Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The work camp has ended in glorious sunshine on a deserted beach.
We were so keen to get to the beach that we were up early, posponed the circle sharing to the evening, and were hard at it cleaning the kitchen and doing all the last minute jobs (that increase as you do them).
Jock needed to do official closures (telephone etc) so we left him hard at it in Zagora, while we sat in the square and took it easy. He joined us in relaxing once we
reached the beach.
There were six or seven people on the first beach, too many for us , so we moved to the adjacent beach where there was just us as you can see. October bliss in Greece!
Now we are off to the taverna on a balmy night with the moon pink and reflecting in the sea.
It's a hard life on a work camp!
Pam Cohen, Jilly Cooke and Judith Bone--the last survivors of the May 2008 workcamp.
Kalikalos is looking for a place... places, is looking to expand. The dreams of several sharing circles and much confirming experince from Staff, participants and guests are clear that such a vision of community is worthy of continued growth. The practices of community, of supporting another human being in their truths, enjoying nature, bringing Holistic Education, giving opportunity, retreat, heart and soul, are here to stay and prosper.
Can you help?
We are looking for another place in the Pilion region of Greece, temporary or permanent, and also potential places elsewhere in Europe that offer similar opportunity.
What we need
A site with a buiding, or buildings, which has some land attached to it, 3 stremata or more (Greece, more elsewhere) on which some vegetables can be grown, a temporary group room structure, several tents and a yurt or two can be erected. The site would not be in a busy place from either traffic or tourism, at least in the immediate vicinity of the land and be within 50 minutes walk to the beach.
If renting, the site would be for available from mid May to mid October, though could miss out the Greek holiday period from mid July to August end. We do work to the property and land to improve and maintain the site, creating community through work projects and look to be of benefit to the local community somehow.
ROB DREAMING, Sussex, England
Friday, October 10, 2008
Another mad day passes. Reality never did shapeshift so fast as as I recall being out here before... workcamp no exception.
Not a huge amount of work to do here for the staff, mostly because the continuing lease of this particular place is still under some intense negotiations with the owner. A very protracted and complex set of legal, social and financial issues have made life uneasy for Jock, the creator of Kalikalos, and the future shape of the project difficult to forsee, but we are getting a lot of invaluable help particularly from our Greek friends here at the centre and some others who have come a long way from Athens and the large island of Evia to help also... stay posted!
The photos are I guess self explanatory.
As a result of several councils (talking circle sharings in which the wisdom of the group is sought) some of us postulated what Kalikalos would look like in five years time in our personal visions. These ranged from having 5 centres in different countries in Europe to Kalikalos designated in the Pantheon of Greek Gods and Goddesses as the God of community! More of the 5 centres thingy later
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Hello my name is Jackdaw Parsons.I am 11 years old and im english.I have been living in ireland for 10 years though.We stayed in kalikalos for 3 weeks (We being me and my mum lusi).I have had a really enjoyable time at kalikalos, and am really felling sad that im going.I am also happy that i am going because i haven't seen my friend Joe for 6 weeks!Anyway back to kalikalos its the most beautiful place i've ever been to!The lovely beaches the wonderful meals and last but not least the friendly people.
On our first week we where being staff members.We did alot of work and met alot of nice people I really like the inspiration behind the kalkalos project called Jock. He's a really great man and his dream kalikalos has been a great success.On our second week here we where workshop participants. A wonderful man called Jeff Foster he was doing a workshop called nonduality.Its all about oneness and everything bieng connected.Me and my mum got on so well with Jeff and his partner Amy that we got their e-mail adress and they said they would vist us in Ireland.On this third week we are starting the work camp. Anyway this is a picture of me in a place called damouhari where a bit of the movie Mamma Mia was filmed me and my mum went there to have a meal in the taverna and do some sight seing. Anyway thats all from me overall i had a great time in kalikalos!!!
I arrived four weeks ago to staff for a couple of weeks, then travel and then facilitate or be one of the facilitators for the last workshop of this year called Path of Love.
