Precious souls looking down, Illuminating light, Their tranquil tones good company, Deep into the night. They loved me in my lifetime, They love me now they’re gone, Watchful unwavering protection, Melodic, soothing song. I smell sweet roses where I walk, I see them, full bloom, ruby red, He grew them in the garden, So much pride, peaceful bed.
It is the summer of 1969 and it is hot, very hot! The scent of rare orchids and sweet honeysuckle permeate the air, colliding deliciously with the comforting aroma of bread baking in the courtyard ovens. And, I must not forget (God forbid) the dried olive leaves used as sacred incense by the church priest – guaranteed to bless you, smoke drama and the devil OUT.
‘Uranya’ a beautiful and wordly woman (if you believe the village murmurs) lives alone. Set on a beach overlooking the brilliant blue Mediterranean, her home is humble on the outside but the village boys are more interested by the man affirming experiences they have heard goes on inside. So, they start to save their drachmas in a rusty old tin to pay for a ‘visit’ with ‘Uranya’ and discover the mysteries of agapi.
The five boys in this story take an oath on this but there is another potential life-changing event about to take place – the Apollo 11 Moon Landing on July 20th. Now, there was a problem – no one in the village owned a TV on which to watch this historic event on. Achilleas, one of the boys and central to this story is now faced with a dilemma and decision to make that could lead to the breaking of the oath of this randy band of young brothers – spend their savings visiting ‘Uranya’ or buy a TV set – Model 19″ America make URANYA!!
I cried a little and belly laughed a lot watching this 2006 movie. Films like ‘Uranya’ make me think of my nephews and the antics boys get up to in the name of experience and exploration when they are young. It’s a coming of age story and one that impacts the families of the village as well as friendships in ways that change out of date beliefs and perceptions of ones neighbours.
For Achilleas and his friends, this was a time in their simple rural lives when nothing was in reach, yet everything was. When seeing stars and reaching for the moon was a dream, a dream made true with the heavenly love of Greek Muse of Astronomy ‘Urania’ and her village namesake.
In Greek mythology, there were nine muses: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Urania and Calliope. Urania was the guardian of celestial objects and the heavens. Known to have founded astrology, she wore a cloak embroidered with stars and held a sphere and a bow compass.
So you think you’re ugly? Most of us do at some point in our lives and it seems age doesn’t really matter when you feel this way which is why I was guided to this video. A video which reminded me how I felt as a girl and adolescent. I could never take a compliment, could never look someone in the eye when they paid me one, didn’t believe them when they told me I was pretty and would always reply by saying, “No I’m not”.
The struggles of a Greek girl were real though! The mono-brow I wasn’t allowed to pluck and a hairy top lip, ginger in appearance after my cousins introduced me to bleaching; what a stunner!
The struggle still goes on but it is a little different. When a medical problem challenges you by changing the way you look even slightly, you have to find once more, the confidence to say ‘thank you’ after a compliment which you know deep inside to be honest and true.
I recently became the proud owner of a wonky eye, this is what I call it because I have to turn every hurdle into a joke and find that self-deprecation is my only medicine. It’s a coping mechanism which my friends and family know all too well. Luckily, I know my worth, wonky eye or no wonky eye I can still see out of it which is all that really matters and I am well past worrying about what others see when they look at me. What other people think of me is their business, not mine.
How do you make the best out of an uncomfortable situation? How do you jump out from your cosy bed in the morning without hitting the snooze button more than once? How do we get rid of the ‘acceptable’ form of bullying that is The Jeremy Kyle Show and others like it from polluting the TV airwaves with mind-numbing stories that have nothing to do with us? It’s true that we don’t have to watch, but really, when did friends and family ripping each other to pieces become modern-day entertainment? Are you entertained? I know I’m not!
You’ve probably guessed by the introduction to my latest blog post that I’ve been thinking about the age we are living in, this age of acceptance and being thankful for everything we have including the stuff that resembles a dark cloud hovering over us. I also ask myself, “Did I find this grey mess that follows me everywhere or did it find me?” The idea of attraction bothers me and I believe it is misguiding people into believing that everything is their fault when actually, in my opinion, there are others who completely avoid taking any responsibility because we are cunningly duped and cajoled into laying the blame at our own door.
It’s not easy remaining positive as we look for ways to empower each other but it is essential if we want a moment of peace in the present and hope for what’s around the corner. A lifetime of balance is a little harder to achieve and there will be those, who, with only reasons known to themselves, intent on weaving their tangled web of negativity around our once free space. So recently I’ve been telling myself to be thankful but giving thanks to the things that cause me untold grief and agony doesn’t feel right or good for me. Do these negatives that stick in my throat like a boiled sweet help me to move on? If like me, you find the mistreatment of others incomprehensible, it takes longer to cough up the sticky alien and spit it out.
It goes without saying that I am thankful for my family, my health and the friends who no matter how far or busy they are I can feel by my side; I know who they are now. The thing however, which I am most thankful for is my ability and right to choose. I choose not to be thankful for the people and situations which make me feel worthless, I choose not to be within a whisker of negative forces, weakening and gradually squashing my confidence, I choose not to be grateful for the nonsense that keeps me awake at night for the wrong reasons; I choose sleep. I choose not to watch daytime TV.
The more I think, observe and mull it all over the more I notice that the imbalance of many lives today is caused by accepting everything without question; a convincing theory that makes us better people??! Believe that and you’ll believe anything.