All over Greece I have come in contact with messages from the past
I am deeply enamored with reliquary objects, and icons.
They are a nonverbal record marking a spiritual event or a transcendental experience.
And this record has been a very normal part of my day to day here. It is very grounding.
To be with these objects , is to come face to face with my ancestors, in a silent dialog.
Being from Florida, watershed has always played an integral part in how I tell direction. The direction of an ocean, lake, a flowing river or even a creek can mark or lead towards a location. In Skopelos, the same holds true of water; it can only lead in the correct direction, whether one is following it down towards the bay, or following its path up towards the main road from town.
On this island one can smell the sun. This sense is best exemplified on the goat trail. On this path, in the mid-afternoon, the sun is intense; the color of the ground beneath is a sign of its overbearing quality. As one is walking here, the dust picks up and tickles the nostrils and with it comes the scent of the sun-bleached earth.
touch is a sense that is neglected in everyday life in the states
it is easily overlooked and is a very rich and rewarding sense
the subtle feel of a burr on a plate,
...........................or the velvety softness of a mezzotinted plate......
....................................................................Waxy ball grounds
An etching's rather fetching.
An aquatint makes an A1 print
For those adept at sketching.
Now wood is good
When the cut runs true
And lino's fine, oh yes.
Potato cuts just drive me nuts
For I love to make a mess.
Walking through the winding streets, the leaves of the lemon trees give off a distinctive smell of their own. Some trees are heavy with overgrown, aromatic lemons ready for the picking while others are still in bloom. The heady scent of the lemon trees hangs in the air around each tree overhanging the paths snaking through town.
The trip to Sendoukia was one of the most interesting excursions I've been on during my time in Skopelos. Being up at that burial sight gave me chills. It was the highest up a mountain here I've been, we took a long moment of silence to take it all in: the incredible view, the graves, but especially the eerie feeling that we experienced there.
I think my sixth sense would have to be the thoughts that went through my head at this place. It is rumored that pirates created these graves, but our intuition told us that this site took a lot of hard labor to build: the graves were perfectly chiseled out of the rock with perfect right angles; this was a place built for someone more important.
The feeling at the top of that mountain gave us a feeling of royalty, even holiness, and I'll never forget that weird sense of being in a place where so much work was done, in order to give whoever these people were, a incredible resting place.
When imagining tastes, color always comes into play. I find the color brown to be a rich, soothing, luxurious color; thus most foods which are brown have a rich taste and texture. Skopelos has many cafes which serve coffee type drinks made with Nescafe. The rich color reflects the strongest taste memory from Skopelos that I will carry with me. As Nescafe is not used as commonly as ground coffee in the United States, it will forever remain a symbol and a taste of Skopelos in my mind.
Smell and taste are two senses that are intimately intertwined.
Smell precedes taste
It can enhance or deceive.
Smell is a sneak preview
-of the taste attraction to come
or ink on a slab.
with the lamb
guzzle down the wine Yorgos
hungry beasts wait patiently for the feeding to begin
waiter arrives and the beasts snap hungrily at the floating feast.
foods here dig in..... but WAIT! a prayer
In my case the best sights on the island would have to be the beaches. Each different in their own way and all worth seeing at least once. Though some are expensive to travel to, an afternoon spent on the beach is never a bad idea.
Contrary what is said of roosters, here they do not act as alarm clocks and alert us at dawn. Instead, their "Cock-a-doodle-doos" pierce the air at any given time of the day, calling to other roosters and just becoming a nuisance, especially when attempting to take an afternoon nap.
While I am in Greece, I am trying to learn as much Greek as I can so that I may go back to the States and speak to my Yiayia, Pappou, and Dad in our language. Both my grandparents are sick, and I know it would make them very proud to see their granddaughter immersing herself in our culture. Thanks to the help of Jill, Christos, Jorgos, Minnolis, and Giannis, I am picking up much more of the language than I thought I would in three short weeks.
I have heard the whir of an electric pottery wheel before, and never really paid attention--it's always a background noise, like air conditioning or the current on a power line. Today I heard and saw a manual wheel, or kick wheel, in action. It was a beautiful sound--the potter's foot scraping and propelling the big wooden wheel at the bottom made a rhythm that complemented the constant, up and down, in and out flow of the potter's hands on and around the spinning clay.
Today we visited the workshop of Giannis, a master shipbuilder. His work is incredibly meticulous. I was amazed most by the fact that he does not conduct research to learn the designs of the ancient ships; he knows the dimensions and such from talking to people and mentally storing information.