Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU

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An ispirational poem in honor of all women in this world who may not be  beautiful on the outside, compared to society’s standards,  but have an inner beauty that makes them glow in confidence and lead the way for us to follow.  International Women’s Day,  dedicated  to all women who tried to make a difference in this world.

 

Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
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Martin Luther King jr Day

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On March 15, 1965, Archbishop Iakovos joined the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama to march on behalf of civil rights and to memorialize the slain Unitarian Universalist minister James Reeb. A controversial gesture at the time, Archbishop Iakovos nonetheless remained outspoken and resolute in his solidarity: «I came to this memorial service because I believe this is an appropriate occasion not only to dedicate myself as well as our Greek Orthodox communicants to the noble cause for which our friend, the Reverend James Reeb, gave his life; but also in order to show our willingness to continue this fight against prejudice, bias, and persecution.» He appears here with Dr. King on the cover of Life magazine.

 

Πεσαβάρ….

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Ένα κορίτσι που πουλάει φρέσκο γάλα καμήλας, προχωρά με την καμήλα της κατά μήκος του αυτοκινητόδρομου στην Πεσαβάρ.

REUTERS / FAYAZ AZIZ

Writing about….Paestum or Poseidonia

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The Doric temple of Hera, the wife of Zeus,  in Paestum, Italy, an outpost of ancient Greece.

The ceramic  ceremonial bust of the Goddess Hera. Classical period. Paestum,
Italy-Archaeological Museum of Paestum

 

The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names  in different countries – like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.

Even in the early twentieth century, the swastika was still a symbol with positive connotations.

For 3,000 years, the swastika meant life and good luck. But because of the Nazis, it has also taken on a meaning of death and hate

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, swastika means «well-being». The symbol has been used by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for millennia and is commonly assumed to be an Indian sign.

The Nazi use of the swastika stems from the work of 19th Century German scholars translating old Indian texts, who noticed similarities between their own language and Sanskrit. They concluded that Indians and Germans must have had a shared ancestry and imagined a race of white god-like warriors they called Aryans. German nationalist movements saw the swastika as the Germans’ link to the Aryan “master race” and a “symbol of ‘Aryan identity’ and German nationalist pride,” the Holocaust Museum says, and it soon “became associated with the idea of a racially ‘pure’ state.

Ἀλεξάντερ Σολζενίτσιν (Александр Солженицын): Ἡ λίμνη Σεγκντέν

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Ἡ λίμνη Σεγκντέν   (Озеро Сегден)

 

ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΛΙΜΝΗ ΑΥΤΗ δὲν γρά­φουν οὔ­τε μι­λοῦν φω­να­χτά. Κι ὅ­λοι οἱ δρό­μοι ποὺ ὁ­δη­γοῦν σ’ αὐ­τὴν εἶ­ναι ἀ­πο­κλει­σμέ­νοι, σὰ νὰ ἐ­πρό­κει­το γιὰ κά­ποι­ο μα­γι­κὸ κά­στρο. Πά­νω ἀ­π’ ὅ­λους τοὺς δρό­μους κρέ­με­ται μιὰ ἀ­πα­γο­ρευ­τι­κὴ πι­να­κί­δα, μὲ μιὰ ἁ­πλή, βου­βὴ γραμ­μή. Ὁ ἄν­θρω­πος ἢ τὸ ἄ­γριο ζῶ­ο ποὺ θὰ δοῦν στὸν δρό­μο τους αὐ­τὴ τὴ γραμ­μὴ θὰ πρέ­πει νὰ τὸ στρί­βουν. Τού­τη τὴ γραμ­μὴ τὴν το­πο­θε­τεῖ ἐ­κεῖ ἡ ἐ­πί­γεια ἐ­ξου­σί­α. Ση­μαί­νει: ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ τα­ξι­δεύ­ειν, ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ ἵ­πτα­σθαι, ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ βα­δί­ζειν καὶ ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ ἕρ­πειν.

Δί­πλα στοὺς δρό­μους, μέ­σα στὸ πυ­κνὸ πευ­κο­δά­σος, ἐ­νε­δρεύ­ουν φρου­ροὶ μὲ κον­τό­κα­να, πλα­τύ­στο­μα του­φέ­κια καὶ πι­στό­λια.

