My Achilles Heel (Αχίλλειος Πτέρνα)

Αχίλλειος Πτέρνα (Achilles He(A)el)  — photo by Robert V. (@3rd.night)


Reflections of faces getting caught in dark spaces, with wounded hearts.

Secrets revealed in awkward glances and lost chances.

Pursed lips, and stolen glances.

Tired eyes staring into illuminated screens, reflecting, deflecting, rejecting

playing the part in a show that no one cares to watch.

And all I want to do is scream.


How do you measure my love and then tear it apart?

I created a love story and it fell short from the start.

It seems clear that my imagination got the best of me



I no longer can settle for three forths of a man.

I can’t stand (on) mediocrity in the face of perfection.

That no longer holds my attention

Any more.

How much of your comfort would you give up for love?

I guess you will never find out.

It’s never too late

@dirkartnyc (Freeman’s Alley- NYC)

It’s never too late …

The writing is on the wall.

It’s never too late to stand tall after a fall, that broke your spirit, broke your heart. Tearing you apart into a million little pieces.

It’s never too late to make a new start. It’s never too late to create art out of your passion.

Your horizons are open, take a chance, take a stance.

It’s never too late to be strong even though you know it’s wrong, to endure so much pain, and remain true to you.

It’s never too late to let go.




In the moment

You know it’s about those moments; Those times when you are absolutely and without a doubt; content with who you are, what you’re doing and where you need to be.

Everything else melts away and you are here, now, present.

Those moments when everyone else is in slow motion and all you hear is your breath and the quiet spaces in between.

Those moments when all the negativity, the passions the complications, the half truths, and unfinished business of life; are all irrelevant, because they are not that important after all.

The only thing that matters is now. Everything before and after, is a need to remember and a wish to know more.

We long for the past, we wish it turned out differently, lament its absence and struggle to let go. Then we plan for a future; something we know nothing about, we worry about things that haven’t happened yet and set goals for what may happen; and only thing that really matters is our daily participation in our present; that is the only guarantee.

In these moments meditation happens. We let go of our senses we let go of our expectations we let go of our need to survive and just exist. We shed our masks, our personas, our ideas of ourselves and others and connect with nature, connect with ourselves, connect with our breath and actually pay attention, to the NOW.

Those are rare moments, and they shouldn’t be.

Next time you are at that place, take a step back, take a breath and be present.


A child of two nations

I’m an American girl with a Greek Soul

I’m a Greek girl with an American mind

I thought I was an abomination, a child of two nations

But I’m one of a kind.


I put mind over matter

I put my heart over my mind

Cause it all matters.

I’m often blind to the lesser than, the because of, the despite that

I’ll change at a drop of a hat, or I won’t change at all.


I put up walls to protect what’s mine.

I’m spontaneous and grounded

Loving and jealous

Mindful and impatient

Caring and vengeful.

I’ll cut you like a knife and heal you like a summer breeze

I’m a big tease

I run free.


Fire is my middle name,

Desire drives my path through pain.

Again and again… I repeat cycles

Cause I have a knack for the strange and profane.

I’m a little insane.


Too much, too lonely, too fearful at times.

I need to be heard at times

I scream to the hills at times

I cross the line at times

I try to find the good in everyone at times

I often waste my time

I know it’s not a crime

But I’m no Angel….

Day 20 – Time Alone

Day 20 of 27.


The blank page…. Every night for the past 20 days I’ve come home and written about a small snapshot of my life;  I share observations, ideas and thoughts, and about the matters that mean the most.  Tonight marks the first day of spring; another snow storm looming, my radiators popping and hissing resisting another cold, hard night.

I have had the house to my self these past few days, my quiet moments are mixed with music, the soundtrack of the city, and the sound of my creaky floors. These moments of solitude  I cherish deeply, yet these are the same ones, where I feel most alone.

There are those days when we are alone far away from everyone who we share our space and time with, that we take a moment to reflect on our path in life. Tonight, I will share only one thought with you before I prepare my next observation for the 21st day.

Sometimes time alone is the best time to find yourself. Time away from those who despite their best intentions may steer you away from your path because of their own insecurities, concerns and fears. Sometimes the chatter outside is the most distracting to finding your true self. In those times, step away, take a breath and ask yourself what matters the most.

For me tonight being alone with my thoughts has helped me realize how much I cherish this exchange with you, some of you I know some of you I may never meet, but writing this blog for the past 5 years and counting has been the most fulfilling experience of my time here in New York.

Many of my closest friends read my blog and don’t understand or don’t care about what I do here, but for me it’s a gateway to exploring stories, writing down memories and finding a voice. For some of you this voice has been a comfort and nothing gives me more joy than to know that what trials, thoughts, concerns, joys and pain I share finds another person and let’s them know that they are NOT alone at all.

