Ceremonies of Departure, always...
May arrives always fast; it is a period of rounding up the teaching material, since the final exams have started being the main concern of the students. According to the course outline, every time I have to compare expectations, information and actual achievements, then I have to take into consideration the need for some revision. Therefore, in counting and calculating I reach the last few days of the month, which pave the avenue to the travel agent, who issues my flight-ticket: on it one finds the description of a period, the dates and the possibilities of an extension, up to three months, which I try not to exploit. Non transferable, non refundable... Repetition gives good chances for anticipation, I mean that i can imagine my first days in Athens with my closest friends, the walks and the hours of silence I invent for myself, in coffeeshops that allow watching the traffic of the city, the exhausting summer light on the classical monuments and some diving in the material form of the newspapers, which in Jordan I visit only through selective webpages. This summer, Amorgos, my Utopian Island, is a possibility, in case I persuade Voula and Pelagia to join. But I would rather not do it alone, I feel not strong enough for such an encounter with its people and nature. Last time (two years ago) it was a tearful experience, with confessional discussions, swimming for hours and views taking me from the rocks and the windmills to my heart and the insistant poison of memory. And after that, the "reality", the practicalities of my issues in Greece, family, the circle of Thessaloniki... Perhaps the best thing for me to do would be to kidnap parents or Mikhalis and travel to Bulgaria for some days, to feel- among the trees of Sofia- the familiarity of something known and not mine. This condition creates much less obligations.
The photo is from the 1991 film of Pantelis Voulgaris, Quiet Days of August, although most of the scenes of the wonderful movie describe events of the late afternoon and the deep melancholy of the Athenian night, in August http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=211134 . Everything gets gradually deserted, the streets, the noise of life, the conversations with friends. Aleka Paize in some of her most beautiful parts in Greek filmography, survives through the old-fashioned voice of the radio broadcaster. She examines the signs of time on her old body, and finds them incompatible with the yearning of her young soul, in front of the mirror while the small electrical fan cools down the stream of sweat.
Και εκεί ακούγεται με τις φωνές του Λιούγκου(ίσως) και της Βενετσάνου (σίγουρα) ο μάγος Χατζιδάκις των τελευταίων έργων του:
"Μες στη ζεστή νύχτα του Αυγούστου,
Το φως στο δρόμο καίγεται
Και η ψυχή μου αδείαζει καθώς αυτός δε φαίνεται
το πάθος ξεθωριάζει.
Κι εκείνη, κι εκείνη
μια φωτεινή γραμμή,
στο αντικρινό παράθυρο ποτέ δε θα φανεί"
Είναι από τα ελάχιστα τραγούδια που μολονότι δεν έχω σε δίσκο- ποτέ δεν κυκλοφόρησε το έργο κανονικά- απομνημόνευσα σε μηδενικό χρόνο και δεν έχασα ποτέ την ευκαιρία να τραγουδήσω σιγανά κάτω από τους πιο διαφορετικούς ουρανούς και, δόξα τω Θεώ, από το 1991 κι εντεύθεν κάμποσοι ουρανοί μεσολάβησαν.