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Published: October 12th 2014
Yesterday I called my mother and father. My father, whom Deke nicknamed, “The Count,” told me to “be careful” regarding my first blog. Translation: Don’t do or say anything stupid. That ship sailed long ago, but The Count still has hope for the future. Dad, just so you know, Deke is my editor, and errs and the cautious side of things. Deke put the kibosh on a couple of things already as he believes that discretion is his watchword.
Last night Deke and I ate at Yialo-Yialo, a restaurant on Platis Yialos beach near The Mykonian Ambassador Hotel. It is the end of the season and the restaurant was very quiet. Our waiter, Vangelis, was friendly and provided excellent service. I asked about Platis Yialos, and he said as compared to the other beaches nearby it is more low-key and family friendly. The more lively and party beaches normally have more young people on them. That’s fine by me and Deke; we’re just not party people. In fact when we were waiting to fly to Mykonos, a group of spirited young women got on a plane and flew there before us. Despite their good looks, Deke hoped that
they were not coming to our hotel because Deke likes peace and quiet.
We’re still very jetlagged and I did not go to sleep until 4:00 a.m. While in this state, I left my memory card in my computer. When we went to Mykonos Town today, I was unable to take any photos. Deke says that I just can’t keep track of my things. There are many restaurants there on the water and lots of shopping. There seemed to be an inordinate amount of fine jewelry stores. I went into one, Poniros. A lovely bracelet with black diamonds in the shape of an anchor caught my eye. The salesman was very good at his craft. Deke stood cautiously outside, listened while I told him the price of the bracelet, and said that we needed to go. I followed Deke through quaint Mykonos Town and ended up buying a fifteen-Euro shawl instead. Deke didn’t like the shawl, but preferred that purchase to the bracelet.
On our stroll next to the water, Deke pointed out an old man who looked like a fisherman. I told Deke that I wanted to talk to him because he had such character in his
face. I embarrass Deke a lot with my friendliness, but he said that he would wait while I tried to talk to the gentleman. The old man did not speak English, and I speak only a little Greek so I spoke to someone at the restaurant where he was instead. I asked the man who was in his fifties why it was that Greek songs sound so sad—why there is a sense of melancholy in Greek culture. He said that it was because of too many wars, World War I, World War II, and the Greek civil war. He said it was just too much suffering and death; however, he believed that those born later than the 1960s are a happier more optimistic group. I thanked him for his time and opinion, and the owner gave me a baklava on the house. Deke was close by waiting for me patiently. Though Deke had been patient, he was ready to go home; I think he was afraid that I would go into more jewelry stores and encounter more excellent salespeople.
I have fallen in love with the palms outside our room. It reminds me of a poem by Wallace Stevens,
“Of Mere Being.” In the poem Stevens uses the image of a palm. I would quote it here, but I’m trying to be careful regarding copyright laws.
The world learned that seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzi and Kailash Satyarthi will share the Nobel Peace Prize. Both have been tireless champions of children’s rights. In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, Ms. Yousafzi said that they could try and kill her but they could not kill her dream. This seems to epitomize what Aristotle said, “. . . . the Chief Good we feel instinctively must be something which is our own, and not easily to be taken from us.” What a lesson Ms. Yousafzi teaches us after being shot and almost killed—what truth lives within a seventeen-year-old girl. Regarding what Aristotle said about how a young person isn’t fit for the study of “Moral Philosophy,” he would probably need to make a rare exception here. With a seventeen-year-old winning the Nobel Peace Prize and deserving it, it can only be a good thing that at fifty, I am studying Aristotle and taking him seriously.
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