Τρι­γυρ­νᾶς μέ­σα στὸ σι­ω­πη­λὸ δά­σος, ὁ­λο­έ­να τρι­γυρ­νᾶς καὶ γυ­ρεύ­εις τὸν τρό­πο νὰ φτά­σεις στὴ λί­μνη – δὲν θὰ τὸν βρεῖς, καὶ δὲν ὑ­πάρ­χει κα­νεὶς νὰ ρω­τή­σεις: ὁ κό­σμος τρό­μα­ξε, κα­νεὶς δὲν συ­χνά­ζει σ’ ἐ­κεῖ­νο τὸ δά­σος. Καὶ μο­να­χὰ παίρ­νον­τας στὸ κα­τό­πι τὸν ὑ­πό­κω­φο ἦ­χο ἀ­πὸ τὸ κου­δου­νά­κι μιᾶς ἀ­γε­λά­δας θὰ μπο­ρέ­σεις νὰ δι­α­σχί­σεις μὲ δυ­σκο­λί­α τὸ δά­σος, ἀ­κο­λου­θών­τας τὸ μο­νο­πά­τι τῶν ζώ­ων, μιὰ ὥ­ρα τοῦ με­ση­με­ριοῦ, κά­ποι­α βρο­χε­ρὴ ἡ­μέ­ρα. Μό­λις δεῖς τὴ λί­μνη νὰ γυ­α­λί­ζει, πε­λώ­ρια, ἀ­νά­με­σα στοὺς κορ­μοὺς τῶν δέν­δρων, πο­λὺ πρὶν τρέ­ξεις πρὸς τὸ μέ­ρος της, ἤ­δη τὸ γνω­ρί­ζεις: αὐ­τὴ τὴ γω­νί­τσα πά­νω στὴ γῆ θὰ τὴν ἀ­γα­πή­σεις γιὰ ὅ­λη σου τὴ ζω­ή.

Ἡ λί­μνη Σεγ­κντὲν εἶ­ναι στρογ­γυ­λή, σὰν νὰ χα­ρά­χτη­κε μὲ δι­α­βή­τη. Ἂν φω­νά­ξεις ἀ­πὸ τὴ μί­α ὄ­χθη (ὅ­μως δὲν θὰ φω­νά­ξεις, γιὰ νὰ μὴν σὲ πά­ρουν χαμ­πά­ρι), στὴν ἄλ­λη ὄ­χθη θὰ φτά­σει μό­νο μιὰ ἀλ­λοι­ω­μέ­νη ἠ­χώ. Ἡ λί­μνη βρί­σκε­ται μα­κριά. Εἶ­ναι πε­ρι­τρι­γυ­ρι­σμέ­νη ἀ­πὸ τὸ πα­ρό­χθιο δά­σος. Τὸ δά­σος εἶ­ναι ἐ­πί­πε­δο, τὸ ἕ­να δέν­τρο εἶ­ναι δί­πλα στὸ ἄλ­λο, καὶ δὲν ὑ­πάρ­χει χῶ­ρος οὔ­τε γιὰ ἕ­ναν πα­ρα­πα­νί­σιο κορ­μό. Ὅ­ταν φτά­σεις στὸ νε­ρό, βλέ­πεις ὅ­λη τὴν πε­ρι­φέ­ρεια τῆς ἀ­πο­μο­νω­μέ­νης ὄ­χθης: ἀλ­λοῦ ὑ­πάρ­χει μιὰ κί­τρι­νη λω­ρί­δα ἄμ­μου, κά­που ἕ­να γκρί­ζο κα­λα­μά­κι προ­βάλ­λει ἀ­μυ­νό­με­νο, κά­που ἀλ­λοῦ ἁ­πλώ­νε­ται τὸ νε­α­ρὸ γρα­σί­δι. Τὸ νε­ρὸ εἶ­ναι ἐ­πί­πε­δο, λεῖ­ο, δί­χως ρυ­τί­δες, κά­που-κά­που στὴν ὄ­χθη εἶ­ναι κα­λυμ­μέ­νο μὲ νε­ρο­φα­κές, κι ἔ­πει­τα ἕ­να δι­ά­φα­νο ἄ­σπρο – κι ὁ ἄ­σπρος βυ­θός.

