Sunday, November 6, 2011

greece (and me) then..........and now

i recently found this foto, taken 30 odd years ago, when i lived in athens. it was the night before i was to return to the states after living in greece for what seemed like a lifetime. i remember how excited i was at life stretching out in front of me.......and scared too. (and yes, i am smoking - bad girl. it was a hard habit to break in a country where everybody smokes, but then that's no excuse...)

so why do i keep returning to this place? 

yes, because of my work (a long commute) but closer to the truth is that i guess i am intensity addicted. this landscape is so ancient and full of phantoms. as an archaeologist, it's a great place to dig things up - both in the soil and in the soul.


i didn't realize until i was going through fotos of my trip last november that my sister had taken a shot of me in almost the same exact spot. 


it made me think how many centuries these stones have been here. how many people have sat upon them, looking out over this very same view, down to the herodus atticus theatre and across to the hill of the pnyx, over the staccato-like cypress towards the aegean sea in the distance. 


and i wonder....what were they thinking about? did the sun warm them the same way — the birds shrieking and tracing the same patterns in the sky? did the ghosts of athena, pan and persephone escape from crevices in the ancient earth and whisper the same secrets?

i don't know. perhaps i'm not meant to....yet i keep returning. i like stones - both digging them up and just - sometimes - sitting on them. 




forever trying to download history, and marinate in the mystery. 

34 comments:

  1. Those pictures are wonderful! Both of them!

    I love to read your posts as I often have the same thoughts, and I wonder what would have been if I had followed my first love of archaeology. No worries now of course, but I have the same thought when walking ancient pathways, wondering how they were built and who built them, and touching an ancient brick that still shows a handprint - to me that is amazing/awesome. Someday I'd like to go on a dig as a volunteer for a few weeks and either get it all out of my system or become a professional volunteer! Someday~!

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  2. it's pretty incredible to see such continuity in any one person's life, never mind in a country. this kind of history is so beyond me. it must give you an incredibly unique perspective.

    it does make me think more on time. the time of the buildings, our time, the time of stones themselves.

    xo
    erin

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  3. Keep on marinating, the stew is going to be delicious...

    Wonderful pair of photos from then and closer to now.

    Hopefully Greece will pull through these hard times.

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  4. a much needed ode to this place.

    please have a good new week ahead.


    daily athens photo

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  5. Absolutely adore this:

    'did the sun warm them the same way'

    Beautiful photographs of yourself, Amanda. You look like you belong.

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  6. The two photos of you in the same spot are fantastic! I too think the same thoughts about my ancient village, as I'm out walking about, I daydream about all the others who have walked before me. Oh to be able to travel back in time and see it then :-)

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  7. your words here are sheer poetry, amanda, i think because they come from the deepest place of love. your connection with this land,these stones, this mystery, must be destiny at play, and i have no doubt the gods and goddesses are very pleased with your part on the world stage.

    it is joy to know you, and i hope mim gets her dig.

    love always
    kj

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  8. Yes, I am awed by the history, etc...but what I really want to know is how you manage to stay so gorgeous?? I don't believe that the first picture was taken 30 years ago!

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  9. very true, Athens are magical and they are a kind of addcition!

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  10. well Greece looks good for you; did you find the secret of eternal youth while digging around? history melds us to the planet and ancient human history is ultimately absorbing - its like the veil of time becomes so much thinner. its great to be able to share your passion and knowledge here. thanks Amanda x

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  11. Dear Amanda, finally finding the time to stop by. And what a great post to start my day with...
    So many thoughts run through my mind while I read it and it is almost difficult to put then into a coherent comment.
    I am just like you, I feel it all, perhaps as we are cancerians.;) I too feel that connection and ties with certain places, and I think I can so understand how intrigued you must be by the history that lies so very openly everywhere in Greece. I guess this is what I missed most about Europe, when living in the US; history. The history that spoke to me from every cobbled stone and every building, in cities that have stood for over a millennium, seeing so many generations and so much of humanity passing them by - yet they withstood it all.
    Love that image of you (both of them, you have not changed at all;) and love the sentiments here.;)
    Have a lovely week,
    xoxo

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  13. I love both photos of you. Other than the smoking, you haven't changed much and the landscape/ruins not at all. Perhaps what draws us to writing, photography and blogging is not unlike archaeology: a desire to leave something behind that will last.

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  14. the marinade has soaked through to your bones and your essence

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  15. ,,an adventure that some of us can only read about. Thanks for that :)

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  16. Lovely photos. What is it with some of us just falling in love with a place and going back time after time? I adore Italy, more specifically Rome and I always long to go back. And when I do, I always seem to leave a piece of me behind.

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  17. mim - it is possible for you to have that experience of going on a dig - many excavations have volunteer programs, ours included. if you are interested in doing this sometime let me know!

    erin - time does have a way of stretching when you keep returning to a place like greece. thanks for pointing that out to me - maybe that's why i love this place so much.

    owen - ha! oh i'm marinating for sure!

    i certainly hope things get better in greece as well. for now, it seems a long way away..

