Give me time…
She had thought about it many times.
She would cross the street and just close her eyes and say to herself its ok, no one will miss me, no one will notice I’m gone. On the subway just before the train arrived, she would stare at the tracks for moments thinking… what if I jumped? She would dream of death every day after she got home from the hospital. At night she would dream of bodies, plane crashes, her husband falling off a cliff, she saw the gun in her hand, while looking at her reflection in the mirror just before she pulled the trigger. She wanted to disappear. She didn’t always think this way. This morbid game was very new to her. Like a mental Russian Roulette.
The pain of her stitches pulled at her lower abdomen every time she would put on her underwear. She knew that this would take a long time to heal but it wasn’t the pain of the surgery that hurt her the most. It was the pain of feeling empty inside. She felt as gutted as her uterus. She didn’t want to leave the house for days. Food made her nauseous so she made due with rice crackers with soft cheese or plain rice. Her friends would come by and leave her soup, quiche, bread, rice pudding, fruit, anything that she might be inclined to even look at let alone taste, and she would leave in the fridge for days before taking a bite of each and throwing it out before it spoiled.
She and her husband tried everything, therapy, counseling, talking and more talking but he was unable to see her. He felt paralyzed, useless and eventually drifted into his work, the couch and his football games. She kept going to work like a robot, lifeless, expressionless, she walked the same path to her train station, walked down the steps to the platform and waited. She would grab the same cup of coffee and bagel from the corner cafe but never ate the bagel, it was almost an automatic gesture. She was on autopilot.
On the day her life changed forever, she was on the same platform on the same time as any other day when she heard Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together played a Capella by a distant male voice. She had heard that song a million times, hummed it a million more but still something this morning caught her attention. She felt the warm coffee in her hand as she walked closer towards the source of the sound.
I…I’m so in love with you….Whatever you want to do, is all right with me.
Cos you make me feel, so brand new. And I want to spend my life with you.
She walked toward the man singing the song and sat next to him on a wooden bench near to the end of the platform. A tall, thin framed older gentleman with a little gray on his temples, and a beautiful bright red hat sang with a mic and the tune playing in the background.
Since, since we’ve been to-gether,
Loving you for-ever, is what I need.
She sat, lightly closing her eyes to the melody, letting the cool morning breeze caress her face. The man kept crooning and singing till the end of the last bar and then said “God bless you lovely people, have a beeuuuutiful day”. She clapped and stepped a little closer to his direction. “thank you that was really lovely, I don’t have any money but I do have breakfast if you want it”
“Honey… I don’t need your money, I’ve SEEN you walk up here for weeks lookin like damn ghost. And from the look of it you seem to need that breakfast more than I do” he chuckled.
“No offence but you need to eat!”
He smiled politely and offered his hand. He held hers with such delicacy, his fingers long and thin; a wedding ring on the right hand and a big aquamarine on the left. Her hands felt so small next to his.
-Hi… I’m Lauren. The coffee is pretty cold but I’ll leave you the bagel, its really delicious.
– Pleased to meet you Lauren, and if you insist thank you for the bagel, I’m Lazarus.
She smiled softly, and he stared strongly into her eyes. She felt his energy and his presence permeate the whole subway platform.
“That’s a beautiful name, Lazarus… so powerful and full of meaning.” I love your ring, its aquamarine right? That’s my birthstone. I’m a March baby.
– Well thank you fine lady, your name reminds of me of my late wife, Laura, and this is indeed aquamarine; its my birthstone too… I came into this world March 28th, 1945 two blocks from here.
She felt the wind change suddenly as the conductor announced the train arrival in one minute. She softly let go of Lazarus’s hand and left the bagel near his boom box. He tipped his red hat to her. ” Bonjour madame Lauren, have a beeuuuutiful day”. She smiled, and caught her reflection in the closing doors of the train and felt something shift inside her after what seemed like an eternity.
She hummed the tune again a little louder as she gazed at the vanishing train station from the train doors
I…I’m so in love with you….Whatever you want to do, is all right with me.
to be continued….
I’ve not written about my love affair with the New York skyline in quite some time. I don’t mean the buildings and the familiar land marks; there are plenty of blog posts and travel magazines dedicated to the iconic and grandiose of New York City architecture. My skyline musings come like a drop of the hat inspirations. I love being surprised by the change in colors, hues and textures. Each day starts with one sky and will develop into something entirely different. Just like the city itself, its skies are moody, explosive, theatrical and mesmerizing. I’ve always had my camera ready for whatever new development arises.
Sometimes we forget that in these big cities, we co exist with nature in all its forms. I’ve come across birds of prey in Central Park and gorgeous sea gulls near Battery Park; Rabbits in Prospect Park and beautiful flowers in the middle of a cement landscape. A fox sighting or two here and there, reminds us that were not the big city slickers we’ve convinced ourselves to be, but merely stewards of this great animal kingdom that tolerates our existence, even though we’ve done a really good job of alienating and marginalizing it.
This time lapse video I took from the apartment of a client. The day changes into night with such grace that I had to capture the last dregs of summer sun transform into a sweet early autumn evening.
The New York skyline reminds me that nature has a way of showing up in beautiful and profound ways, comforting me and reaffirming that even though it’s a cement and iron metropolis; looking up at the sky connects us all with my need to be near the sea, near the mountains and with nature whenever we get the chance.
