Maiden Voyage to Greece


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Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Mykonos
September 11th 2014
Published: October 7th 2014
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On October 8, 2014, my husband and I leave for Greece to celebrate our three-year anniversary. We will spend one week on the island of Mykonos, one week on the island of Santorini, and one week in Athens. I am “armed” only with a new camera for my birthday, and a love of writing. I undertake this endeavor dubiously, but with enthusiasm. I hope to share with you not only photographs, but my impressions.

A wonderful Greek in America has graced my life. Eleni Kourti, actress and writer, was the first friend I made in New York. My boyfriend at the time was a NYU professor, who insisted that Eleni and I should meet. Feeling a bit sassy and independent, I resisted, wanting to choose my own friends. Upon my boyfriend’s insistence, I called Eleni. I declared my resistance to her right from the start. “We should meet,” she said. I stated that I did not want someone choosing my friends. “Why should we let a man decide if we should be friends? We can decide that for ourselves.” I was intrigued, and fell headlong into a friendship, which saw breakups, 9-11, a couple of breakdowns (mine), nights out, nights in, and endless conversations about the nature of beauty, philosophy and suffering.

It may seem from my description above, that Eleni spent most of the time living in her head. Nothing could be further from the truth. She was the most physical of beings. Endowed with a robust bosom and delicate bone structure, she was a rare combination indeed. Her wearing of sweaters attracted an enormous amount of attention. Her eyes, while vibrant, dark, and alive, were melancholy. A sadness and anxiety haunted them no matter how high her station in life. Men went wild for her. The combination of physicality and melancholy seemed irresistible.

Though I learned of the particularities, which haunted Eleni, I have never understood the cultural implications. The melancholy of this enigmatic Greek is something I would like to explore while I am in Greece. Some of the photographs and video I have seen of Greece seem to bespeak a bright, vibrant, and dare I say happy landscape—the blue of the Mediterranean—the blue, turquoise and white buildings seem more simple and uncomplicated than this Athenian I have known. Of course, there is antiquity and a substantial philosophical history to consider. Does the cognizance of Eleni’s impressive culture somehow weigh upon her? Does she feel a grave responsibility to somehow be a conduit for her extraordinary history? I’m hoping for some insight on my journey.

On my maiden voyage to both Greece and blog writing, I hope that you enjoy.

Adieu for now,

Monique Nelson

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8th October 2014

Bon Voyage
AWESOME MONIQUE!! I am looking forward to following you on your journey. You have a great writing style....on of which conjures up images and emotion.

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