The Things I Know

‘The only thing I know is that I know nothing’- Socrates

 

Sometimes our voices have no way to know which way to go. There is silence and then there are dreams that cling onto our throats unexpressed. Like ghosts our own thoughts haunt us, and what we are left with is time. To think. To know. To think we know. The clock slows down as we sit and wait for an answer. And so we wait, we keep on waiting. Until the day, when all the things we want to know become known to us. In knowing we grow, and in growth we go back to not knowing again. 

© Nicoletta

Time Flies

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I shook my head
side to side
Image after image
flashing by
in a split second
without a blink of an eye
it was tomorrow
and then again today
all happening yesterday
a lapse of the mind
all inevitably passing by
without even stopping by
to wave a final goodbye.

 

© Nicoletta

 

 

 

Photo by me: Ancient Agora Thessaloniki, Greece 

Is it really worth it?

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Sometimes you think to yourself: Is it really worth it?
All this control, the need to give yourself to the fullest. To make it. Make a name for yourself.
All for what? For others opinions of you? Congratulations and thank yous.
Is it really worth their words of praise? Or are you doing it all for yourself? To feel good about you for a change. Tough childhood’s to blame. Is it really worth it? This game’s a tough one. It’s win or lose. An all in hand in poker. But you have to choose. Full on, green light or hide your head in the sand. What side’s more fair to wear? Once you’ve had your share, will you share it with others? Or keep it all to yourself?
Is it really worth it? Step your foot in foreign land. Call it your own for a while. Never will be home. Home is where the heart is wise ones say. Who will show you the way? Your footsteps are far too removed to guide you. Their trails long forgotten will only appear as glimpses in dreams. Will you remember when you awaken? Or like memory, will you drift into pools of deep waters consuming the clarity of your mind?
Shatter this illusion you live in. Break it into teeny tiny pieces. So small that a curious toddler wouldn’t even pick it up and put it in it’s mouth. Where is it? This illusion. I can’t spot it anymore, nor do I understand if it even had value.
You see, I can’t judge others. Nor myself. But I can’t hide the need to disagree with perceptions. Certain perceptions. Correct me if I’m wrong. Is man not free to be himself? Woman to be hers? When did we decide to place power on the few, who criticise our every move? I am tired of this lie they’ve sold us. Ex-hausted. Already in the past. Long gone. They’ve demoralised us and if that wasn’t enough they’re mocking us. Laughing their buttons off as we slave away. We’ve all incarnated together again, a different creed. Same faces, different masks. We’ve been playing their game far too long. I’m out.
No- not dystopia. Nor the wrist cutting kind. I’m just too open minded and seeing reality far too crystal clear. This system is rigged. For those of you with open mouths, I’m sorry. This isn’t meant to be a shocker. You knew this day would come. Comfort zone no more. Feed the children is all I hear these days. Save the refugees. And if you please, bend down on your knees and save humanity.
Humanity needs to save itself.
All of us one by one, need to take a stand. Change ourselves. Work with higher powers. Expanding our consciousness. Enlightening ourselves. Not by reading books by A B C guru but by doing the work by ourselves, Within us. Each and every one of us. No one can teach you the trick. You need to make the effort.
Begin each day by appreciating. Each and every moment you experience. The people you love. Love them more. Fill your heart with so much love you can’t even handle it. Gratitude is a blessing. The food you eat, the air your breathe, the nature around you.
Place passion in whatever you do. A cause, a song, a dance. Find the art in it all. Art will paint anything you pursue, from mechanics to science. It’s all about shaping it with color. Add a touch of your own shade into the mix and create a fine blend of mastery.
Be forgiving and compassionate. People do things, and yes sometimes they may seem a bit far out. Crossing limits. But you know what? Get over it. There’s no need to hold a grudge. Karma will keep you in loops if you don’t move on. So take a deep breath and proceed with pride.
And boy- ego. That’s a tough one. When used as a friend, it’s not all that bad. It can give you an energy boost, even help you feel confident and strong. Win battles of the self. Even help you get over the things you fear. But when it gets out of hand, the relationship does go sour. So use it as an ally but with boundaries. We don’t need more shadows.
And man-LOVE. Keep that word tight in your heart. Those four letters will save you.

