Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wish Jars

The moon is hanging low and yellow at the end of Solonos street tonight, smeared with drifting clouds. It's full.

When I was in Epheses with Hande, we went to the house where it is believed Mother Mary spent her last days. There's a church there now where people go to pray, and a board where they leave their wishes (prayers), tied with a rag to the wishes of others and assembled into a sort of cottony jumbled heap of white. 

I was having trouble knowing what to wish for, standing their with my pen hovering in the air and searching for what was the essence of everything I wanted or needed at that moment in time. Hande was watching me struggle.

"I would start with your health."

So starting with my health, I wrote down three separate wishes (prayers) and tied them to the board. Hande did the same. As we walked away she told me that her mother comes all of the time to this place.


"Sometimes to ask for something, and many times to thank her for answering."

I should mention that Hande's family is technically Muslim.

Nearly one month later, I have to plan a trip to Izmir to thank the Lady for granting one of my wishes, if not two, considering I'm still walking, talking, moving, breathing and bleeding as does any healthy human being.

No, I'm not telling you what the wish was. There are still two more to go. I don't know how these things work; is it a package deal? All or nothing? Does uttering one out loud dispell the others?

I've been working a lot of positive magic lately. I have a jar full of torn paper from writing down nice things that someone in particular does for me. I did this because I was getting crabby about things that I maybe don't consider so nice. It was an attempt to refocus my attention.

I'll restate that the jar is full and still growing.

I have a lot of jars. It goes along with my obsession with honey which has only grown stronger since living in the Mediterranean where there are happy bees. Anyone who's seen Greece in the Spring could see why. Flowers are shooting out of the pavement here. Anyway I go through a jar of honey about every two and a half weeks, and we're not talking the little plastic bear size. There's Pooh Bear, and then there's me. That's all.

The result is that each time I finish the honey, I can't let go of the jar. It's a memory of that wild Greek honey I enjoyed every morning for breakfast and every night in my tea... or just the fact that I'm having wild Greek honey twice a day, which is certainly one of the highlights of my decisions upon coming here.

I have these jars and I want to do something beautiful and artistic with them but I can't decide what. I want them to benefit other people. I want the happiness that I had each time I opened the jar and dropped my spoon into that thick amber matter, had a little taste, a small moment of ecstasy on the tongue, I want that to be transferred to someone else. I can't decide, it's true, but I do have some vague notions competing for the gold.

They require little tokens, symbols, and messages. Maybe old photographs. Feathers. Buttons. Strips of poetry. A gold coin.

I imagine them being found on windowsills or the hood of cars. I'm not bothered by thoughts of them going unappreciated (most beautiful things aren't) It's just important to me to have my camera battery replaced so that I can document them before I send them out into the world. My poor camera battery has been in need of being replaced since before Izmir. Maybe I should have made four wishes....

Went to Ancient Corinth again today. On the road between the ancient site and Nafplio there is a row of farmers' booths selling wine, oil, fruit, herbs, and honey. I don't know how it got started but George started stopping at one in particular and I've become their customer. The honey they put in the jars comes from pine trees. It's heavy and sweet, thick and opaque compared to the crystalline stuff in the supermarkets. Sometimes we take clients by so they can sample the different honeys. Most of them had no idea there is such a thing as "different" honeys. The two farmers that run the stall don't speak a lick of English but their smiles say everything when they see the black van rolling up. It doesn't matter if we buy one apple or ten bottles of their garage produced wine; they're happy to see a frequent customer.

We were running late today. No time for wine and honey sampling. We were about to roll on past, the farmers just waving hello, when George wheeled to the side of the road and said "You have two minutes. Go and get it."

The clients were a bit puzzled but I think in the end they found it amusing that the American assistant buys her honey on the old road to Nafplio.