After a five month writing hiatus, I finally have the courage to express myself again through my blog. It's been so long that even my wix site has garnered a new format. I chose the above picture because in the foreground is the beauty of the Molyvian peninsula divided by the Aegean Sea with the Turkish coast in the background. An absolute paradise to anyone looking at the picture and coming for a visit. The last months on Lesvos have been a conundrum for me. After 10 years, I can officially say that I live here now and with that said I have one foot moving back to another place. I really don't know even where to begin this blog because there is so much to say and then why even waste my time. Will anyone listen? Does anybody really care?
So let's just put it out there. What is the state of Greece or island life right now? It's summer in Greece which means socializing with the world at your local taverna or seaside attraction and having fun in the sun. The hot days turn into the splendor of long nights and the table that you are sitting at absolutely doesn't lack conversation about Varoufakis, Tsipras, the economy, the bailout and the mass migration of refugees. We welcome tourists on the eve of the second biggest holiday for Greeks - the festival for the Virgin Mary, August 15th. Yes, come tourists help stimulate our economy. All locals who are blessed with summer work are working long hours, sometimes a split day with the middle of the day off and that is 7 days a week with no days off. So really if you didn't know that we just went through such upheaval with our government and economy and you lived under a rock as in don't watch the news, you would think as you go into each village this place is doing alright. But, something else bubbles under the surface for me.
I don't know if it is the worry of the upcoming winter and if I will make ends meet or if this place I finally call home really isn't my home or just a place I stubbornly believed in. I can truthfully say I am angry at the irresponsibility of our fore fathers here in Greece for getting us into this unbelievable economic mess. And rightfully so I am angry at myself for investing in a place I so blissfully believed in. Part of me is ready to pack it up and go and another part of me is as stubborn as the next Greek no you are staying and making this right again. After the "No" means "Yes" vote and the Euro group "our partners" put a gun to Tsipras's head, I was so pissed off that even I wanted to become one of those hooligans and throw a moltov cocktail at parliament. Yes to more austerity "are you kidding me?" I was shattered with the outcome of that! Utterly disgusted that I voted for someone I believed would pull us out of this mess and it just didn't matter!
But alas something in me calmed my pissed off side down and turned to my compassionate side as with every excursion I made outside of my tiny mountain village, I had to remind myself to fill the car with water and bread for those people - migrants, immigrants and refugees who risked their lives and paid passage in a rubber boat, dinghy and crossed that beautiful divide of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Lesvos and now were walking towards a better life. Lesvos - a refuge for asylum seekers.
How do I feel when I've just made an excursion with wonderful Ottawans in a splashy red Pandora Jeep as I drive off into the sunset as I pass a mob of Syrian refugees holding a cardboard sign with spray paint saying, "WE ARE HUMAN!" Even as I type this, I cry for these poor war torn people who have just narrowly escaped losing their lives in their own country, left everything behind to come to Europe seeking asylum and crossed the mighty current filled Aegean in a rubber boat some with motors and some without.
Life has a way of putting things into perspective and with this refugee situation mine got a complete reality check.
There were two very quiet nights that had the same somber feeling for me. The first was the night before President Tsipras put forth to his people the vote Yes or No for austerity. Both tavernas in Ipsilometopo were full and you could hear a pin drop. The second was in Molyvos Harbor just the other night. I was with an old time friend eating, all the restaurants were full I couldn't put my finger on it but the mood was very quiet as holiday makers and refugees walked by. So I can truthfully say that this year 2015 will leave an indelible mark on my memory with so much to contemplate in life.
My only salvation is to appreciate the beauty around me, know that I have wonderful food on the table and look forward to the wheels of destiny to move forward and balance this Greek world out.
CONUNDRUM a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun.
A question or problem that has only a conjectural answer.
An intricate and difficult problem