Amen.

© Nicoletta

Sacred Marriage

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Sweet Village Life

How innocent the love of the past. People would weave stories of a future together, from a mere glance, not even a touch. A gaze in the eyes, my grandmother (Niki) knew he was the one for her. My grandfather (Antonis) was her elder brother’s best friend. Sweet village life joined them together in a sense of community and trust. She would see him every three months at communal gatherings, that was the only time her heart skipped a beat. At 15 years old, Niki had dreams of becoming an actress and had already participated in several local plays. Niki had the voice of a nightingale, waking with song and dancing her way through the day. However, due to poor familial conditions and obligations as an older sister to 4 younger siblings, Niki was forced to mature at a very young age. Pulled out of high school by her mother (Athena), Niki began a career as a tailor. She sowed wedding gowns and garments for local women and men. She held a class for ten women, where she shared her skills and crafts. The women would sing all night, under one lamp, their only source of light as they sowed and learned together. Village life was full of abundance. The abundance you cannot find in your wallet, or at your local bank. This abundance was full of spirit, full of life. With only one bread to fill their empty stomachs, 8 children would sit around the Sunday table full of laughter and joy. My great-grandmother (Athena) though stern would always feed her children with love and nurture.
Life had a complete different reality in my grandfather Antonis world. He was born of a rich family and they owned most of the land in their village Tymbou. The story was that Antonis father in his desperation to find prosperous land, asked for a sign from heaven. As he prayed, he received a vision to start digging on a land which locals considered as barren land. There he found an ancient icon of the St. Marina. She was viewed as a high protector by all locals of the village. It is said that the saint appeared to him and told him to start farming on the land. Everything he sowed and reaped would be turned to gold by her. The only thing she asked of him in return was to build a church in her name. Sure enough, years later local villagers prayed at the church of St. Marina, which was considered one of the most sacred spots of the village. Antonis family was prosperous, employing several locals and offering fair wages to those who worked on their land. Antonis was also a hard-worker. The fields was his work-place where he even had a cot where he would sleep out in the open. He tended to the animals and vegetation, and harvested the cotton fields. His fields generously grew plump fruits and vegetables. In the bliss of growth, he would look up at the stars and listen to the water nourishing the crops. Vitality, supplying the Earth and his community was what made him sleep sweet and sound at night.
This is why Niki fell in love with him. He was such a humble, big hearted man despite all the riches he held in his hands. It would take him several years before he could see Niki as a woman. She was 5 years younger then him, and being her brother’s best friend, Antonis had a lot of respect for the family. This is how naive and innocent village life was. People had morales, codes of honour which they held and followed. Their human instinct and nature was to bring help to others and offer service for the betterment of the whole community. Niki’s beauty though, soon caught attention and Antonis could not resist but ask for her hand in marriage, with her father and mother’s approval and older brother of course!

The Rites of Ceremony

Cyprus traditional weddings were a 7 day celebration. This was the custom that Niki and Antoni followed on 29 October 1967.

Friday: Known as the “Bridgia, The Dowry”: Women would come together to hand wash the bed sheets of the couple. They would sing and dance until late evening, filling their hearts with local gossip and homemade food.

Saturday: “The dressing of the Bed”: This was when the women would sow the bed of the couple. They sowed the mattress, printing red crosses for protection and filling the bed with cotton. The men placed money in the bed for prosperity and abundance. As a violinist played traditional wedding songs, the men picked up the prepared bed and danced with it, bringing it to life. A chosen mother rolled her infant on the bed for good luck and to bless the womb of the bride. The bed would be transferred from the bride’s parental home to the couple’s home. All participants would go to the couple’s home and celebrate until the morning, feasting on food, wine, music and dance.

Sunday: “Wedding Day”: The bride would be dressed in the morning by her relatives at her parental home. This was accompanied by a violinist playing music and the women offering her blessings through the crossing of a sacred belt around her. The groom was also prepared at his home, shaven by his best man. The couple were escorted to the local Greek Orthodox church, where they were anointed by rose water. a symbol for enduring love by their neighbours and friends. At the church, vows of matrimony were made and traditional rice was thrown to the couple.
*My grandmother and grandfather were the first local couples to have a photographer at their wedding. This is why my grandmother is shy in the photo when my grandfather kisses her on her cheek, as public affection was not common.*

Monday: “The Dance”: The couple held there first dance ceremony, where the locals glued money on their wedding garments. This was a sign of great wealth and an abundant life.

