Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm afraid of Americans

Tomorrow I will set foot on U.S. soil for the first time in seven years. I am a bit apprehensive about it for a couple of reason: first, will I love it so much I won't want to return to Greece, and second, will it be the same?

When I left the U.S. I was ready to get the hell out of dodge. Not for any particular reason, it was just if I was going to stagnate somewhere I might as well experience a change of scenery. Yet when I left I was an American through and through. I felt appropriate fear towards terrorist threats, appropriate disdain towards uncouth European ideals, appropriate entitlement from my American roots, and my mind was as closed as a nun wearing a chastity belt. Everything I knew about the world outside of the U.S. was pretty much stereotype perpetuated by the media and the curse of growing up American during the Cold War.

Now, after living in a European country (barely) for 7 years, I no longer feed on media fear, I no longer have disdain for Europeans, and I sure as hell no longer have any sense of entitlement. My mind is more open, and I know more about news of the world than I do news of the U.S. (except, of course, for what is going on with regard to Michael Jackson's death). If I didn't know better, I'd think I had the same general malaise of thought with regard to Americans as many Europeans do. But that can't be right. I'm an American!

Perhaps it is fitting that I will start my trip in the nation's capital. As I stroll around the streets of Washington, D.C., perhaps I will form a new idea of what America means to me. But I'm not certain it is still the place I would call home.

Friday, June 19, 2009


From our mountain we have a pretty good vantage point for watching storms as they approach from the sea and surround the city. Here is an example of a spectacular show we had the other night.

Zeus was certainly in full regalia for this one. This photo from the storm is probably my favorite - from the angry swells of clouds, to the lightening strike illuminating the sea.

Storm 061709-f

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lamb fight

One of the best things about living in such a bucolic setting is the spring, when the herds are always full of little ones. Lambs are the cutest things, especially when they start to play. We caught these two while filming the flock the other day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009



This was how I enjoyed the first full day of Spring. The temperature was on the verge of freezing, so the icy precipitation made a mess of our power lines, breaking one and causing a 16 hour power outage. Thank goodness for book lights and cats, which kept me entertained while my husband was away at a conference. Life in the mountainous areas of Greece can be...interesting.

Friday, March 06, 2009



How many stories have been woven into the threads of this dress? The frock will never tell, a life of love, pain, happiness, regret - washed clean and left to fly away in the bitter March wind.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saving grace

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, at least since the beginning of the year, perhaps a bit longer. Certainly I have a tendency to loathe January – the beginning of the year, while traditionally beckoning a fresh start, seems to leave me melancholy and clamoring for the past. But that isn’t really the source of my depression. I seem to have a bit of problem with the news, mostly the fact that the world happenings of late seem to be rather atrocious. As a society we are constantly bombarded with a 24-hour news cycle of nothing but death, destruction, and pain – and recent events seem to be rolling into an avalanche that will certainly lead to the end of the world. Well, in my hyperbolic, depressed state, anyway. From the attack on Gaza to the Greek riots to the Russia/Ukraine gas dispute and people all over the world starving, unemployed, and losing their homes, it gets to the point where my heart is breaking so much that I start to feel numb.

Then on Thursday I hear that a plane has crashed. Another 100 or more people possibly dead. Another tragedy. It is a straw about to break this camel’s back. My mind is a swirl of anger – isn’t it enough that the world is going through what it is, without this? Did we really need a catastrophic plane crash right now??? I reluctantly switch to CNN, dreading more bad news, but hoping for something, anything that can save me, save us, from everything being bad all the time.

And there was something.

All 155 people on the plane survived. A plane ditched in the river in one of the most perfect plane crashes of all time. A pilot and co-pilot who know what they are doing, passengers who act without panicking, police and ferries and first responders all there ready, saving people, getting them out of the freezing water. At first you have to think of miracles, of a divine hand working some magic, and then you realize if there is a divine hand involved, it is simply showing us that this, THIS is what human beings are capable of. Not all tragedy. Not all pain. Not all bad.

Sure, this doesn’t solve the conflict in the Middle East. It doesn’t help Darfur. It doesn’t feed or clothe people, or provide running water. But it is 155 people who, for a few agonizing minutes on Thursday afternoon may not have thought they would still be alive today. What might have been a disaster became something good. If that doesn’t give us hope, nothing can.