They Call the Wind Maria

In the very mysterious and incredibly miraculous way that most of life’s best experiences happen, I had the opportunity of traveling to Greece a month ago. We stayed on the islands of Santorini and Mykonos. I could (and may) write numerous posts about my experiences there. But today, all I can think about is the wind of Mykonos.

Greece had never been on any list of mine, and yet I found myself drawn to go there for reasons that were unclear to me at the time. I was in need of ease and a low-key kind of trip when this decision to follow my “yes” to go to these islands made itself known to my heart, so I did not plan anything about this trip. I did not do any research (unusual for me,) and as for the travel details, I left it all in the hands of an amazing travel agent, Judy Likouris. (This was a first for me. It was terrific. She is a fantastic human and super good at travel arrangements!)

So when we left the languid heat of Santorini for Mykonos, disembarked from the boat and promptly lost our hats to the whipping wind, it was a total surprise. The “it” I am referring to is the wind of Mykonos.

I have never had an especially particular relationship to the Wind. I did grow up loving a song from the movie musical “Paint Your Wagon” called “They Call the Wind Maria.” Maybe it was gorgeous baritone and heartfelt rendition of Harve Presnell, the actor who sang it in the film. His voice held such longing for the woman he had lost — I wanted to know being loved with such a longing. I have carried that song with me ever since. It finds me at odd times here and there and I will find myself singing or humming it with a great nostalgia. If you’ve never seen his performance in the movie, you are welcome in advance.

That was my relationship to the wind until I stepped onto that island. The wind of Mykonos is famous, as it turns out. The island’s name “Mykonos” translates to “The Island of the Winds.” You have to experience it to believe it and understand it, but trust me when I say that this wind is powerful, fierce, mysterious and alive in a  very special way.

Much of the detail I could give you about the wind would be sourced from this wonderful blog article by Rika Z. Vayianni on the very subject from the website “Greece Is.” It is so well-written I leave it to you to read, but I brought just a few tidbits to tempt you here:

Because, you see, there are many names and there are many winds. And then there is “The Wind.” The Meltemi is a mainly northern wind that often joins forces with its neighboring directions of the compass – mostly pairing with the east to create the Gregos, or slightly less often, with the western wind to produce the Maistros. The Meltemi itself is a child born of two extremes: Every summer, the low barometric pressure from the Balkans clashes with the higher, hot blasts from Africa. In this way the Meltemi is formed, fluctuating in force from playful to fierce, gaining strength as the sun rises and calming down as dusk falls. 

This natural “air-conditioner,” as the locals call it, tames the heat and lowers humidity. Deeply Greek in its essence, it has shaped the geography, architecture and civilization in this corner of the world for millennia. From classic antiquity, when the etesians (“yearly winds”) were thus named after being studied by the great Aristotle himself, to this very day, the Meltemi (from mal tempo, or “bad weather” in Italian) still affects the lifestyle of both locals and visitors. It will ultimately leave its mark on your own Mykonos holiday album.

Some tourists who visit the island spend their time complaining of the wind. I can understand that. I am an aural person and can, at times, have hearing sensitivity. The wind in Mykonos is not just about texture, force or velocity. It doesn’t just blow around whatever is in its wake. It also has a voice.

The people I was visiting with were mostly irritated by the wind on its strongest days. It kept many indoors. It was incessant. It felt even dangerous at times. Granted, we were on the northernmost tip of the island where the winds were the strongest.

I felt at home in that wind in a way I cannot explain. I felt held, supported, encouraged, nourished, spoken to, given to. I felt the wind matched the internal character of my spirit. No one would ever look at me and think, “Oh, she seems like the Mykonos Wind!” But inside, I feel like it. So I suppose, in a way, I met my soulmate on Mykonos. The wind.

I would go off and sit on Mykonos’ craggy bluffs and whisper into the wind. I howled and raged into the wind. I sang into the wind. I pleaded and cried into the wind. I gave the wind my secrets, my heart’s dreams, my deepest wounds. And she generously took them all and gave me to hold in their place a knowing in my bones that I was more than enough as I am, that I already had all that I needed to do whatever it is I want to do, and that everything would always be alright. That I had finally found an essential  part of myself that I had always been longing for.

It has been a month since I set foot there. But I carry that wind with me. It only takes an instant when I turn my mind to it for me to realize that I am hearing it, too. It calms me to connect with it. I feel less alone. I do not in any way understand this. I know I will be there again, someday. But more importantly, I know it is forever with me, too.

I am not the only one. The wind of Mykonos is a generous Goddess. As Vayianni says:

You might stay forever, you might leave and come back or you might never set foot on the island again. But the sound of sea and waves, the continuous murmur of the ever-present Meltemi, will leave a distant echo locked in memory.

I have a name for this phantom wind, too. I call it “Windmills of your Mind,” after a melody composed by Michel Legrand, for the film The Thomas Crown Affair. I liked the title and stole it to name my very own ghost Meltemi, my Mykonian wind of nostalgia.

I have not given my own personal name to the Mykonos wind. And I no longer call the wind Maria. Me and the Wind, we are beyond names somehow. We just know each other. And that is more enough for me.

#Mykonos #wind #soulmate #soul #elements #thegetmyworkouttherechallenge #dayone

Fly Me to the Moon

It has been awhile, my lovely readers. I feel as if I have been to the the moon and back, have circled the stars and am only now making my re-entry back to earth.

I cannot even put into words all that has been shifting within and without in my life. My heart is so filled with gratitude. Deep healing and joy have been my frequent friends the past several months.

And here I am, ready and wanting to commit to creating through written word again.

I have made a commitment to myself to do a Get My Work Out There Challenge. I love challenges, and have done quite a few structured challenges which have catapulted certain areas of my life into full bloom.