Tuesday: “The Gifts”: The couple would go around the village and receive gifts from all locals, neighbours and friends. The gifts were usually chickens, pastries, eggs and household items. In exchange, the couple would hold a dinner party that would last until the dawn, where they would dance and sing.

Wednesday: “Kocholoufkia: Legumes”: The relatives and good friends of the couple would meet up and eat beans, black-eyed peas in order to fast from the vast meals of previous days. This gathering also promised dance and song until late hours.

The following Sunday: “Antigamo: Re-Marriage”: This was a big feast held to celebrate the matrimony where the priest, family members and people who could not attend the church ceremony gathered to celebrate the marriage once again.

Sacred Bond

Even though this 7 day ceremony would seem a bit far-fetched for our modern society, the art of it all had deep meaning. The whole community would gather together to join two partners in this sacred union, bringing them together through blessings. Everyone worked in harmony with one another with naivety and innocence and would literally rejoice and celebrate for the lucky number of 7 days. The rituals performed on each of the 7 days by the community, proved to bring positivity to the couple and all had the intention of manifesting good fortune upon the couple.

In these times, where we have so lost the essence of unity and true love, going back to the past is a necessity in order to heal future generations. Ceremonies like these, the morales of village life is not something necessarily that needs to be revived, yet is something that can remind us of the notion of joint community, bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood. Music, service, dance, art and play can heal all wounds of modern society. Our system has become too complex, full of absurd laws and rules which deprive us of our freedom. In this deprivation, we have become fixated on trends, fashions, the latest “it” thing and have forgotten that we are human. We have forgotten where we have come from. The land, mother nature is so craving for us to remember her. By focusing on the prosperity of the land around us, the tending of plants, animals, the rejoicing and celebration of other’s happiness, we can truly heal this world.

War Cannot Take Our Love Away!

In 1974, my grandparents lost the home they had built for their beautiful three daughters and all acres of land in their village Tympou. In the Turkish illegal invasion, 5,700 Cypriots became refugees. With a smile on their faces, courage in their hearts in the years to come they were to rebuild their lives on the non-occupied areas. My grandfather was forced to become a truck driver to support his family, and my grandmother became a shoe tailor. What surprises me is that despite all the difficulties, all the pain and loss, the fighting and treachery of war these two people still sang and danced. They rejoiced each day and never were saddened by defeat.
People like this, Niki and Antonis, are true heroes. Their rare gem of sacred marriage truly inspires us to follow their example and light the world with unity and love.

 

© Nicoletta

Who am I?

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Really? All in all: who am I? We might ask ourselves this question often; or never at all. We might look at ourselves in the mirror and think that’s who we are. That by looking at our image we’ve discovered the big mystery of understanding ourselves. Or through the eyes of our lovers, we might believe we’ve received a representation of who we are. Through their understanding, we believe that to be the truth about our identity. Their observations, criticisms, judgments even their own personal insecurities become our own. As if we didn’t have a mind of our own, we give our self power away to others, thinking they respect us for doing so. But in a truthful slap in the face, the only thing we gain where we abdicate our personal power is the sting. Our cheeks are left burning bright red, from the sheer power of our own weakness. It is not the eyes of others that will give us merit of some kind. Not the person you share your bed with, nor your business partner, not even your mother or brother or you name who will tell you “this is who you are.” They can attempt to do so. In in their attempt, you may be tricked into believing that is the truth.