Expectations, hmm. I'm sure they have a use to a degree, but good not to hold on them eh..? Hang on, isnt that what an expectation is? OK, lets put them in the circle and eject them. Thanks.
Anyway, the week of the workshop, everything was changing on a daily (hourly?) basis and testing fluidity to deal with things...which was of course part and parcel of the Path. I think I only used the Sh** word twice. One of the faciliators was not well, four people had cancelled the workshop and the one participant was merged with the staff and LCG's (Live in Community Guests). Merging continued as a theme somewhere as I got the group to experiment with exchanging names, identities and generally check out another person's shoes... Blurring definitions.
The weather on a continual expectation to shine with sun, was cold and raining torrentially, so we huddled inside around fires to share and work with what came up. Of course, when I started to get the hang of working inside and plan things with an everchanging amount of participants, (staff etc needed to work, just chill ((sorry, warm up)) or whatever) my plans (expectations?) were laughingly thwarted by the sun appearing beaming. That was the second "S" word utterance made in full prescence of the morning circle sharing. Felt good!
Thankfully, the last two days remained hot and sunny, and my original intention to do the work on the beach manifested. The entire contents of the centre streamed on to the sand and stones and as you can see enjoyed a spot of lunch. Clarity at last! On the last day, the one participant ~Julie, got my and Belinda's full attention and we completed the workshop, then to blend, blurr or otherwise merge gracefully into workcamp mode...
I've been coming out to Greece to help Jock with his project since 2002 and it has been a continuing inspiration, life-changing, health-giving experience. It has been my Path of Love, since I now run talking circles in Brighton and whereever, and have some direct connection with one of the most beautiful places I know, this the region of the Pilion.
More to come I'm sure. Everyday out here is a life-experience doubled.
I came to Kalikalos a week ago because my friends were running a workshop & had told me what a magical place it is here. I wanted some sun, to practice living in community & to deepen my experience of life as a 'path of love' (the workshop title).
The community here has been incredibly enriching for me, I've felt a sense of calm contentment & excitement for life that has been really beautiful. Holding talking circles every day has helped me to feel almost instantly connected to complete strangers. and I'm usually pretty shy around people I don't know. but then Kalikalos seems to attract some very special, warm hearted people.
Sunshine was one thing that didn't happen for a few days, it was colder than England, ugh! but somehow it's so great here that huddling up with other lovely people just deepened the connection & I had a wonderful workshop experience. Then 2 days after I arrived the sun shone - suddenly out of the cloud came radiant blue skies, turquoise seas & deep happiness.
We all scooted down to the beautiful deserted beach & were so exuberant clothes just came flying off! In minutes we were skinny dipping in the sea & basking in the gorgeous feeling of sunshine on skin. Then the dolphins came out to play too which was amazing.
After the workshop I'd signed up for a few days of the 'workcamp' to close down the centre for the winter - work has such a different meaning for me here though - the ethos is that it must be enjoyable & I feel like I'm contributing to something I love, so it's a pleasure. We stopped for lunch & had what Jock calls a 'snack lunch' - most delicious & elaborate snack meals I've ever had!
Fortunately the sun has delighted us on many a beach day since. today we had a picnic lunch on the sand looking out over the most beautiful sandy cove. It was just perfect.
Julie Wright, Brighton
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Back at home with the sweet memories of Pilion. It all is in me, arriving by the climbing roads, up and up, bend after bend. The sun, the heat, and then the coolness of the lush mountain. It embraces me, makes me forget the tightness I have lived with for so long now.
Meeting the friends who arrive from the beach, and seeing the freshness in them after their swim in the crystal clear turquoise waters. Next morning the sharing with the staff. Bliss. Is there anything better than sharing in a circle? I feel welcomed, loved, accepted, free - and expected to do things, cooking, washing-up!
A few days later I attend Jeff's workshop on advaita. It has been raining for a few days now. I sit wrapped in a blanket listening to Jeff talking about NOTHING. I have no comments, no questions, just sitting in beingness. I am.
The place is full of wonderful, warm people who create fun, great food, laughter, joy, tears. And I am part of it. I had forgotten how healing this kind of a community can be.
We are also part of the village community where nobody speaks English. The lady from one of the restaurants comes and cooks a Greek dinner for the lot of us one evening. Next time I'll find a person to teach us Greek dances and we will all dance madly the Zorbas!
In spite of the rain we had, I managed to swim quite a few times, walk the donkey paths down the mountain slopes, sit in the cafes drinking Greek coffee, watch the world go by and feel whole and happy. I definitely will be back.
I found a photo of a sun hat hanging from a tree and a man sitting under it. I also managed to catch Jock sorting out compost.
Johanna - Inverness
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Finally i find myself here at Kalikalos after a wait of almost three months!! and its is everything and more than i dreamed it would be...
My reason for coming was to 'experience' community - and i surely am!! it is wonderful in its vibrancy, its interchanges, its fluidity, its loving members—and its challenging in its grieving on a friday when the 'old faces' disappear and the 'newbies' arrive, that time seems to move so fast, and yet so slowly too.
I am a Community Guest/Staff/Workshop Participant, so i am truly experiencing every aspect of Kalikalos. The freedom of the Community Guest is a great balance between giving of yourself in the work that one undertakes, and also receiving enough space to have 'down time' too. As a staff member of course its more full on, but much more 'vital' i find - as i am here with my youngest son Jackdaw who is 11, i was not sure how he and i would find the work load, but he is as willing and eager as i am myself to fully emerse ourselves in it all. The staff couldnt be friendlier or more welcoming, and we both feel like we are part of a big diverse family here.
Now i am a workshop participant, i am experiencing the flip side of all that, and it is fascinating to me - i have become quite lazy and am allowing myself the luxury of completely focusing on that workshop, although i did have a cleaning frenzy this afternoon and washed out all the bathrooms!!
A word here too on the workshop i am attending - its about NOTHING!!! and is facilitated beautifully by Jeff Foster - Oneness, or non-duality to give it another name is beautiful, fascinating, totally liberating, and we discover was HERE ALL THE TIME RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES!! couldnt possibly describe or explain it, in fact he has a hard time doing that too using only words!! which can only be pointers to what 'it' is - do check out his website if you are intrigued!! it is www.lifewithoutacentre.com I might add here that in searching for a community to try on for size, Kalikalos seems to be 'one of a kind'. Jock, who is its inspiration, truly manages to cater for us all, and i would not hesitate to recommend most highly this inspirational, free and fun-filled centre - and its in Greece too - how good can it get?
So, for now, i shall sign off with a couple of photos of our stay so far...the beautiful yurt, our favourite beach, and snuggling in blankets on a rare cold September evening in Jeff's course
Lusi and Jackdaw, Co Wicklow Ireland
Thursday, September 18, 2008
A picture is worth a thousand words, is it not.
Just look at that crystal clear sea water here at our local beach. All I can say, and the photo top left says it far better than any words I might use, is that the sea is spectacular here in Pelion.
There are no jellyfish, the water is clean and clear, no dangerous currents, the temperature from May through October is perfect, soft white sand to lie on. Most of the beaches have shaded spots, and where they don't, I have my beach tent which packs away in 2 min to a tiny backpack. (I am lying there reading about TECHNICAL ANALYSIS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS in case you are interested.) I'll be getting up in a minute to have an ice cream at one of the tavernas right on the beach.
Amazingly enough, this area is still undiscovered for the most part. Only Greeks know about it, and their holiday season is basically the last week of July and the first 3 weeks of August. The rest of the time, we and a few other intrepid travelers pretty well have these gorgeous beaches to ourselves.
Sun, sea and the spirit of community. It's all here, waiting for you.
It was my dream for 25 years, an alternative holiday—something deeper than a suntan—and I want to share it with you!
Jock Millenson, Forres Scotland and other places
Sunday, September 14, 2008
After 2 weeks of volunteering at Kalikalos I was happy to offer a short clowning improvisation on the terrace after supper one evening. It was so lovely to see so many smiles and beautiful faces! And lovely to experience the generosity with which everyone joined in. What was brilliant was that after I had gone 'off stage' I found Andrea, another volunteer, in the garden and she put on a nose too and was immediately transformed. We crept up from behind the bushes in the garden with a handful of red noses and gradually invited everyone to join in. We hid behind the washing on the lines and one by one got everyone away from the washing up, and eventually everyone at the centre was a clown! We then serenaded Jock from below his balcony, singing his praises and bowing to his all encompassing leadership! He joined in and waved to us all from his place on high. The clown loves to play with these power architectures with kindness and with humour- much laughter and much fun was had by all! It was a good end to a nourishing time for me at Kalikalos.
Sharon Usher, Oxfordshire, England
Friday, September 12, 2008
It's Friday afternoon, and all the retreat guests have gone home (although of course they never left Home, but that's another story ...)
What a lovely week it was. It was a week of laughter and tears, of openness and friendship, of paddling in crystal clear waters, of eating the most delicious and healthy home-made food, of insights and revelations and seeing life unfold right before our very eyes, of meeting each other and realising that we were only ever meeting ourselves.
The retreat was an absolute joy, a gift, a delight.... and yet it was nothing special - it was just THIS - as it is. Totally ordinary, and wonderfully extraordinary.
And as the week went on, and as the questions dissolved, a beautiful presence that was always there (but so often overlooked) became even more palpable. Until in the end, there was only laughter.
I'll always remember the laughter.... that wonderfully spontaneous, contagious, deep laughter.... that cosmic laughter that reminded us (as if any reminder was ever needed!) that all is One, and all is well, and that the Play accepts and loves everything unconditionally, because it IS everything, and nothing is excluded.
Thank you, Jock. Thank you, Kalikalos staff. Thank you, everyone who travelled so far to be here. See you all soon!
P.S. And thanks to the pears, the fish man, and the plastic chairs! ;)
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The first time we held hands to "tune in" it felt awkward.
I thought that this might be a sort of religious ritual.
But Sunday morning was different.
As we formed a circle in Jock's small room,
we could hear the fulfilling rain pouring down.
I closed my eyes and thought about our plants back home.
It was late August and they had suffered a dry summer.
The hands that held mine on each side were no longer strange.
It was as if they were drops of fulfilling rain onto my heart.
I gradually zoomed out of the picture and saw us forming a circle;
a small group scared and brave,
sad and happy,
lonely and in harmony,
on a huge planet.
I thought that the first groups of humans
gathering around the fire at night
might have looked and felt similar.
They might have held hands and told stories to ease their fears.
We opened our eyes.
We were ready for our story; to ease our own fears.
The difference was that this time the beasts were amongst the human race itself.
Thank you for making our lives a bit less dry.
Rolandos from Evia Island, Greece
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
So I've been "working" here at Kalikalos for the last 3 weeks, and it's been nothing short of a gift. I mean that in the most genuine way. I remember the things that were running through my head the night before I was due to fly from London: What if I don't like it? What if they work me too hard? What if they're all a bunch of crazy New Agers? Well I was wrong on all counts (bar the last one maybe...).
As I sit here typing this blog, I can hear "My Girl" booming out of the cd player in the kitchen, with the occasional chorus contribution by the chefs. Tonight's menu involves the newly re discoverd, traditional stone oven I believe. We're having pizza cooked fresh, courtesy of Craig and Beatrice (with freshly needed dough). And the feeling is great. Like every night here.
I have to say I've eaten like a king since being here. Some of the guests/staff over the weeks have whipped up some really gourmet dishes. Particularly nice was Lotties' Quinoa and Veggie bake during the Tai Chi week. But man, this pizza is smelling good right now.
Since being here I've experienced some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth, tasted the most lovingly prepared food, picked the freshest figs (alot!) from the trees, withnessed flash floods on a bibical scale, met some of the most inspirational human beings I have ever met, had the most glorious morning runs up into the hills at sunrise and learnt things I cannot put into words. And I write this from my heart.
I intend to write a longer blog when I have longer to write it. But this pizza is smelling too good...
Thankyou Kalikalos (for now.)
Freddie M, London
For a staff member here at Kalikalos; the introduction to Permaculture was more than eye opening. I'm now thinking of the delicate processes of growth and food production with fresh eyes. Mother nature's a strange one to work out, but she seems to work to our best advantage when we tune ourselves more closely to her subtle demands. Who knew a cow horn full of manure and a cow horn full of quartz could be the route to bigger, fresher, tastier crop yields? Not me. That's for sure. Until now. Thanks to Craig and Beatrice for evolving my way of thinking about nature and about life. And thankyou to everyone that attended the workshop from all over Greece; you were all inspirational characters.
Freddie M, London
Monday, August 25, 2008
Having arrived to be a volunteer at Kalikalos 3 days ago, I wanted to gather some of my first impressions, both to remind myself of the experience, and to communicate to others who may feel like coming here. New place, new people, new rhythms and new community, all too much to explain really, too much information! So I've distilled some moments in 5 haiku, I hope they communicate something of the feel and colours here.
Strangers welcome me
This place is warming my skin
And soothing my soul
Where land meets water
Verdant, fertile, fruiting green
Pink roses, blue sky
And the softest rosey blush
Colours we can eat!
Such a unique blue
Turquoise cannot describe this
Clear crystal holding
TAI CHI AT PLAKA BEACH
Stillness is the dance
Beauty moving with the sea
In flow we are one
On I go into my fortnight!....
Sharon Usher, Oxford
Sunday, August 24, 2008
As the sun goes down on a late summer evening; the natural, free flowing movements of the Tai Chi echoed the natural beauty of the Pelion peninsula all around us. Gazing across the calm, deep blue ocean; fishes dancing across its surfaces, and seven of us commenced our Sunday practice.
A complete first timer to the art of Tai Chi; the experience was at first a somewhat daunting one. After the initial five minutes of flailing around in the sand, continuously losing my balance, and breaking into an embarrassing sweat; the subtle movements and graceful form I was attempting to recreate from Francoise, eventually became far more natural. After yet another fifteen minutes a strange feeling of total mental ease began sweeping over me, as my body began mimicking the moves almost automatically. It had seemed my my mind had entered almost into a calm meditation, as my body continued to flow through these movements, without any forced insistence. I will certainly be coming back for more.
Freddie Matthews (Kalikalos staff recruit and first time Tai Chi'er)
Friday, August 1, 2008
We had a great week of dialogues in Not-Knowing in the yurt. It was wonderful to watch individuals blossom as the week went on. It started so seriously and ended in so much laughter. Recognising who You really are seems so serious and hard work when you don't seem to get the joke, but once you do, all that is left is a smile!
Lovely to be here and enjoy this wonderful place.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Universe’s spirit directs some
to this farflung corner,
spits others out here:
young and full of hope, or
filled with pain and seeking shelter
... shaping, transforming
travellers of life,
explorers of Gaia’s secrets,
seekers of meaning
... in limbo, passing through.
metaphor of this broken world:
place of waiting, place of strength
safe haven and spiritual sanctuary.
Here we wrestle with the themes of life
we, the unforgiven and the unforgiving.
Here we find solace in kinship,
rekindle our joy.
Here I shelter behind my mother tongue
and transform my pain on paper.
16 July 2008, South Africa
CREATIVE WORDS FOR HEALTH & WELL BEING GROUP
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Coming from an eco-community in West Wales, I wanted to travel to Greece for my writing course making the least environmental impact as possible. In these mad times, flying is usually cheaper than any other way of travelling but I was determined to stick to my guns and keep to low level travel. My first stop was to check out
The Global Pass[£288] I chose enabled me to travel on ten days out of twenty-two, although there are other options. Having travelled to London by coach to stay with my brother and his family for the time it took to make my travel arrangements I set off on the 05.25 Eurostar to Paris. Armed with my ticket and my Thomas Cook International Timetable [£13.50] I attempted to plan a trip to Dijon. It seemed I had wasted my money on the timetable, as none of the trains on the station destination boards matched what was in the book. It became apparent that this was due to a strike. This,however was the only time the good book let me down resulting in a slow, piecemeal journey to my destination.
I had a few days to unwind before a relatively short hop to Airolo in Switzerland where I helped my farmer friend make his hay. Heading after, to Czech Republic, I got caught up in the European football chaos which meant I couldn't get my planned overnight train to Budapest. The timetable helped again enabling me to plot an alternative escape route via Munich. The next stop, Budapest, was to stay with relatives of my landlord for a few days of hardcore tourism, before booking my sleeper train to Thessonaliki. This twenty-six hour marathon could have been a nightmare spent in a small compartment with unsympathetic people but I was sharing with a Swedish Greek family going home for the summer holidays to stay with their mother. We had such a laugh, I was almost sorry to get off the train. So, two shorter train trips and a bus took me to Kissos and Kalikalos. Luckily I felt instantly at home there and my journey was worth the effort even more so after the brilliant therapeutic writing course I took.
My return journey was abit more urgent and full-on. I shared a taxi to Volos then took buses across stunning moutain scenery to Igoumenitsa, from where I caught the 24 hour ferry to Venice. I don't know if it happens every time but there was a deck party going on that night and with the full moon I had to join in and dance. Got a few 'whos-this-old-bloke' looks from da yoot but I threw a few respectable shapes. Venice was packed even on a Sunday morning, when I eventually got there after an unexpected hike out of the port,with no directions. There were no overnight spaces on the Paris train but I escaped to Milan and managed to book on the train from there. A cock-up ensured a surprise for the four Italian women who had settled down for the night in their compartment, only to be invaded by a Romanian guy and me just before midnight. I had to beg 15 cents off the Romanian in order to pay for my Metro ticket and just about made the 10.13 Eurostar to London, though I was shocked to find that the single fare this way is more than three times the price coming from and buying in London.
British trains are too expensive so I took a coach to Swansea, bumped into a mate and stayed with him the night, making it four-and-a-half days to get home. But what an end to my adventure.
Pual French, Newport, Pembrokeshire.
Friday, July 11th, 2008. 'Healing Words' tutored by Victoria Field. (NB. What follows is in no way a resume of Vicky's course, but simply an expression of some of my feelings, during a week of profound personal experiences).
I arrive at Volos Bus Station feeling hot, sweaty and tired from a couple of hectic days in Athens - but exhilarated by a chat with Vangelis, a young man from Volos who is going home from his university studies in the capital. I take a photo of him with his friend, who is waiting to meet him. Then, as I sit waiting for the local bus to Kissos, I idly pen the following:
'Chatter, noise of the idling buses,
Grunts from the crane helping to build
What looks like a car park.
People from the bus disappearing into cars.
A little sparrow hopping his way around the tables.
The fat boy collecting the buts
Being smiled at by a beautiful woman in a pretty top...
All this and the Pelion to come!'
After a good sleep in C5, I meet my Workshop comrades - a motley-looking crew of writers, would-be writers, and 'I'm only Here for the Beer'/ the 'Ouso is Easy' brigade. Our leader Vicky is, of course, perfect, and she soon sets us off with a 'being here' exercise. Instinctively, I am drawn to a freshly painted Kalikalos board, standing upside down and do my first writing piece, giving the board a voice and viewpoint. Actually, I'm feeling a little 'upside down' myself, what with all the travel and the first stirrings of our course work.
Beginning to feel more relaxed and 'together'. My thoughts are being less constrained by the 'everyday life' I have left behind for a week. But home is still there in the background for me. In the exercise 'if I were water' I 'transmute' to the N. Devon coast and feel myself as the tide coming in, creating rock pools and bringing the rich variety of marine life into Combe Martin Bay, where I live. I am also the tide going out, retreating into the ocean depths, and bcoming One with the Source. But....when it comes to swimming, Combe Martin cannot compete with the beautiful warm Aegean. I luxuriate in the surf, and then chill out on a sunbed under one of those nifty little canopies. Bliss!!!
Ye gods! One of my fellow writers has me down as Zeus, but I much prefer to be Apollo, god of light, music and prophecy. In this fantasy, I bring light into a darkened world - the light of understanding for the intellect, and music for the soul. As for prophecy, I sing worlds into being, and just now I am very busy at Kalikalos!
"How would I like to feel at the end of the week?", we ask ourselves. One of the lines from a poem by Edith Sodergran (given to us by Vicky) says it all for me: 'Before I die, I shall bake a cathedral' - this, in spite of the fact that previously she has said that she can't find 'that sublimity of style' in her writing that she's 'always yearned for'. As for me, I want to bake the best 'cake' I can this week - and if my 'cathedral' turns out to be a modest little 'chapel', so be it!
I have a strange experience this afternoon. Whilst the others go to the beach, I have a siesta in my room. When I awake I feel completely disoriented. Where am I? What am I doing here? I wander around, still in a daze, until I hear the sounds of my companions arriving back fron the beach. Blessed relief! I celebrate with a cup of tea.
It's Mark's Magical Mystery Tour in his 'peoples car', to the strains of heavenly baroque music. At our first stop in Zagora, I pause by an old, decrepit building and ask, 'what can you teach me?' The answers come quickly - to let crumble what wants to fall away...to lie content in the bosom of Nature...to let the wind pass softly through my bare rooms...AND...to die with dignity and repose.
We then continue on to Pouri, the last village of East Pelion. The village square is built on three levels. At the highest one, I pause by the War Memorial, becoming strongly aware of the personal tragedies its simple structure embraces. The contrast between my feelings by the old building in Zagora, and now here in Pouri, are overwhelming. I write:
I want to die with dignity,
And yet you did not...
Cut down by bullets -
International and Internicine.
The chicadas chirrup to your memory.
They sing of your boyhoods and youth,
When you were beautiful under the sun.
Your souls linger here; and I with them.
Further down the hill, Gary and Gemma are fashioning their metalwork, jewellery and ceramics. The metalwork is made 'with fantasy and humour' - a combination of fire and beating. The pottery is thrown on a 'momentum wheel' - red earthenware clay used and fired on a gas kiln. I leave the 2 G's with a lovely metal insect, who's going to join my 'Mr. Rightway' at home.
And so it is that the souls of the fallen comrades, and the spirits of these living craftworkers, meet here in the glory that is Pouri.
In the evening, we have our Cabaret on the steps and terrace at Kalikalos, ably compared by Sue. First up is Vicky with her cheeky 'Greek Salad' poem, contrasting Mediterranean sensuality with the 'ration of passion' endured in Northern latitudes. Then comes Mark with his musical and literary evocation of the Pelion Peninsular - seemingly a continuation of the day's Magical Mystery Tour. I follow on with a rousing version of my 'Simple Life', complete with a 'doing the Lambeth Walk' take-off in the last line of the chorus.
We are then privileged to have the appearance of that distinguished Professor of Archeology, Paul French. Dressed in a cool white linen suit, he shows great versatility in switching from lecturing to singing, following the non-appearance of Mr Jock Millenson, Chief Wrangler at Kalikalos. Paul's repertoire is impressive - 'The Blind Harper', 'No One's Slave And No One's Master', and 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'. Even more impressive is his progressive stripping from song to song ie. finishing with Brian on the Cross wearing only a loin cloth. Corrr!!!
Zarine and Howard bring a more serious dimension to proceedings with a poetic reading and a prophetic pronouncement - only to be abruptly ended by Howard's declaration... Failed again!"
The evening actually ends with a song by Edvard Munch, sung with quiet passion and beauty by Teerol, a Beetles repise by Mark (Sergeant Pepper and All You Need Is Love) and the lullaby 'Angel Wings' by myself. (Sorry if I've forgotten anybody).
