Jun 30, 2010

The Jasmine at Your Door

"The jasmine at your door, my jasmine,
oh and I came to prune it, my little bird.
And your mother thought, my Yasemin,
that I came to take you away.

The black eyes, which are sweet, my Yasemin.
Oh, the brows, which are long, my little bird.
Made me forsake ~my Yasemin~ oh, my mother's milk, my little bird."

Thus runs this Cypriot folk song which plays with the double entendre of the word jasmine: the wonderful trellis that grows upon doors and windows of course, but also the traditional Eastern Mediterranean women's name, Yasmin/Yasemin (which means of course Jasmine). So the poet is in turn speaking of the flower and of the woman, the two becoming one and the same...

Savina Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico perform the traditional Cypriot folk song The Jasmin from the album "Mediterranea: Songs Of The Mediterranean" (1998)
Translation from the Greek author's own.

Jun 27, 2010

The Wedding Musicians

photo by Robert Brun/flickr

Wedding band on the island of Alonissos: Sparse, simple, focused. Feast and make merry because by tomorrow we might be dead.

Jun 25, 2010

For the Shop

He wrapped them up carefully, neatly,
in expensive green silk.
Roses of rubies, lilies of pearl,
violets of amethyst: according to his taste,
his will, his vision of their beauty -- not as he saw them in nature or studied them.

He'll leave them in the safe,
examples of his bold, his skilful work.
Whenever a customer comes into the shop,
he brings out other things to sell -- first class ornaments:
bracelets, chains, necklaces, rings.

Constantine P. Cavafy 1913

Jun 22, 2010


photo by caribb/flickr

One of the fallen columns at the site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympeio) in the heart of Athens.
Seems like it's got to be fallen in order for us to appreciate its original grandeur. Can this be said for the nation as well?

Jun 18, 2010

Rough Terrain

by dungodung/flickr

Greek pebbles on the ground of the Serbian military cemetery, Zejtinlik, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Rough terrain breeds men who're tough, said Greek historian Herodotus. A land between rock and sea. The contrast of roughness and calm: so Greek.

Jun 17, 2010

Open one of the Shutters

photo by NataliaRomay/flickr

I love you because you're beautiful,
I love you because you're you.
I love the whole wide world,
because you're part of it too.
The window is closed, the window is shut.
Open one of the shutters,
so I can briefly take your glimpse in.

(Traditional Greek song from Asia Minor)

Jun 4, 2010

Cosmos...it means jewel in Greek

Beautiful, understated yet precious jewellery designed by Lina Fanourakis. Rose-cut diamonds which reflect with the subtle glow of old church vitraux.

Gold thread takes on a new life in Lina's hands, as supple as a thread of silk or wool.

"Lina’s diamond designs are luxurious and subtle at the same time,” says Patricia Faber, co-owner of New York’s Aaron Faber Gallery, which has been carrying Fanourakis’ collection since 2000.

Lina Fanourakis, available at Aaron Faber Gallery

photos via lesechos.fr, gemjewelryboutique.blogspot.com, robbreport.com

Jun 2, 2010

Hellas-France: Alliance

photo by farfahinne/flickr

Solidarity demonstration with the Greek Social Movement, in Paris, France.
What's in a smashed window? What's in a word: Fraternité?