There was the Movement Challenge that I did in 2011. For 90 days, we all moved 30 minutes a day. That’s it. Committed to breaking a sweat for 30 minutes each day. That started me on what ended up being a life-changing journey to find my inner athlete that culminated in not only my running for the first time in my life, but my running numerous half and two full marathons. (And I am still running, though not as intensely as I did in My Running Years, 2012-2016.)

This challenge is one is of my own design. It is to challenge myself to get my work seen. To put my ideas into action and in front of others. To share my work as often as I can.

So I am challenging myself to post daily. A blog post that is either writing of some kind or a vlog that shares how I got my work out there. (Just writing this has awoken a flurry of butterflies in my second chakra. I guess I am on the right track!)

My intention is to become more consistent in getting my work out there, to let my work be good enough in its “un-perfection” to be seen, and to have fun sharing it. To make it a daily habit, like running or moving for 30 minutes. Something I do because I like the results and how it feels.

Want to join me? I am starting Monday, October 7th. Let’s do this!

#personalgrowth #personalchallenge #thegetmyworkouttherechallenge2019

Requiem for A Dream

This city can swallow you whole

Be alert, my child

Stay connected to those who know you well

To those you love, who love you

It is easy to get lost in the masses

To hid ein the comfort of strangers

To drift, and drift, and drift

Until one day you wake up

And twenty years have passed

And you have no idea

What happened

To your dreams

 

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: city

Shallow Depths*

Deep within

There is a certain part of me

Who stills believes

Life would be so much better

If I’d been born beautiful:

A super model, a movie star

Shallow, I know,

But that part of me’s convinced

Nothing sways her

She doesn’t care that you

Can’t cherrypick and you’d get

All their shit too (and that we all have shit)

She is absolutely sure

To be adored for your looks

Would beat the rest

That being loved for a face or body

Is more than enough for her

And she won’t hear otherwise

This part of me

Would make a deal with a thousand devils

It would sell my soul

For the chance to find out

If life really is better for the super stars and models

I’ve given up trying

To win her over to Self-Love Land

She cannot comprehend adult logic

So I hold her hand

And I say “I hear you,” then lead her into the deeper waters to play

Repost Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: famous

* I am visiting my hometown, and of course, all my “old stuff” is stirred up as if I was right back in high school, feeling so lacking. Back to a time when I based my whole self worth on my appearance. To a time I prayed to become famous so that one day everyone would regret rejecting me. It is amazing how quickly it all comes flooding back.

Disco Dreams

She could hardly breathe, her heart was jumping so high in her chest.

After all of the preparations, all the effort, here she was. Dressed in the new outfit she’d painstakingly chosen at the discounted designer clothes store, she felt almost pretty.

She’d managed to find an outfit she could afford with her babysitting money: a pair of green drawstring pants that miraculously fit her pear-shaped, chubby body and a bright orange, sleeveless terry cloth top.

Her short hair was styled in its usual two round parallel curls on either side of her face which her brother had nicknamed “doo doo curls.” Her short bang unfortunately only accentuated the width of her face, but there was nothing to be done about that.

The freckles that sprinkled her nose and cheeks from summers spent at the pool were the only color on her face.

She’d had her parents drop her off at the club where the party was well into things. She knew it would be painful to walk into it. Better to be in a crowd than risk being seen too clearly.

She entered and walked in quickly, grateful for the darkened atmosphere. It was a disco-themed party for the 7th grade dance club, and so everyone was dressed accordingly and the venue was an actual disco. Instead of alcohol, soda was served.

She went from room to room, seeking two things: the few friends she had that might be there too, and him.

She found the friends and nervously stood, Sprite in hand, the condensation from the outside of the white plastic cup dripping down her hand.

She sucked the inside of her mouth along the braces that lined her upper and lower teeth, finding a strange comfort in the metal that was at the same time so maddening to her.

Through the pulsating lights, she saw him finally: Scott Prewitt, in all his glory. He was the most popular boy in school, blonde and tan. She sat behind him in Spanish class where, amazingly, he’d spoken to her a few times. Not just to pass papers back or anything. He’d made little jokes and seemed to enjoy her laugh.

She had looked forward to this afternoon for weeks, imagining that here, in the lights, in her new clothes, he’d maybe talk to her, which would be incredible.

She forced herself to smile and step forward from the shadows into the light, even though she was so nervous she could barely breathe and felt dizzy.

And just as she did, Scott Prewitt looked right at her and smiled and waved, his face beaming. She couldn’t believe it! It was happening! Her dreams were coming true.

Finally, everyone would see her differently. Because Scott Pruitt saw her, they’d value her, too. Everything would change.

She waited, breathlessly, as he walked towards her, her cheeks almost aching from smiling.

Just as she was saying “Hi Scott,” eyes twinkling, he walked passed her and grabbed Susie Moore, the most popular girl in 7th grade, in a hug, which made Susie squeal.

For what seemed like a lifetime but was actually several awkward seconds, she stood there as her “Hello Scott” hung in the air anemically before being dissipated by Susie’s squeal.

She stepped back into the shadows as she felt the familiar, hot flush of shame shoot down the length of her body.

She drained herself of feeling, determined not to cry. “That will teach you not to hope,” she said to herself as she pinched her arm, punishing herself for thinking things could ever be any different.

She found the restroom as quickly as she could, and there she remained for the full agonizing 40 minutes until her parents came to pick her up again.

Once home she sought and found numbing comfort in a pint of vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream, and fell asleep into a full-stomach-sugar-induced coma.

Her hope did not have it so easy. A large piece of hers had fallen out of her heart and onto the floor of the disco, where Scott Pruitt and Susie Moore danced across it over and over again until it became unrecognizable.

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: awkward