Quite a day!
Our last full day together. Vicky has a package of surprises for us with musings on the concept of 'Blue' and a challenge to identify the 'three strange angels' in D H Lawrence's poem 'Song of a Man Who Has Come Through'. Without revealing my own take on this, I can say that the powerful symbolism evoked for me by this exercise will stay as a continuing inspiration for my future writing.
Thursday evening is a time of sharing our impressions of the week around the camp fire, and it is here that staff and course participants join to thank each other for the mutual love and caring, so evident during the week. And, as 'cement' for this sharing, the whole of Kissos village and environs, it seems, turns out to celebrate a Greek Orthodox festival. The Greek music and dancing that goes on all night is really something - I had to get down there to feel part of it all. I'm absolutely knackered by Friday morning, but hey, am I bovvered?
-----Don Hills, Devon, England-----
Friday, July 18, 2008
17 July MIDSUMMER BLOG Here I am sitting in the little cafe you see, 50 m from one of the typical E. Pelion sandy coves, Lambinou beach, making notes for the construction of the group room planned for 2009 (assuming we return to Xenonas Martiou) and brainstorming unusual workshops for next year. Given the unusual number of cancellations we have this year of some workshops that looked absolutely brilliant on paper, I'm thinking that people are tired of the old fare and want something unusual.
Bridgeaholics week! A week of duplicate bridge and a bit of instruction, along with the beach and Greek vegetrian cusine. Would that fly? What about Trading for a Living? Thaat's my personal craze at the moment having been fully seduced by Dr. Alexander Elder, the Russian born psychiatrist who shows me that above all trading is a branch of crowd psychology.
I thought that the social psychology of building authentic community was my last stop on the psychology train. Maybe not. Could we get Dr. Elder to come to Greece to lead a technical analysis seminar? Won't hurt to ask him. He can but say no. I have been wanting for years to bring Fay Welcon to lead a week on creative writing but she tells me she doesn't like teaching and from her suite at the Dorchester hotel in London refers me to a poet colleague. ----Jock Millenson----
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I tasted my first fresh mulberry on the second day of my 3 weeks here in Kalikalos. They are delicious. Sweet and juicy. The only problem is that they have been falling onto the yurt, leaving a beautiful (but un-removable!) splash of red, blue and purple patterns. This was brought to my attention at the morning circle meeting, so I decided to pick as many as were ripe and make some mulberry jam for all to enjoy.
Climbing the wobbly ladder and reaching for these little bundles red juice, I managed to permanently stain my clothes and had what looked like blood pouring down my arms. The occasional loose berry landing on my head and bees and insects were buzzing all around me. I enjoyed it thoroughly. That is what this place is about – getting in touch with our surroundings and learning harmonize with nature.
Three big bowls full of Mulberries I collected. Into the pot. A little bit of sugar. Boiled for half an hour. Delicious fresh jam for the community to share that lunchtime.
Not a berry wasted. The yurt saved from stain for at least a day or two. (I secretly really like the natural artwork of the stains. No artist could recreate the natural process of berries becoming ripe and dropping off a tree onto a yurt!!)
Elizabeth Davison, age 21, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Mark T. has made us a delicious savory pie with corgettes from our garden for our fireside solstice picnic celebration on Chorefto beach. Here we are, staff, leaders and guests of the Kalikalos Centre, enjoying the comradarie, gazing into the fire, singing, chanting, and meditating. Have not humans been doing this for millenium?
We have built ourselves a little stone house to represent our Centre-to-be, our future dream, and placed a candle inside.
The stars gaze back at our little band on the beach. Around the glowing embers we share our stories and our dreams. Some of us sleep on the beach under the stars.
This is as close as it comes to paradise!
Monday, June 16, 2008
This is Gosh from Goa and me, Ambre from Auroville...we are both living 'exotically' in India. And, we love to eat fruits... Lately, we had a little conflict about the rooms in the center that we wanted to occupy...Gosh let me occupy the most beautiful and sunny one...what a beautiful spiritual man...