I don’t pay a visit to the Acropolis. Instead, I prowl the streets below this icon of Greek civilisation like a stay cat. The living city is pounding in my ears. This isn’t a tourist trip, this is a mission of the heart. I am ready to meet myself : fears, hopes, dreams and cast them into the mass of anarchy at the foot of the Parthenon. It is appropriate, for this temple was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of the city of Athens and goddess of wisdom.
The heat-soaked city is full of tourists. I have a hand-drawn map in my pocket with a penciled heart in the corner. A fellow traveller from Gavdos sent me softly and sure-footedly on my way from the paradise island. I also carry a scrap of paper with the words παράδεισος, ἀγάπη, αστέρια, βουνά, θεός / θεά, γάτα. I am here to search for the meaning behind the mystery.
Several days later, on the midnight train to the Alexandroupolis. I expect to sleep but an elderly man, with the ability to sleep at the first jolt of the carriage, snores incessantly. With every rise of his large belly, he exhales the dragon’s breath of a chain-smoker. I am trapped between my travel-weary desperation for REM-time and an over-stimulated brain. So I dissect the past few days.
Even though it was our first meeting in this universe, I recognised you in an instant. Slightly taller than me, long tresses, wearing ocean blue and pale ochre. Perhaps you were thinner than I imagined but I had yet to understand how the economic crisis had infiltrated into every part of life here. Your blue eyes held me like a long-lost friend. Your smile made me forget what I had feared. We wandered through the streets of your past-life in this present moment, sharing stories, souls, silence. I knew that I could hold this moment and continue my journey. Thank you. Next stop Samothraki island.