Posts tagged " memories "

On Light

August 29th, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

We all have a place, a place that maybe we’ve been to one too many times over the course of our lives, a place that holds too many dark memories, or maybe just one. Maybe somewhere we’ve been once but never want to return. It can be a home, a city, a street corner.

My place is an island, actually a little village on an island, which over past 30 years has grown into a vibrant tourist town. I spent endless summer vacations there as a child, at 18 swore to never return, and for most of my 30s, lured by friends, found myself living strange moments on its shores, after which I made myself and adult promise to wipe it off my mental and spiritual map.

It’s called Paros, the town is Naoussa, and it may well be one of the most beautiful spots in the Greek Cyclades.

After six years of sticking to my promise, I suddenly missed the island’s crazy winds, its encompassing crystal waters, its winding roads, its sounds, its breath. Vic and I packed our carry-ons and set out to what could have been the worst vacation from our family vacation.

Only nothing was bad. We spent four days carousing, sleeping, eating delicious food. I knew its every nook and cranny, it was like coming home after a decade in a foreign land. The beauty that I’d taken for granted, disregarded, distracted by things internal, screamed at me, I walked around like a stupefied tourist turning everything I saw into a memory on my phone.

On Light 9

The darkness was gone, yet nothing had changed.

 

On Light 3

Except me. I’d let go of the past. And when darkness disappears, only light can remain. And it’s refreshingly blinding.

 

On the Beginning of Memories

June 17th, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

Most schools closed their doors this week, while most moms have swung open the doors of immense panic, sending themselves into a frenzy, brainstorming summer activities and plans to keep their kids occupied for the next two months. Myself included.

I found the largest wading pool that could fit on our balcony, sprinkled it with dozens of colorful rubber ducks. And this morning, took my last breaths of freedom. Then, a few hours ago, while staring at my pale, flabby body as it served as a bridge for Stef to swim under in the lukewarm water, I realized something. Summer is short. It’s nothing compared to the time I’ve spent this year trying to get him to go to preschool without crying, leaving him hanging off the doorknob wailing, cooking and packing lunch boxes, refusing to let go of naps, and watching him magically grow from a baby into a little individual. A kid who has a best friend, a favorite teacher, invites to parties, a wall full of artwork, a mind exploding with new words and ideas, constant questions, and hands and feet that can suddenly shoot baskets and kick soccer balls.

These will be my memories of this amazing year. And this summer may be the beginning of memories for him, for his lifetime. He’s three, images and moments will start to stay with him forever. The experiences we share will shape him as he grows, mold him into who he will be as an adult. I want him to remember laughter, grass, hugs, water, surprise, bicycles, friendship, safety, love, love, love. And at this early stage of his life, I want my face present in every memory he has.

There is no activity plan or camp for any of that. There is only everyday life. I will lose my mind, I will yell, I will count down the days to September. But I will also jump into that wading pool, and soak in every second, for before I know it, all I’ll have with him, will be fleeting seconds. And hey, maybe I’ll finally get a tan at the same time.

On the Road

March 23rd, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

For those who live far from their childhood home, it’s memory is probably just that, a memory. My house is no longer there, it was demolished years ago, a four-story mammoth stands in its place, it is no longer mine. But the streets that surround it, will always carry random pieces of me.

I never drive through the neighborhood, even though I live in the same city, just minutes away. Memories make me sad for some reason, even the happy ones, I always want to go back and relive them.

Today I found myself driving up the two roads I took when walking to school and back. I started at the high school, looked up to its large front terrace, peeked into the classroom windows. I could see us, hear us, running up and down the basketball courts, slamming locker shut, specific voices, specific faces.

The parking lot, where I was disgusted by my first kiss, so wet and invasive.

A block up, the house of Ms. Matthews, a warm British lady with a dry sense of humor, our English teacher who I liked so much, I’d visited her a few times.

The next block where a car blew a stop sign and hit me while I rode my scooter home, my mom and brother in the car behind me. Nothing happened, I was sure my varsity jacket heavy with patches from sports events saved me.

Then the soccer field where we played softball, where John batted a ball into my crotch and made me grateful for being female.

I turn left and come to the spot where a pervert in a red car had opened his door to show me that he was masturbating in broad daylight. Up the street, the place where dad taught me to ride that scooter that mom told him he should have never bought.

And then the hill. I’d bend over and speed walk, weighed down by a backpack full of textbooks, until I reached the grey gate, Life’s wet nose stuck between the bars, licking my hand to greet me.

Whatever lay beyond the gate, whatever happened in the block of bricks, concrete and wood, is gone. But those streets, they’re mine.

On Pouring Drinks

March 2nd, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

I’m not sure I have ever seen this place in the light of day, even though I spent hours here, every day, for years. Maybe I’ve pulled the chain through the door at sunrise, but too worn out from standing behind the bar all night, talking to strangers, I’d never given it a second glance.

Memory is a funny thing. As we get older, we romanticize our past, our youth, no matter how unromantic it may have felt to us then.

Today, I remembered my bartending days. I went to work at my current bedtime. Things didn’t pick up till after midnight. The bar was always dark, the music too loud, lights flashed in my face as I leaned over the sticky bar to hear the customer’s order. My feet hurt from standing in my tall heels, I sliced lemons, cleaned puke from the bathrooms, and spread dirt and ash with a wet mop at five in the morning.

But then, it was magic. I got paid to have fun, drink and dance with my friends, whether they were the rest of the staff or the crowd that followed me there. This was where I met my first love, it’s where we broke up five years later, then got back together again. This was where I first learnt the precious lesson of being able to earn my own living, to not depend on anyone. This is where I poured my now husband his vodka kahlua for the first time, where I have the first recollection of his bright smile. It’s where I also learned that everyone has a story, a secret, a dark side.

I stopped outside today, it’s been closed for years. But I could almost hear our laughter, I could feel the music pumping through my body, I wanted to dance in a jumping circle with my friends, and I almost felt as invincible as I was back then. “Thank you,” I whispered to the thick, soundproof door.

Because I am.

Pieces: a novel

“Pieces” is the winner of the silver medal at the 2017 Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY), and a finalist at the USA Best Book Awards and International Book Awards.

When Clouds Embrace: a children's book

All proceeds from the sales of "When Clouds Embrace" will go to Giving for Greece, a foundation that works to help the hundreds of unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece.