It was inevitable. My staycations have counted at least seven days in the past three years, but this summer ordered for a minimized, but packed, stay in Athens. I suppose the whole year leading up to this post has in some way affected this tradition of mine. One of the things I’ve come to terms with during this period is how difficult it remains to say ‘no’. And I’m fine with that. Our instincts rarely prove us wrong, I can now safely vouch for this.
Not that everything has been rosy; not that everything has been perfect – but every single thing has proved educational. In many ways, this has been a booming staycation in my oxymoron universe. It might have seemed logical in the past to recount days separately, but it cannot happen this time – it’s all been one; one moment, one look, one whole. More appropriately, it’s been a collection of ones here and there. Some of that comes below, in pictures, words, but mostly in feelings that the words I have cannot describe.
-That one glimpse and capture of a red face – a full moon, a full circle, just moments after landing back to Athens.
I’m not sure what this means to other people. In my world, catching the August full moon in Athens is the highlight of the summer. It might be how that pale light strokes our Athenian past, or how it quietly signifies the responsibility towards our future. Or it could be both. It is certainly a reminder for me, of why I follow patterns and how to extend beyond them.
-The bittersweet revelation from your choice of readings.
I don’t actually remember picking those books out from the bookcase – a bookcase that admittedly holds only my most close to heart for the past couple of years, to save space. Yet, they spent three days in my handbag and kept me company in my walking and thinking. Someone, somewhere in those lone walks and coffees under the Acropolis pointed out that they’re dissimilar, only to make the significance of their internal, to me, similarity stronger. My companions in this staycation, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and Pema Chödrön’s The Wisdom of No Escape left me with a different something to ponder upon and share (as it happens every time they find themselves in my hands):
“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
“When thoughts come up, touch them very lightly, like a feather touching a bubble. Let the whole thing be soft and gentle, but at the same time precise.”
-The deep meaning of friendship; the unconditional acceptance of who you and they are and the incomparable kind of fun you have with those few who choose to see and feel first and assume second (if at all). It’s not the years, it’s the respect to each other’s boundaries. It’s growing in the only way meaningful: equally together.
-The need for development, in all levels. I’m half way through an MA, and already gearing up for a second one. I’ve pushed projects, definitely beyond my reach and belief, and they’re happening as I write this. I’ve had rejections, negativity, bad vibes, ungrateful people and sheer bad luck in a lot of things; I’ve also had a choice: to keep forward, no matter what. I always go with the latter.
This staycation might be over, but its effect will remain upon me all through the coming year.