
Except in my desire

When I think about how good it feels
I wanna walk like a giant on the land
I wanna walk like a giant on the land

I used to walk like a giant on the land
Now I feel like a leaf floating in a stream
I wanna walk like a giant
– Niel Young

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giants_(Greek_mythology)





GREECE: admits us to a vision of the earth unravaged- V. Woolf

24 08 2014

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“In six pages of Proust we can find more complicated and varied emotions than in the whole of the Electra. But in the Electra or in the Antigone we are impressed by something different, by something perhaps more impressive — by heroism itself, by fidelity itself. In spite of the labour and the difficulty it is this that draws us back and back to the Greeks; the stable, the permanent, the original human being is to be found there. Violent emotions are needed to rouse him into action, but when thus stirred by death, by betrayal, by some other primitive calamity, Antigone and Ajax and Electra behave in the way in which we should behave thus struck down; the way in which everybody has always behaved; and thus we understand them more easily and more directly than we understand the characters in the Canterbury Tales. These are the originals, Chaucer’s the varieties of the human species.”

… “It is an exhausting process; to concentrate painfully upon the exact meaning of words; to judge what each admission involves; to follow intently, yet critically, the dwindling and changing of opinion as it hardens and intensifies into truth. Are pleasure and good the same? Can virtue be taught? Is virtue knowledge? The tired or feeble mind may easily lapse as the remorseless questioning proceeds; but no one, however weak, can fail, even if he does not learn more from Plato, to love knowledge better. For as the argument mounts from step to step, Protagoras yielding, Socrates pushing on, what matters is not so much the end we reach as our manner of reaching it.”

… “Truth, it seems, is various; Truth is to be pursued with all our faculties. Are we to rule out the amusements, the tendernesses, the frivolities of friendship because we love truth? Will truth be quicker found because we stop our ears to music and drink no wine, and sleep instead of talking through the long winter’s night? It is not to the cloistered disciplinarian mortifying himself in solitude that we are to turn, but to the well-sunned nature, the man who practises the art of living to the best advantage, so that nothing is stunted but some things are permanently more valuable than others.”

“Every word is reinforced by a vigour which pours out of olive-tree and temple and the bodies of the young.”

 

Excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s On Not Knowing Greek https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91c/chapter3.html

 





Happiness is embracing the past

21 08 2014

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Consciousness: Dislocation of Our Time

20 08 2014

New York Times: Why Our Monuments Matter

Nikos Konstandaras
ATHENS —
“It was only natural that the Acropolis inspired some introspection in Freud. His whole frame of reference, like the tale of Oedipus, was ancient Greece and its myths, archetypes and tragedies. As he himself liked to observe, Freud excavated like an archaeologist through layers of consciousness, pursuing the secrets of the mind; he changed the way we see ourselves. Face to face with the marble evidence of the ancient world, he looked back into himself….”

“….The great dislocation of our time indicates just how frail our monuments, our books, our thoughts and principles can be. Still, they exist — and they are our guide and our shield. But if our symbols are lost, we will be no better than ignorant armies riding pickup trucks through the endless dust, where canals, dried and gone, once made the desert bloom.”

[Nikos Konstandaras is the managing editor and a columnist at the newspaper Kathimerini.]

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Economics: Addressing the Nutella Crisis

19 08 2014

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/19/how-bad-weather-around-the-world-is-threatening-nutella/