Gialova —Beyond the Lagoon 

The small town of Gialova, about halfway between Pylos and Costa Navarino, has grown to being much more than a lagoon swampland with a few rugged individuals living there all year round. Since the new wider road was built and the giant resort of Costa Navarino touting it to its high end clientele, Gialova has become one of the most touristic areas in the region of Pylos-Nestoros. It has the traditional feel along with that newness that comes with opportune location. 

This is the main road next to the beach. Great food. Dirt cheap. Try the fish. The kitchen and staff across the beach while you’re next to the sand. A semblance of a Greek island. 

This sleepy town is happening at night during the summer months.  Nice hangouts. Freshness. Friendly people. An oasis in the wilderness. And easy access from almost anywhere in the area. 

This is a Greek heritage site, just a few kilometres from town. No commerce allowed. No building allowed. Bring your own umbrella and water.  Voidokilia is one of the last untapped beaches in all of Greece. 

Some like to be in the lap of luxury, even when in the more rustic areas. And for a reason I can’t fathom, they need a pool when they’re next to the beach. This is known in these parts as the American Mentality.

Expensive shops greet you on the road to the beach. A couple of these are happy with a sale a day. They are the Ferrari shops of retailers. 

But let’s not forget the true culture of the people. A place of beauty and hard work. 

Chelsea Handler — Racist,  Man-Hating Neo-Liberal 

I love watching the Gong Show. It’s part of my Thursday night relaxing ritual. It was not so relaxing with the presence of Chelsea Handler as one of the 3 judges. Sure, the show is a comedy with some people talented in weird ways. But it is still a respectable hour of fun and escape. 

Handler felt free to be racist and anti-man all night long. In one instance, the 2 male judges, including executive producer Will Arnett, gonged a woman who had 2 rods sticking out in front of her. Handler proceeded to give the totally talentless woman a 10. She then tells Arnett they just gonged her because they felt inadequate. A little earlier, she asked a contestant if he was Russian or Afghani. When he said he was Lebanese in origin, she gave him a higher mark. 

While the above can be taken as  comedy, it crosses the line. In this case, it especially crosses the line because Handler was a Hillary Clinton supporter. No surprise really. And Handler is not new to racist remarks. Here she is, the poster lady for fake news sympathizers and the holier-than-thou democracy dissenters. These people are the hypocrites who think they’re democratic but tell others how to think and what to do. But I don’t give Handler that much credit or credence. Handler is a lackey, an anti-government mule, used by the likes of the Clintons to spread the ignorant propaganda among the masses. 

Before any of you think I’m oversensitive and reactionary, keep in mind that if I were saying this, in reverse, I’d be banned. You know it’s true. Democracy only works when the masses follow it and are called out on not following it. 

The problem is : who’s policing Handler? Who’s holding her responsible? 

Σου βάζω δύσκολα — Hibernating in Rural Greece 

There is something to be said about the off season in rural Greece. There are endless scenarios and settings, from mountainous snow-capped terrain to sleepy fishing villages. Either way, it is a great time to write your novel. It is a great time to figure out what you have in common with the landscape.  They say that February stings. It’s when you begin to feel cabin fever. But the carnival is coming up and then you’re into March. The agony builds for the summer regulars to return. But you sometimes wonder if you’d be better off with just a few close friends visiting. 

Here is part of the carnival in February. 

It takes the end of a nice rainy day to bring things into perspective.  The sun shining as if it were summer. You’re waiting for night to fall.  But not just yet. 

And once in a while, it gets dangerous. 

Raspberry Picking at Turcot Farm

It’s easier than picking strawberries. Less back work. And La Ferme Turcot is the only big farm with multiple products just minutes from Montreal. The staff is friendly. The owner, Monsieur Fernand, as everyone seems to call him, is the one giving the baskets. These are medium baskets and cost $10 (see above).

Raspberry season is short in these areas. It’s usually during the last 3 weeks of July. 

People usually buy the raspberries. Some bundle up to make jam with for the winter. Others make vinaigrette. There are so many uses for them.

For a nice couple of hours in the only semi-polluted near-country air, this is the best farm to go to. It has plums in the spring, berries in the summer, and late summer to early fall there are tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines. That’s followed by some amazing forms and sizes of pumpkins. 

I must say that I haven’t eaten a better tomato ever. Anywhere. Bar none. Just so sweet.

Nubian Like You

I love the colours of Nubia, the home of the Nubian people in what is now Egypt and northern Sudan. This was perhaps the first human civilization on earth. So, this is where we ALL came from. 

The great Cleopatra was from Egypt. It is the cradle of civilization. It is from here that the Greek settlers in Mycenea came from. There is still some dispute whether the Mongol settlements existed first. But one thing is certain—Europe was one of the last places settled on earth. Whites are a minority globally. 

All this to say that we are all one peoples. So let’s coexist peacefully and make our world better.

Tennessee Williams’ Catastrophe of Success

Four days before the 1947 Broadway opening of A Streetcar Named Desire, theNew York Times published an essay by Tennessee Williams on the depression he’d experienced after the success of The Glass Menagerie summarily ended life as he’d known it.

Fame had turned Williams into a “public Somebody” overnight, a crisis that ultimately landed him in the hospital, “mainly because of the excuses it gave me to withdraw from the world behind a gauze mask.”