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  18. robert - with all the bad news out there about greece, i'm happy i could share a bit of happiness about the place.

    suze - thank you dear - after all these years, i feel like i belong, finally.

    sara - i wonder if you live in a region of france where there are roman aqueducts? i imagine treading those ancient stone paths in le petit village can take you back a long way in time..

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  19. kj - i don't know if the gods and goddesses are pleased (altho i hope they are! ;-) i do wonder about that destiny part. the feelings i have being in greece make me wonder about the existence of reincarnation..

    maggie - ah, thank you my dear♡ thems kind words indeed ;-)

    ola - yes. for me, athens - and greece - is an addiction.

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  20. val - history melds us to the planet — it surely does. in ways we sometimes don't realize.

    the fountain of youth? believe me, if i find it i'll make sure to bottle it!

    zuzana - one of the things that impressed me the most when i first came to greece was the difference between what they referred to as old vs. what we here in the states consider old. i was blown away to walk by 2000 year old monuments right in the midst of athens. maybe we cancerians have an affinity for all this old stuff, eh?

    sarah - a profound thought indeed. only time will tell if our blogs in cyberspace will have the same lasting footprint as the monuments of antiquity.

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  21. janet - i think i've been marinating since my first trip to greece at age 11! hopefully it ages like wine ;-)

    glenn - that's the best part of blogging, to share one's experience and hope it entertains or educates someone. thank you my friend ♡

    loree - i remember you have spoken that way about rome. i hope you get a chance to return to the eternal city often. like you, i do believe i leave a little behind with every trip, but i take a little home with me as well.

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  22. I gotta ask, Sis-where did you find that jacket?!!!
    Love-Amy

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  23. was just at Gettysburg and was scrabbling among the boulders thinking the same thing...the indians, settlers, soldiers and blood on the rocks and fields. I guess the rocks do talk, but we need people like you to interpret

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  24. Beautiful pictures and thoughts, dear lovely Amanda! I know how you must have felt. I was once visiting Kronborg in Helsingör in Denmark, the castle which Shakespeare used as setting for his
    Hamlet. I sat outside just by the water and watched the waves and thought, aren`t our conflicts and personal dramas just the same, then and now? Did Hamlet sit here, too, wondering what to do?
    Have you read Reya`s last post (the Gold Puppy)on how we are related to all our ancestors, including rocks and trees? Yes, we are.

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  25. Sisters ~ Had the same thought about the jacket! Amanda was always so routine in her clothes - same old hand-me-downs...that jacket looks like a newer possession.

    Notice the clogs under her legs? Can you imagine walking over stones with those on? Turn my ankle for sure!

    It is timeless - and you are only looking younger baby sister by the day. What's the magic spell?

    Lexy arrived in Athens yesterday - I hope she checked out Syntagma Square to see what the government protestors are up to. Have you heard who the leaders are in the UE? Pappasconi and Merkosy.

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  26. I think we all find a place that speaks to our heart and we can't let go of it. Greece is a beautiful country I can understand the pull for you.
    V

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  27. Beautiful memories of a state now in turmoil!

    PEACE!

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  28. famous - actually it wasn't a jacket, just a lumberjack shirt - but it probably came from goodwill like all my clothes in college!

    tom - from what i hear, gettysburg is a very haunted place. i bet there are a lot of ghosts talking if you listen very closely.

    geli - that castle sounds amazing. i have a thing for them and would love to visit hamlet's - talk about haunted!

    i will have to take a look at reya's post - it sounds very intriguing...

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  29. deb - you got it right - hand me down! and yes, the clogs - good lord, i am wearing them right now, still! (not the same ones, tho ;-) as for a magic spell, like everyone i am working on it! (but thank you for the sweet compliment!)

    virginia - i think we must all have a place that speaks to our hearts - thanks so much for the comment and for visiting!

    r-bear - peace indeed. especially right now - saying a prayer that greece gets through this current crisis and on to better times.

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  30. it appears greece is inside you and these photos are terrific. lately i've been thinking lots about how we have all sorts of things locked inside us and as we journey, we have encounters that unlock some of those chambers. perhaps greece and you share that intimacy. someone who sat on that same wall how many centuries ago is unlocking you as you sit there.

    xo
    sherry

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  31. sherry - i love this idea - instead of inhabiting a place it inhabits us...i'm trying to get my head around the concept of someone who sat in this place centuries ago unlocking me...

    you've given me something quite profound to ponder......thank you.

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  32. Beautiful you, then and now. Awesome photos and I like what you have to say about Greece. It's good to have a place that makes your heart sing.
    For me I felt that sensation when visiting Central Australia, the Northern Territory... but I've never had the pleasure of Greece.

    x

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  33. PS.. I totally agree with what kj has said

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  34. robyn, thank you kindly. i have never been to australia, and would love to discover the central and northern territories you speak of. i've read so much about alice springs and the outback and some day i hope to have the pleasure of traveling there~

    xoxo

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