Ashtray Wednesdays: Island Life

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It took me two weeks to write this post. The words would simply not come. It is just an ashtray, kinda ugly too, but it blocked me up like nothing else before. I bought it last summer from Syros, a rocky peak of an island, surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Aegean.

I really don't remember buying it, but Georgie reassures me that we did buy it together. It was a trip  I would like actually to forget. Nothing serious happened, but serious is such an objective word.

I didn't want to go originally but when I called my mother to tell her that we would like to spend our summer vacation in Fourka Beach she was not very happy with the idea (off course she wasn't she was still undergoing radiation treatment - I found out a year later). I confess I was a bit angry at her but I forgot about it quickly when I remembered that Georgie's parents own a nice, big house at Kini on the island of Syros. So there and then I decided we were going to spend half of August 2011 in Syros.

When we first arrived, I was mesmerised by the abundance of life on this small rocky peak in the middle of the sea. Everything looked bigger, brighter, full of colour, overflowing with the juices of life. I remember sitting out on the porch of our house and writing in my journal that this would be the best place in the world to live for the rest of my life...

But island life is not for everyone. The idea of being confined on a floating piece of land, depended on the whims of the wind and sea gods fills me with unbearable anxiety. Last summer, amid the beautiful island scenery anxiety spiralled out of control, triggered by the the slightest change in brain chemistry and the strong August wind.

The ashtray itself, is nothing special in terms of aesthetic and artistic achievement. Plain clay and colour pigments. The memories and feelings it brought with it were strong and somewhat overwhelming. The mind is a powerful weapon. It can build the strongest of defences to protect, but it can also destroy, faster and more efficient than anyone or anything. It does not take much. A random event, a smell, an image, the slightest change of our fragile mental equilibrium and some people find themselves pulled down a bottomless, swirling abyss. Panic and depression are your only loyal friends when you enter and are never inclined to leave you find the exit on your own. I sought help and got it and after a little while I was able to distance myself from the devastating feelings that blocked my mind and impaired my rationality. Because that's what it is all about feelings and our ability and willingness to process and experience them.

This post might not make sense to a lot of people. No, strike that...this post will not make sense to anyone other than me. I apologise for the time you wasted reading it. I am sorry I cannot reimburse you for that. It was something that had to be written and published, so that it became permanent and alive, a testament to the destructiveness we all hide inside us and the power we have to turn it into a force of life and creation.  

1 comment:

  1. Maria,you are writing so nice. Your Words are beautiful. Congratulation


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