Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hardly on time

N. Soulakis

I admire the tidy and productive bloggers, those who regularly contribute their mind-drops, each to his/her/their own direction, poetical, literary, political, philosophical, culinary, commercial, personal, photographic, pragmatic: but all in all persistent. I take my breaks or, rather, I have some writing breaks which interrupt a continent of silence. Summer, for sure, is not my writing break climax. There are several reasons for that: changing country, shifting language- with the adamant obligation to find a new balance,- relocating in a different room and having different typing facilities. Most importantly, changing the set of faces to whom I refer my thoughts and words (not necessarily the ones around me, but those who become distant because of my trip). In absentia most of my conversations occur.
Therefore, here it comes the last day of August, just one day before the beginning of Ramadan, (the moon has disappeared or it is vanishing now, while I am writing these words of apology, the electrical decorations have appeared) and I promise myself once more not to allow such gaps mark their shadows. I want to bribe divine Augustus, something to mention about his glory. How?

1. Ο Αύγουστος

Ο Αύγουστος ελούζονταν μες στην αστροφεγγιά
κι από τα γένια του έσταζαν άστρα και γιασεμιά

Αύγουστε μήνα και Θεέ σε σένανε ορκιζόμαστε
πάλι του χρόνου να μας βρεις στο βράχο να φιλιόμαστε

Απ’ την Παρθένο στο Σκορπιό χρυσή κλωστή να ράψουμε
κι έναν θαλασσινό σταυρό στη χάρη σου ν’ ανάψουμε

Ο Αύγουστος ελούζονταν μες στην αστροφεγγιά
κι από τα γένια του έσταζαν άστρα και γιασεμιά

Odysseus Elytis may function as the mediator:

August was bathing in the starlight

and his beard was dripping stars and jasmines

August, Μonth and God, to thee we take the oath

to find us next year again on the rock, kissing

To stitch a golden thread from Virgo to Scorpio

and lit a sea cross to your grace

August was bathing in the starlight

and his beard was dripping stars and jasmines (Τα ρω του Έρωτα/ The L of Love)


2. Ω, δεν ελυπείτο τώρα τόσον πολύ τον από της γυναικός του χωρισμόν -την οποίαν άλλως τρυφερώς ηγάπα- όσον εθρήνει την σκληράν απώλειαν εκείνην της κορασίδος, την οποίαν εις τον άλλον κόσμον ήλπιζε μόνον να επανεύρη... Και κατενύσσετο πολύ η καρδία του κ’ εθλίβετο... Και ανελογίσθη ότι το πάλαι εδώ οι χριστιανοί, όσοι ήσαν ως αυτός τεθλιμμένοι, εις τον ναΐσκον αυτόν της Παναγίας της Πρέκλας, ήρχοντο τας ημέρας αυτάς να εύρωσι, διά της εγκρατείας και της προσευχής και του ιερού άσματος, αναψυχήν και παραμυθίαν... Τον παλαιόν καιρόν, προ του Εικοσιένα, όταν το σήμερον έρημον και κατηρειπωμένον χωρίον εκατοικείτο ακόμη, όλοι οι κάτοικοι και των δύο ενοριών ήρχοντο εις τον ναόν της Πρέκλας, όστις ήτο απλούν παρεκκλήσιον, ν’ ακούσωσι τας ψαλλομένας Παρακλήσεις, καθ’ όλον τον Δεκαπενταύγουστον...

Papadiamantis also: "And he was not so sad for the separation from his wife- whom, in any case, he was tenderly loving- as much as he was deploring the cruel loss of that young daughter, whom he was only hoping to find anew in the Other World... And his heart was much devouted and sorrowful... And he brought in mind that here, in the past, the christians, especially those who had been crushed like himself, were coming on days like these to this same small church of Virgin Mary the Precla, aspiring to recover by means of continence, prayer and chant some distraction and consolation. In the old days, before 1821, while the deserted and dilapidated nowadays village was still inhabited, all the population of the two parishes was coming to the church of Precla, a mere chapel, to attend the prayer chants, throughout the first half of August... (Ρεμβασμός του Δεκαπενταυγούστου/ Midaugust Reverie)


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