Πε­ρί­κλει­στο τὸ νε­ρό. Πε­ρί­κλει­στο καὶ τὸ δά­σος. Ἡ λί­μνη κοι­τά­ει τὸν οὐ­ρα­νό, ὁ οὐ­ρα­νὸς τὴ λί­μνη. Ἀ­κό­μα κι ἂν κά­τι ὑ­πάρ­χει στὴ γῆ ἢ πά­νω ἀ­πὸ τὸ δά­σος, αὐ­τὸ πα­ρα­μέ­νει ἄ­γνω­στο κι ἀ­ό­ρα­το. Ἀ­κό­μα κι ἂν κά­τι ὑ­πάρ­χει, ἐ­δῶ εἶ­ναι ἄ­χρη­στο καὶ πε­ριτ­τό.

Νὰ μπο­ροῦ­σε κα­νεὶς νὰ ἐγ­κα­τα­στα­θεῖ ἐ­δῶ γιὰ πάν­τα… Ἐ­δῶ ἡ ψυ­χή, σὰν τὸν ἀ­έ­ρα ποὺ τρε­μί­ζει, θὰ ρυ­ά­κι­ζε ἀ­νά­με­σα στὸ νε­ρὸ καὶ στὸν οὐ­ρα­νό, κι οἱ σκέ­ψεις θὰ κυ­λοῦ­σαν κα­θά­ρι­ες καὶ βα­θει­ές.

Ὅ­μως ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται. Ὁ θη­ρι­ώ­δης πρίγ­κι­πας, ὁ ἀλ­λή­θω­ρος κα­κοῦρ­γος, κα­τέ­λα­βε μὲ τὴ βί­α τὴ λί­μνη: νά ἡ ντά­τσα του, νά καὶ τὸ μέ­ρος ὅ­που κο­λυμ­πά­ει. Τὰ παι­διά του ψα­ρεύ­ουν καὶ πυ­ρο­βο­λοῦν πά­πι­ες μέ­σα ἀ­πὸ τὴ βάρ­κα. Στὴν ἀρ­χὴ ἐμ­φα­νί­ζε­ται λί­γος γα­λά­ζιος κα­πνὸς πά­νω ἀ­πὸ τὴ λί­μνη, κι ἔ­πει­τα ἀ­πὸ λί­γο ἀ­κοῦς τὴν του­φε­κιά.

Ἐ­κεῖ, πί­σω ἀ­πὸ τὰ δά­ση, καμ­που­ριά­ζει καὶ σέρ­νε­ται ὅ­λη ἡ γύ­ρω πε­ρι­ο­χή. Ἐ­νῶ ἐ­δῶ, γιὰ νὰ μὴν τοὺς ἐ­νο­χλή­σει κα­νείς, οἱ δρό­μοι εἶ­ναι κλει­στοί, ἐ­δῶ οἱ ὑ­πο­τα­κτι­κοί τους ψα­ρεύ­ουν καὶ κυ­νη­γοῦν τὰ θη­ρά­μα­τα ἀ­πο­κλει­στι­κὰ γι’ αὐ­τούς. Ἰ­δοὺ καὶ τὰ ἴ­χνη: κά­ποι­ος ἑ­τοί­μα­ζε φω­τιά, κι αὐ­τοὶ τὴν ἔ­σβη­σαν μὲ τὴν πρώ­τη καὶ τὸν ἔ­δι­ω­ξαν.

Ἔ­ρη­μη λί­μνη. Λί­μνη ἀ­γα­πη­μέ­νη.

Πα­τρί­δα…

 

 

 

https://bonsaistoriesflashfiction.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/aleksander-solzenitsin-i-limni-segknten/ (Source)

Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco

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«But in spite of this fuzziness, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition. Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counter-revolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but it was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of them indulgently accepted by the Roman Pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages—in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little known religions of Asia.

This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, “the combination of different forms of belief or practice”; such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a silver of wisdom, and whenever they seem to say different or incompatible things it is only because all are alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth has been already spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements. The most influential theoretical source of the theories of the new Italian right, Julius Evola, merged the Holy Grail with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, alchemy with the Holy Roman and Germanic Empire. The very fact that the Italian right, in order to show its open-mindedness, recently broadened its syllabus to include works by De Maistre, Guenon, and Gramsci, is a blatant proof of syncretism.

If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled as New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge—that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. Both Fascists and Nazis worshiped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon Blood and Earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life, but it mainly concerned the rejection of the Spirit of 1789 (and of 1776, of course). The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined asirrationalism

Read the whole article here:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/