“You are a failure” will poison you for years, unless you wake up and call it’s bluff.
The same goes for “You are the best at everything you do.” Now you may ask, what’s wrong with a compliment like that? But if you take a strong grip on that statement, it can boost your morale to the level of a blindfolded lion that can’t see the upcoming cliff ahead. Getting too full of yourself will not help you in any way, nor give you the answer to who I am. It will leave you in a self-inflicted illusion where you think you are better than others.
Humans tend to imitate others emotions to try to fit into modern society. This is also triggered by social media and trends, where people try to be other people so that they can be accepted. We copy others behaviors thinking it is “cool” to do so because of the fear of being rejected for being different. But the irony is, we aren’t even being different by not following society’s expectations of “this is how you should be”. We are just being ourselves. Yet, the idea of just being yourself stirs so much fear, as the vulnerable, naked character is prone to judgment by attempting to be authentic. When all masks and facades are removed, that is when we step out of character and actually become us for a change. Just the idea of not being liked for who we are, causes us to step back into character and role play, in order to gain acceptance from other people.
So we adjust our talk, our likes, dislikes, our appearance so that others will give us a thumbs up, or press the like button on our social media. We even program ourselves to think in a certain manner and act in a certain way. Almost like a computer code, we download what will be a socially accepted self into our being and robotically act upon it.
The time has come to put an end to this crap. Excuse my non-poetic diction, but that is what we’ve come down to being. A pile of smelly, fly-buzzing crap. As blunt as that. And if we don’t clean up this mess, I don’t know who will. The other day I was watching “Idiocracy” and thought to myself, despite the extremes, humanity is sadly starting to reflect that movie. We are giving our power away to large corporations, allowing them to poison the food we eat, the air we breathe, forcing us into modern day slavery, selling us the false illusion that we’re free. All we care about is becoming “educated” in a system which chooses what to spoon feed children, to train them to find good work and pay, education which doesn’t even allow the freedom of thought. And we accept it all without a blink in the eye. All past attempts of reform, were considered crazy or the people were prosecuted under false crime accusations or even killed. The worst of all criminals, people attempting to change the medical structure, pharmaceutical companies obliging people to depend on the green snake for cure, seducing people into thinking they cannot cure themselves. Religion, attempting to control people on their mission on earth and how it will directly effect the beyond. The life after this one; even the imagination of that is taken away from us. We are give prescriptions and without questioning it, we drink it up. Enough is enough.
Who am I?
For a minute, even a second, forget about those three words just asked. Forget about everything just read. Forget about if you agree or disagree. About the food you just ate or are going to eat. What you will do later on, or tomorrow or next week.
For a moment, right now, just feel your beating heart. The rising and falling of your breath. The silence of your mind. Concentrate on nothing else but these gifts.

You are alive. And you are you. Just remember that, in case someone ever asks you: Who are you?

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© Nicoletta

Pulse

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And suddenly

I learned how to write

With an open heart.

The mind

Long left behind

Was drifting

In logic.
And with my pen

Held tight

In the right of my hand

I printed

Words with pulse.

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© Nicoletta

If this poem had a voice, this is what it would sing…

The Teacher of Life

Life is but a constant teacher

And I an impatient student

Want to extract all knowledge.

Flaunting is not in my agenda,

I want to master the art.

Study every single scroll written about it.

Dig out it’s buried symbolism.

Know each twist inside out.

Till the deepest mysteries of the world

are carved on the lines of my hand,

Line by line a masterpiece.

The greatest literature displayed on each palm.

Holding the ultimate achievement of understanding the universe

In the grip of my ten fingers.

A clench once released, revealing squiggles of lessons.

Shining imprints of inner wisdom.

Rooted diaries of day by day.

Points prickled by pain,

Tissue soothed by tenderness.

A manuscript boasting for an audience.

Flashing to be read.

Till teacher and student seize to exist.

Both equally enlightened.

A leveled link of learning.

Pursuit of gaining guidance no more

As education is reached to the fullest.

A published story complete.

© Nicoletta

Ice Cream

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Life is like ice cream,
It can cool you off
On a hot summer’s day.
It will hypnotize you with it’s
Multicolored sprinkles and syrups.
Yet, if you do not consume it
Fast enough it will melt.
It will drip so rapidly
That thinking of it will cause
Disgust and revulsion.
The ice cream will have lost all meaning.
It will merely be what it had been.
Nothing more.

© Nicoletta

I Doubt

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I doubt
For I know not
From whence I came.
I doubt
For I fear
What I may feel.
I doubt
For I see,
I see the world before me.
I doubt
For I know not
Why I am here.
I doubt
For the inability to understand.
I doubt
For the uncertainty of being.
I doubt
For being granted
Ephemeral time,
For the sake of doubting.

© Nicoletta

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