"Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I should say goodnight, until tomorrow..."
Shakespeare "Romeo and Juliet"
There comes a time when the fun ends and one must face homeward. I do so with regret, but also will the anticipation of returning to my other life, to be with family and friends again.
I started the morning in Christina's courtyard, my usual breakfast of toast, cheese, a peach and cup of coffee. My morning routine: write in my journal, make notes for my blogs. And this morningI finished reading the final chapters of Steven Pressfield's "Gates of Fire". These are the closing lines, writen by the poet Simonedes and inscribed on the monument to the Spartan heroes at Thermopylae.
"Tell the Spartans, stranger passing by
That here obedient to their laws we lie."
I was moved to tears by this book. I sat awhile, stunned but the powerful prose of this magnificent story so brilliantly written by the author. I wondered if, when I finally complete "Shadow the Lion" it will have as much impact, leave my readers overcome by emotion as I was. I learn, from reading fine historical novels like this; I study the style, content, turns of phrase and I am truly inspired. Later Dinaz told me 'But your story is like that, Ruthaki. You have made the characters so 'alive' that the reader feels for them." This was good for me to know. I feel that I have been truly inspired by reading Pressfield's book. Now I'm coming home, refreshed, renewed and yes, the Muse has been with me.
I was left with this emotional feeling all day today. I went for a last stroll about the Plaka. It was so hot and humid I didn't feel like doing much so sat awhile in Plaka Square listening to some fine bouzouki music and singing from musicians at the Acropoli Taverna. Even the music made me feel sad, nostalgic. I know it's time to go home, yet as always I am torn, wishing I could stay longer yet knowing it is time to go.
I came back to Dinaz's apartment and tried to rest but lay in the bed tearful and sad about leaving even though I have been longing for home. Whenever I leave Athena it is like this -- like I'm being torn from a loved one's arms.
"Can I cease to love thee? No!
Zoe mou, sas agapo." Byron
How many times have I left, yet I always come back!
Now, after these regrets about leaving, I look toward what awaits me...the possiilities of new friendships, experiences, adventures. Summer in the cool sweet greenness of the Coast.
But here's some little things I'll remember:
Dino, seranading me at the To Kati Allo on his little tsouras ( a type of bouzouki)
That delicious sweet we bought yesterday for dessert: galakaboureko
(filo and custard drenched in honey....yum!)
On the balcony this afternoon, the tzitzicas (cicada) churring.
The way the evening light hits the slopes of Mt. Hymmatos...Athena, violet robed in sunset's glow.
There are so many memories to cherish....and now it's time to turn homeward....
"Remind me not, Remind me not
of those beloved, those vanish'd hours,
When all my soul was given to thee;
Hours that may never be forgot
Till time unnerves our vital powers,
And thou and I shall cease to be."