Part of two worlds and always balancing two cultures.
I first came across the beauty of South Crete in April 2006, as part of a yoga teacher training. I always felt Crete was too far away, too long, too much hassle to travel to, before I actually made the trek to the breath-taking beaches of the southern coast.
It’s admittedly a long trip (6-9 hours by boat but for the right price a mere 45 mins by plane from Athens). As a Greek who loves to travel, I must sheepishly admit that I’ve not seen enough of my own country. I am trying in small ways to change that.
Visiting Triopetra and Agios Pavlos changed my whole outlook on Crete and opened my heart to one of the most rugged, wild beauties of the Mediterranean and Libyan seas. Crete is a society, culture, and land quite independent of all other parts of Greece. It can quite easily sustain itself, with its rich diverse climates providing, avocados, bananas and tropical fruit, as well as cheeses, meats, grains and wild herbs never to be seen anywhere else in the country.
Crete is a mystery, a healing renewing place full of misfits, vagabonds and people who decided that the big city life isn’t for them. The locals are a guarded, strong-willed people. They are incredibly proud and protective of their land, and they have legends, stories and history to prove of their resistance to invasions of all kinds. After their hard exterior melts into a smile and when you get to know them, they are the warmest, loving people you will ever come across. They embrace you as one of their own, and even after a seven-year absence those same faces were happy to see me as I them.
Crete is a mystery, a healing renewing place full of misfits, vagabonds and people who decided that the big city life isn’t for them.
I stayed for four days in this beautiful paradise, far away from the overcrowded city and the aggressive mentality of urban living. I learned to let go of my phone, my worries, my watch and just be in nature; with the blanket of the stars as my backdrop.
Sfakia and Sweet Water Beach August 27th, 2017 : My first evening at Sweet Water beach I stayed at a wonderful newly renovated little boutique hotel in the center of town. After finding my dear friends who I had not seen in almost seven years, we watched the sun set and the evening sky reveal every constellation visible to the human eye, the moon, Venus, the big dipper all there in full clarity away from lights and buildings. I first experienced its grandeur in 2007 and my last time in 2010 during a yoga workshop I taught in Sfakia. I wasn’t prepared for the life changing experience I was about to have and I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with this magical land.
This place moves you too connect with your higher self. Stripped of all noise and distraction this town is for when one is ready to be one with nature. Sleeping on the beach one evening is highly recommended. Just make sure you get plenty of bug spray and a good sleeping bag. The water coming up from the rocks is drinkable
On the last day of my trip I took the walking route to Sweetwater beach at 7:00 am. The sun was already warm and the shade provided some comfort on the way to the beach.
I left this beautiful place with my heart full and my mind at ease. It’s a destination not for the faint of heart. This place will change you and transform you in ways you may not immediately understand. For those wanting to go beyond the beaten paths of Mykonos and Santorini… southern Crete is one of the jewels in the crown of Greece.
I heard an interview of a well known comedian who was asked … What would you tell your 25 year old self? and I wondered what if I could turn back the clock and sit down with the younger Eleana and share with her what I know now.
We all know hindsight is 20/20. We are often haunted by the mistakes we made and the blunders that lead us to paths we weren’t quite ready for. In most cases though whatever life has thrown at us, we dealt with, we came through, we learned something valuable (in most cases), and we became better versions of our selves through the difficulties we faced.
At 39 I find I have become far more confident and self assured. I don’t envy or long for the past, the only thing I regret is carrying other people’s burdens as my own. That I’m still learning to let go of.
So here it goes… 25 year old Eleana.
- Believe in your skills and your talents, stop second guessing yourself
- Just because you are alone doesn’t mean you should sleep with that dude or any dude that doesn’t actually enjoy being with you.
- Stop all connection with your family- They are fucking evil.
- Your friends are there for you because they love you, listen to them when they give you advice.
- You don’t have to please everybody, some people just won’t like you, and that’s ok.
- Go for your dreams, run that marathon! It will be the most amazing time of your life.
- Run, away from that guy, he’s toxic, he will hurt you and he will try to break your spirit.
- Take charge, don’t let anyone decide your life for you.
- Go to India, learn yoga from the source, and travel more to places that excite your senses.
- You are enough, just the way you are.
For all the mistakes, missteps and misuse of energy, 25 was fun, carefree and I’m glad its over. On to the next 25.
Happy Fall !
Forgive me for what I’m about to say
I want to be the first to tell you.
You are beautiful inside and out
Despite your self-doubt.
I want to get to know the real you,
Not the staged, caged version you show everyone else.
I feel for you, I weep with you, I sleep with you and I meant it too.
Hearing you breathe next to me is like a gift from the gods
I want you to be real with me and show that beautiful side so few get to see.
I’m glad you finally let me see.
I know I’m no one special, not the fantasy woman you seek.
I am a woman with flair, and a mind that tingles when you speak.
I can talk with you for hours, there is nothing more beautiful than your mind.
You’re one of a kind.
I know how your mind works
It needs constant reassurance that it’s alive
So you fuck to survive.
Shame you don’t fuck to thrive.
Maybe one day you will finally put your guard down and love life.