The sort of life that I had had previous to this popular success was one that required endurance, a life of clawing and scratching along a sheer surface and holding on tight with raw fingers to every inch of rock higher than the one caught hold of before, but it was a good life because it was the sort of life for which the human organism is created.

I was not aware of how much vital energy had gone into this struggle until the struggle was removed. I was out on a level plateau with my arms still thrashing and my lungs still grabbing at air that no longer resisted. This was security at last.

I sat down and looked about me and was suddenly very depressed.

After spending three months witnessing inequities that felt wrong in a luxury hotel, let alone in a functioning democracy, Williams sought salvation from fame’s spiritually-bankrupt life of leisure, hoping to distance himself from a toxic setup he believed hurt everyone it touched:

The sight of an ancient woman, gasping and wheezing as she drags a heavy pail of water down a hotel corridor to mop up the mess of some drunken overprivileged guest, is one that sickens and weighs upon the heart and withers it with shame for this world in which it is not only tolerated but regarded as proof positive that the wheels of Democracy are functioning as they should without interference from above or below. Nobody should have to clean up anybody else’s mess in this world. It is terribly bad for both parties, but probably worse for the one receiving the service.

Williams suggests we should let machines take up some of humanity’s unwanted tasks, then takes a poetic detour into the consequences of that automation. Removing work from the equation of living, he observes, creates a void of paranoid inertia. Just as he concludes that outsourcing this work to fellow humans breeds depression, he notes that advances in technology designed to lighten the load often render the average person fearful of struggle itself.

We are like a man who has bought up a great amount of equipment for a camping trip, who has the canoe and the tent and the fishing lines and the axe and the guns, the mackinaw and the blankets, but who now, when all the preparations and the provisions are piled expertly together, is suddenly too timid to set out on the journey but remains where he was yesterday and the day before and the day before that, looking suspiciously through white lace curtains at the clear sky he distrusts. Our great technology is a God-given chance for adventure and for progress which we are afraid to attempt.

The essay is available online as part of The New School History Project, a site where students curate a trove of recovered archival material to provoke critical and informed discussion.

Lara, I’m Leaving —The Anti-Depressants Are Working 

It’s not your fault, Lara. You’ve been more than ample with and for me. You’ve been more than an apt partner. Perhaps it’s my fault. But I don’t think so. I’ve been borderline saintly to your whims. I’ve been too submissive to your needs. And as much as you try, you can’t understand this. You nag and question. You ask for attention while not willing to give any. And I am a man, Lara. What’s a man supposed to be like, sunshine? 

I write this because I don’t have to face your smile. You smirk so nicely. But I must digress. We only live once, Lara. And we ain’t getting no younger.  And this would have taken place a lot earlier were we both not in need. But these new meds have worked and I see the light. And in case it’s temporary, I need to air this out now that I’m in my right mind.  

I’m sure we’ll both be the better for it. 


Zen and the Art of Flow — Overview 

You may have noticed by now that I try to write well. Well, I do.  I try to put art, creativity, and proper grammar into everything I write.  I can lose myself for hours in my writing. No matter how hurried I am or how close a deadline is, I make sure all is optimally written. This is my zone. My flow

I have my flow experience when I write. All else disappears and I am living in a perpetual moment of me and my activity. The activity needs to be interesting to me and I need to have it mastered to an extent that won’t cause distraction. As well, it needs to be something that will push you to go one step further. 

One awesome flow I crave is the one experienced by the long distance runner.  There has to be so much concentration in your mind and the endorphins must bring you to elation. A car mechanic is another person that always seems to take pride in what he does. But my first thought of a flow activity is the Bonzai tree trimmer.  Such concentration and such exactness. 

We hear of athletes who lose track of everything but the game at hand. When asked how they were able to make such an impossible play, they simply reply  “you need to be in the zone “. Focus gives us extra power and will. Losing track of time and the mundane keeps your brain healthy and your will at optimum capacity. If we could lose ourselves in flow every day, then we can empower ourselves that much more quickly. 

Flow can exist in all situations. It can help people excel in their jobs by challenging them through activities they have mastered. How many times have we been unable to complete simple tasks? We need to identify what a flow experience is and how we can use it. 

Here’s a brief history of zen.

One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts

Courtesy:urban dictionary

The Bard and the Beauty 

There are many beautiful things in the world. It was through an acquaintance that I found out about my happiness lying in living within a framework of honesty, truth, and knowledge on the one side and helping on the other. It is my job to eliminate dead ends and put forks on the road instead. 
It was after my university days that I bought a one way ticket to rural Greece and wrote 2 books of poetry and another of short stories. I lived alone in a house with limited running water, an out house for a toilet, and no hot water. I gave up many everyday things like human contact for days on end and I also decided to lose any type of footwear. No injury came to me. When I walked to main street I made sure I looked presentable, but people knew of my unique behavior and I soon had ladies bringing me meals for days on end. I made art and created great literature. 
Most of all, I experienced serenity and set out a life plan. I started helping others and it felt okay. It was a bit later that I realized that I had not empowered anyone since I hadn’t empowered myself. I continued to meditate and create. It was a bit later that I became interested in politics and participated in aiding the marginalized.