"fill us in if you can", she said...
And when someone as fantabulous as Phoenix does you the honour of taking an interest in what you've been up to, how can you ignore her request? After all, it's hard to refuse someone with a face like this (and a beautiful soul to match):
Greece is going through tough times at the moment. Overnight, workers rights have been dismantled, unemployment is skyrocketing, schools are shutting, cutbacks, cutbacks, cutbacks...the future looks grim (more about that in my next post).
You may remember that things were getting tight at my work with cameras being brought in to spy on us and colleagues being sacked. Delays in salary payments and unpaid overtime were just the tip of the ice berg with a whole department being called in to work on Saturday evenings illegally without extra pay.
The bosses started fighting it out between themselves with legal proceedings and loads of drama. You could literally carve the bad climate that was flung in our faces as a reason for more cutbacks and belt-tightening. To add insult to injury, one of the bosses built a mansion amidst this turbulence. But while bosses will be bosses, what I could not understand was the attitude of fellow employees who were sucking up to the management and ratting out rather than spitting.
Every night, I would go home and announce that tomorrow would be my last day. And my husband would advise me to rethink as the general sentiment in my country at the moment is: "You are lucky to have a job."
So I would go back all sour-faced and constantly pissed off. People would say "Good morning" and, as if by reflex, I would say "No!" "No!" was just the first word that popped to mind. "No!" "No!" "No!"
Until, one day, I received a phone call from my boss who sacked me. Nicely. "Due to financial cutbacks we cannot afford you anymore." He evidently wasn't gutsy or decent enough to tell me to my face.
Lucky for me, the person dismissed before me had taken the company to court which meant that I got full compensation plus delayed backpayments which is more than I can say for most of Greece's unemployed. Three cheers for me.
So I thought I'd write that book, make myself more computer savvy, maybe look into doing a course, hopefully do some volunteer work and enjoy summer. But just several days following my dismissal a job fell onto my lap from out of nowhere at a time when jobs are pretty scarce in this country.
Inhouse editor for a publishing company that has offices in London and around the Mediterranean. It's pretty cool cause I get to read books all day and go on a different tangent professionally. Refreshing. But its still the honeymoon period.
Surprise! Surprise! I've been doing a lot of that. But not in a church way. I'm not even sure it can be called praying. Maybe its just meditation. I have been making a point of going to beautiful, spiritual places, closing my eyes and feeling grateful to be a person who does not sell out on her personal beliefs and just begging for strength and the power to continue hanging in there. I keep conjuring images of Vivi and Alexandra and calling forth some deep connection. It fills me with warmth to imagine them beside me, like it used to be when they were alive. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I feel childish, sometimes I think I'm going crazy... but maybe I'm onto something.
We are all well. Having a first grader and a sixth grader means I have my hands full. I see them as the two ends of the primary school bridge. Just a few more days to go before school holidays. And everything is in a state of flux and heat.
Yes, it's slowly happening. Not in a linear way... but in circles that keep opening and shutting. Perhaps life is just a circle. A great big bubble that keeps bursting and then blowing up again. As one part comes full circle a new one begins.
So here's a little poem I dedicate to you (again), Phoenix, and to everyone else who happens to read this, especially to my rogue anthropologist friend Michael (Archive Fire) who seems to have toned it down a bit since the Fukishima explosion. Perhaps we cannot stop the tide, but that doesn't mean we should tolerate life's daily injustices...
FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS ON CHANGE
I walk down a street and there's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. It takes forever to get out. It's my fault.
I walk down the same street. I fall in the hole again. It still takes a long time to get out. It's not my fault.
I walk down the same street. I fall in the hole again. It's becoming a habit. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street and see the deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down a different street.