Alone time is seldom lonely, because it connects us to who we really are, instead of a reflection of ourselves from others. I used to deeply fear time alone when I was younger, and now it is a most valuable commodity


How do you spend your moments of solitude?

Spend some time alone this weekend and see where it takes you.


March 20th, 2018– New York City to the world…

Good night

Day 19. Art as agent of change

Day 19 of 27.

James Baldwin’s quote struck a deep cord in my heart this morning. For as long as I can remember, art and artists have played an integral role in my life. From the day I was born, I was surrounded by writers, painters, poets, musicians, actors, photographers and architects. I would even go as far as to boldly state:  Art is the noblest of causes, and not for the faint of heart. I don’t consider myself an artist by any stretch of the imagination, because I have not served the cause for a long time, yet I still feel most at ease in the presence of artists. There is no more powerful weapon than the reflection of Art back to society. I write Art with a capital A because Art and Artists are deserving of the highest respect and also the most staunch criticisms.  Artists are agents of change, and as James Baldwin so aptly put it; here to disturb the peace.

Peace in most cases is seen as a positive state of mind, being at peace, feeling peaceful, is akin to what many teachings of yoga aspire to instill. Achieving Moksha (liberation-emancipation) from suffering and ignorance is one of the basic principles of yoga study; self realization and self knowledge being the ultimate goal.  I for one have a long way towards liberation, so I continue to search and refine my practice.

Art and Artists in the very same light, are here to liberate, disturb, question, disrupt and uncover and heal a society; It’s not just meant to be pretty to look at. Artists like Baldwin are answering a calling; a Dharma, to become the disruption of our ignorance, our complacency; our plastic bliss. This is a service true artists don’t take lightly. It takes a brave soul, a self realized person to become and live the life of an artist, especially one that reflects upon what may be wrong or untrue about society.

Of course the more controversial and argumentative artists become the more they disturb the peace and cause friction, discussion, and ultimately change. And hate them as we might; they are the ones we remember. It isn’t a matter of taste or ability. Its a matter of dedication to the art form, and its impact. I am often saddened when artists choose to play the game or play it safe and not use their amazing gift as a force of profound change. Disturbing the peace is not easy, but it is the reason most art is created. WE heal through art and artists break open the facades and the masks that society stands behind.

Support artists who you believe bring upon that change in society, in you and in the communities they work in. Because true artists ARE instruments of change, and ultimately peace. And as Steven Pressfield states in his Book War of Art:

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” 

What artist or artists inspire and move you to create change in your life?

Day 12. Nostalgia

Day 12 of 27. What is Nostalgia to you?

When thinking of this feeling of deep longing, I always refer to a specific part of a poem written by the Greek poet C. P Cavafy in 1911.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.



It all starts with a pull. A tug in your heart and mind towards a place that you love, a place that you miss, the aromas that bring you to a certain afternoon with a coffee and the smell of jasmine floating trough the air. It’s the longing for your home; the familiar; the place that we all leave and sometimes take years to go back to. Yet the journey away is far more important than the return. The journey changes you, and even though you cling to images of your past and aromas that make you yearn for the things you miss the most; the journey away from all that you love, can and does change you for the better. Nostalgia is a deep pain that no matter how many places I’ve been, how many trips I take and how many places I’ve lived; it is as strong as the first day I left my home. I look at images of Athens and I just can feel the spring breeze wafting through the eucalyptus tree in my grandmother’s garden at 4pm after a siesta. I remember the feeling of the water after a long summer swim. There is no water like the Mediterranean sea and that is the smell of Nostalgia for me.

Nostos- Longing to return / Going toward the place you love

Algos- The sweet pain of separation from that place.

What does Nostalgia mean to you?


The 27 Day Challenge

Dear Readers… today begins my 27 day challenge (March 1st 2018) to mark my 40th birthday. I will be posting one picture and one story every day of this month until March 27th (my actual birthday). Join me on this journey of travels, experiences, and images. This is a project I’ve been meaning to share with a lot of you and this is  the best time to start. I hope you enjoy the perspectives, the insight and the stories behind the images I will be posting. Walk with me through this 27 day journey and I hope at the end we will have a stronger bond.


Day 1. — March 1st 2018

Picture by Robert V. (Instagram @3rd.night

Coney Island, New York.  It was a cold rainy day but something compelled me to go, and shoot pictures with an amazing photographer and new friend, who shared my vision of the story I want to tell. Photography has always been part of my life ever since I was a teenager. I left it for a while and now I am re- connecting with this art form I have immense respect for. This image and story, is about where I’m going; what I’m willing to shed and let go of; and what weighs me down from the past. You see, I always used to look back because I needed approval, I used to look behind me to see if I was moving in the right path, but now that is no more.

We make choices, we make mistakes, we make a pact with ourselves about the kind of life we wish to lead. That path may not be straightforward or easy but it is out path to walk. At the start of this new trip around the sun, I realize I am holding on to heavy, unnecessary baggage that no longer serves my purpose or the journey I wish to take. Join me, walk with me, but not behind me, because I will not look back.

