have trowel will travel

it's that time of year when persephone heads underground.

wrong season, say you? doesn't persephone spend winter in the underworld, when the crops wither and die?

not this persephone.....she heads underground following the academic and not agricultural cycle. when school's out, digging begins.......

and so i am traveling to points east. but before i head to the dig in greece i am traveling to see an old friend who has asked me to visit for over a decade.......a friend who lives in a relatively new country amidst an ancient land where i haven't been in over 25 years. 

as i get ready to go, i trip over clothes, scattered all over the bedroom floor. electronic junk. lug soled work shoes. trying to pack for 5 weeks.

one thing i am taking for sure:

my favorite book of all time. i have been saving it to re-read and this is the perfect opportunity. 

what is up with all the post it notes, you might ask?

this is a book about obsession and i am obsessed with this book. few writers have captured greece for me that way john fowles has - few have captured the mysteries of life. each post it note was highlighting a sentence or paragraph that moved me, such as this:
None of the books I had read explained this sinister-fascinating, this Circe-like quality of Greece; the quality that makes it unique......in Greece landscape and light are so beautiful, so all-present, so intense, so wild, that the relationship is immediately love-hatred, one of passion. It took me many months to understand this, and many years to accept it. 

i removed 58 post it notes. as i am rereading the book during this trip, i want to start from scratch. to savor it, like any great obsession.
today i head off into the sunset. laptop in hand, i say thank goddess for skype (to keep connected to my family.) i will be posting as often as i am able....and leave you with these words:

Something had been waiting there all my life. I stood there and I knew who waited, who expected. It was myself. I was here and this house was here , you and I and this evening was here and they had always been here, like reflections of my own coming. It was like a dream. I had  been walking towards a closed door, and by a sudden magic its impenetrable wood became glass and I saw myself coming from the other direction, the future. 

This is dedicated to Erin and to Robin; one who meets herself in dreams and the other, my Fowlesian 'twin'. 


  1. 'I had been walking towards a closed door, and by a sudden magic its impenetrable wood became glass, through which I saw myself coming from the other direction,'

    You have me scrambling to find the book online the moment I leave your page, Amanda.

    Absolutely love your opening sentence. Safe travels, my dear.

  2. Ooooh have fun! We'll miss you...

  3. Hmmm. So I read the description including these words, 'a deadly game of violence, sensuality and eroticism,' and feel quite put off from attempting the read. I am what you might call a reader with finely-, finely-, finely-tuned sensitivity and cannot take much where it concerns the stripping of human dignity-- particularly in sexual situations.

    Can you-- and do you even wish to-- attempt to sway me to give the book a chance? I'd be interested in your response, Amanda.

  4. can't wait to hear about it all,, hopefully,,:)

  5. How wonderful to be heading to Greece at this time of year...it will be magical. John Fowles is a great writer and I think I will reread the Magus again sometime....can't wait to see Greece along with you. It remains in my mind as one of the most beautiful and fascinating places on earth...

  6. ohmygod! i am screaming! frig! i just read this quote aloud to robert and i was falling back into remembering when i accidentally came across this book when i was a young adult. i fell in love with the book! love. love and passion, things that can't be written anywhere or shared without dim light. ohmygod. it has been so long and just last week i shared this title with a young student that works with us this summer. and then and then your note to me! i'm hooting. i'm so excited.

    again. again soon i'll read. i don't bother with post its though. books are not sacred and clean. they are to be used like tissue. i wipe myself on them. and i wipe them on me. ink and soil. ink and soil.

    have a beautiful trip. what might you dig? more than things, i think.


  7. As much as I will miss you, I am thrilled you are returning to the land within your soul that you adore!

    I am on Skype.... so if you ever find the time, ring me! I'll e-mail you my cell phone number - just in case...

    Safe and wonderous travels, dear *Twin*, you are bringing the most perfect of books with you!

    ♥ Robin ♥

  8. I have not heard about this book before, as a fan of Greece I must add it to the list of books I am planning to read

  9. How intriguing, how magical this book sounds. I can understand the call, the allure, the soul searching here. Wish I were accompanying you, interested in your work, in the world of bringing the past to life.
    Happy Work.
    Stay in touch.
    We'll miss you.

  10. dear amanda,
    thrilling! you amaze me, your an incredibly facinating person. when i first saw the book posted up like that i thought 'a beautiful mind' and i mean this in the most complimentary way. you have a beautiful mind and soul. i can't wait to see what you'll share with us on this journey (when you have time of course!)

    i hope you enjoy each minute of these coming days.
    safari njema my friend,

  11. Enjoy your travels and your digs :) Oh how exciting! I love that paragraph you posted. It reminds me of the relationship I have with Rome. What is it about these ancient places which is so seductive?

  12. Have a nice trip. And have productive digs. Digs are opuir bridge to our past and are precious even if not fully appreciated.

  13. Wow, those post its crack me up! I can see how beloved this book is. I'm bright green with envy that you are once again traveling to an amazing place. I wish you a safe trip, and I look forward to your amazing photos!

  14. Off to Ithaka again! Hope you have a wonderful time, and un-earth something delightful. I'll wait eagerly for your return, or more posts, which ever happens first.

  15. Bon voyage! How much fun to go off and dig and visit an old friend. The Magus sounds fabulous - that first excerpt especially. All your stickies cracked me up. Love it! Sorry to be so late to visit. I've been offline most of this week - so much going on with the kids. I'm looking forward to your posts from the field.

  16. I HAVE to read The Magus - I have no excuse for not!!
    Enjoy your travels, digs and most of all have fun

  17. i have to read that book again now - its been years! hope to hear from you as often as possible! take good care and have a fabulous time underground xx

  18. suze - answering your question about the book's content - the sexuality is not salacious in any way - the book is really a story of human psychology and how it can be manipulated, but i would not say there is anything content wise that would deeply offend anyone. if you start reading it you can see fowles' style and hopefully you will feel comfortable enough to continue - for me, it would be hard to stop reading! good luck and let me know how you like it!

    miranda - many thanks♡

    glenn - i will do my best!

    sue - i feel the same way you do about greece ;-)

  19. erin - no, books are not sacred and clean they are meant to be loved, used, as you say — and yes — the digging part. you are so right - the digging goes on in the earth and in the soul ♡

    dear twin - if you email me your number i will try to skype you from the land of june and july —— either in june or july!!! lots of love dear robin xoxo

    ola - let me know if you like it!!

    rosaria - thank you dear- i will do my best to blog en route ;-)

  20. lori,

    many thanks dear girl - you are the sweetest ~ i plan to blog en route to the best of my ability (and internet access of course!) thanks for your kind words ~


    loree - the pull of the ancient is seductive indeed - if you believe in past lives, then, maybe therein lies a clue.......

    paul - they are a bridge to our past, and are precious indeed, as you say~

    julie - kind thanks♡

  21. thanks r-bear- i will do my best to post as often as i can before i return - i love to share what i see and experience on the road and it makes me happy that you enjoy it ♡

    thanks sarah - i hope the play, lacrosse and end of school exams all go well — enjoy your well-deserved (and very exciting) summer break!

    janet - i will (am) doing my best to have fun — thanks so much dear!

    val - ah- so you've read the magus as well — it's one of those books that stays with you, i think, so hope the re-read is enjoyable!

    thanks for your kind wishes and will be checking in as often as internet access allows ;-)

  22. Amanda, thanks for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. And congratulations on your 100th post!

  23. suze - you are welcome! and if you send me your mailing address i'll see if i can find you a heart tamato (re your comment a couple posts ago) when i get to greece....


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