Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hump Day

I now have more posts behind me than I do ahead, at least when you're looking at the 100 day challenge. This makes today my Wednesday. Τη Τετἀρτη μου. I would like to take a step back and assess what this challenge has done for me. What have I learned. What pleases me?

*I know I can do one thing every day.
*I've learned how to write in absence of inspiration, desire, or need.
*On occasion, I do the job well.
*On occasion, I do the job beautifully.
*I now have a thick stack of words to choose from if ever I wanted to cherry pick the best of the best, bind them together and send them out into the world.
*I understand that I work best in the morning.
*In spite of this, I seem hell bent on writing in the last hours of the evening.
*I enjoy the medium of a b*og because I get to incorporate sound, images, special effects and pink type.

Now, as to where I plan to go with the the next 48.

*I intend to give myself missions in the morning. Write about them in the evening. This could mean trying something different, learning something new, doing something unexpected, social experimentation or just grabbing a moment and living it all the way through... I know it's a bit abstract but should I succeed you'll understand exactly what I mean.

*I would like to start incorporating a little Greek. First a little, then a lot.

*My friendly helper has challenged me to go a little into my dark side. Okay. I accept the challenge. But I should repeat that I don't believe a b*og is the proper platform for me to do so. I don't have any idea why I believe this. It just feels off. Still, when I find the right moment, the right things to share, I'll do it.

Tonight I rode Attikoulamou home from Despina and Kostas's house. I had spent all day there. There was a feast involved; chicken with balsamic sauce, home fries, homemade noodles, green salad with dill, peppers, and apples, broccoli with lemon and olive oil, and ravani (cake soaked in honey) with fresh strawberry preserves for dessert.

I will say about my friendship with Kostas and Despina, I will never go hungry, I will never be out of things to talk about, and I can count on staying longer than I'd anticipated. Really this is how it is with all of my beloveds, be they in Houston, Austin, Georgia, Turkey or Greece. They're surely signs of a rock-solid friendship.

What I like about spending time with Kostas, Despina, their big one and their small one is that there is always something happening. There might be a cake in the oven, the big one hopping on the sofa with a tiara on her curly head and a fairy wand in her hand, the little one sitting under the coffee table, Kostas leaving to buy ice cream and Despina crawling into a hole in the kitchen to search for something she swears is lying just... back...

It's loving chaos. Their house is warm and full of the same happy, buzzy energy you find in their restaurant, Melilotos, the same good smells and occasional breakout of deep, belly laughing.

Despina was indeed crawling into the little hole in her kitchen. What she was looking for was a textbook that might help me with my Greek, something that the universe is clearly wanting me to address. It wasn't there, so I helped her move the dining room table into the hallway, stack a chair on top so that she could crawl up there and ferret around some more.

She found everything. Books in English. Books in French. The wardrobe she'd invested in before she found out she was pregnant. CDs. I wish I'd had a camera of her bare feet poking from the bottoms of her blue jeans, hanging out from that crawlspace under the ceiling, her little girls standing on the table with me, wondering what had gotten into their mommy.

I believe what had gotten into their mommy was a fit of nostalgia. She was on a role by the time she'd gotten down. She went rummaging for old photographs of herself and Kostas in Amorragos Island. She read me a poem she'd written in her poetry writing days. I saw her baby pictures.

Despina surely senses that the moon is a little less than half full, waning to a thin sliver and then to new. It's the perfect time to do dive into old memories and look back a little ways. Read and reflect. Go into your "hut" and dust. Then come out having reassessed, reitimized, reprioritized and get back to bringing in all of the dazzling things you want to line your shelves with. I'm speaking metaphorically of course. I usually am.

I was riding Attikoulamou home down the near empty streets of Athens, the smells of grilled meat in the psiterias curling through the air, the motorscooters lurching ahead with earsplitting engines, the temperature cool as drinking water. I stood in the saddle of my bicycle and soared down a hill, through a tunnel, pumping my way back up and around the corner, speeding past boats of cars still contemplating the gas pedal as the fenari turned green.

Carried my bicycle up the three flights of stairs and into my little hidey hole behind Syngrou Avenue. Switched on the electric kettle. My mountain tea is brewing now to help digest that delicious meal. I'm going to go drink it and drift off. Goodnight.