Here. we. go. 




This is me…a letter

IMG_0079My dear friends, readers, fellow bloggers. This piece of writing came out of an experiment a very dear friend challenged me to put together. She said, write about yourself without the men in your life. So this is my result. I vowed this year to share more of who I am, so you get to know the real Eleana Kouneli.


Here is my story.



I was an awkward child. A resolute soul, very sure in my mind of what was wrong and right. I spent my youth trying to put chaos into order. You see my parents were kinda artistic and free thinkers, so I felt that I needed some structure and discipline. I found dance to be my guide, movement used to calm me and still does. I navigate through life with my body is my compass, or else I feel lost.

My greatest fear is that I will lose connection with my body and then lose my connection with the world. I think too much, I analyze things till they are no longer recognizable in my head, I over think, and when I do that’s when I have to move so I can forget. I fall in love with everything almost immediately, and find myself while losing myself in others. I’ve found that boundaries are my hardest and most painstaking task in life. I hated them as a child but now find them to be panacea to the evils and half truths of others.

I dream vivid dreams, my landscapes are bright, the buildings precise the people immediate. I am terrified of being alone, while at the same time I cherish my time with myself as I get older. There are moments I wish I was blissfully ignorant and had no care in the world, then other times I’m painfully plagued by the ills and wrongs of this distorted reality we all live in.

I battle for the truth and for love. I love deeply, so deeply it hurts and I have love in my heart that I don’t know what to do with. It’s like a blessing and a curse, this need to share and be in and want to love, yet I’m horrible at receiving absolutely anything. I can’t receive love, I don’t know how. I can’t receive affection it feels like a trap.

I have a strong sense of justice and a deep self loathing that stems from my early years as a young girl and I can’t quite seem to shake that off. I am lonely, often and I can’t ask for help when I really need it. I have an overwhelming feeling I will die and no one will notice. I feel incredibly unprepared for the challenges life has thrown at me, but at the same time like a thrill seeker I choose the harder path. I feel a deep disdain  for those who have it “easy”, I absolutely loathe comfort. I need fire and friction and creative drive like I need oxygen or I grow bored out of my skull.

I am my harshest and most brutal critic. I use the most damaging and harsh words on myself cause it feels more real than a compliment and a kind word. I rarely believe when people tell me I’m beautiful, I think it’s a trick, a lie , flattery. The only person I believe is my mother and two of my closest friends. I deeply fear my life without her. I have a hard time relating to myself without the mirror of others, hence why this piece of writing has been so difficult. I am often very lonely, and at times feel a deep longing that feels like a burning in my heart, for something, joy, love, connection, affection, ecstatic love. I hate big crowds of people, I feel absolutely swallowed by their energy, I feel almost agoraphobic when I’m surrounded by too many people. Even at parties I put together back in Greece, I always sought refuge in a corner somewhere, I hated being the center of attention, and at the same time I love it. When I perform, I feel alive, when I’m on stage I feel whole, connected, unified with my audience, completely

I am an artist. I have little doubts about that, as I may doubt everything else. Above all else, I see the world as an art project. When I was little I used to pretend to write. And now as an adult, I find it’s the most cathartic, beautiful and most real thing I can do. I want to tell my story, because I want to matter, I want people to read my words and connect with me in deep and profound ways and that makes me happy.

It’s not about my story anymore, it’s about the collective story, the one we all share. I am deeply proud of my Greek roots. I fought very hard for them. I was an abomination, a rarity a strange amalgam in my family. The Greek- American, that weird strange girl no one wanted to know but everyone wanted a piece of . I love the depth, profound beauty and difficulty of the Greek language. I love listening to people speak theis. I can’t understand the words but I understand the nuance the feeling the passion in language.

My life is a piece of memories that I’ve put together in my mind. I want to build a new life based on me, not everyone else’s image of me, I’m very afraid of what the future will bring. I am very certain that I’ve been here before. I am very certain I can speak to people long gone, and I’m deeply connected to understanding other people and by way of them, understanding myself. I am lost without my soul mates; my brothers and sisters, my life companions. I feel deeply that I’m going to be alone, uncoupled for the remainder of my adult life, even though I feel that my other half is out there.

I sometimes lose myself if I can’t relate to someone else, and then I take a step back and try to find me again. I love men, in a sexual erotic way but I revere women, my most profound and meaningful connections have been with my women friends. I admire women, I am jealous of men. I am attracted to men, but find feminine energy more interesting. I love life.

I am my most honest when I’m naked.

Sometimes I cannot forgive myself for the shit I’ve done to myself, or allowed to happen to me.

I am brave when I have to be.

I don’t fear my own death, and I choose to live life to the fullest.


Thank you.

New York — February 24th, 2018