Amidst the solitude and fragility of the days …the letter
I am in Sifnos. I live in a house that feels like a refuge to me, at the footpath facing the little church of Taxiarchaki. The house has colorful openings gazing at the mountains and the sea; it has cats and a garden.
I’m here alone. I miss my friends, I miss art. The news arrive here from a distance, and the only thing new here is the changing weather.
I live in the extraordinary landscape of Sifnos that endures, even in the month of January. The island is beautiful, with something poetic to it – the soft January light, the seagulls, the lush green paths, the rubble walls, the vegetable gardens, the wild flowers.
However, it still is a small island devoured by tourism as a mentality; but the village of Artemonas still resists.
That makes people here more guarded. I come across lonely old people walking stooped over, leaning on their sticks. Those are the ones who light the grave candles at the country churches that are spread all over the island. The goats are breeding at this time of year; I can see their young ones during my walks. I keep a journal.
I’m tired of emails, zoom, Facebook.
I would really love to receive letters, postcards, parcels via the post office. This came to mind as I sent myself a parcel to my nephew; which he photographed along with his friend Carmen, and sent me the pictures.
So, if you feel inclined to, I would really like you to send me something by post; a letter, a postcard or a parcel.
I shall put them all together and make a monument with my friends’ letters and postcards, their parcels; I shall read them aloud and perform a small ceremony in some country church or a trail.
It is a way for you to come close to me in this lonely life in the island. (If you dare, you could come perform the letter ceremony with me.) And I, in turn, will mail you the journal I keep these days. So, don’t forget to send me your address along with the letter.
…When several letters arrived, and the quarantine kept going, I started to read each letter aloud to one of the island’s landscapes. I always walk to find the landscapes: to churches, trails and fields, but also to public buildings or island squares.
The letters keep coming. It is Spring, the trails are in full bloom and the bodies are getting warmer. The letters arrive at the island after travelling across the waves or the calm blue sea, mixing with other letters, other thoughts, other dreams.
Such need for a letter… A letter that could contain a confession, a story, a drawing, a photograph, a plant, a rock, a flower, a piece of fabric… Oh what beauty in your letters! And such need, and so many desires, and how close you come to me… I thank you.
I would like to thank the girls at the post office that deliver them to me with such care and with a smile.
Letter Ceremony 7 Mai 2021 Kato Petali Sifnos