On this day…. Jorge Luis Borges

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By Beti Alonso

The Aleph

by Jorge Luis Borges

O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a King of infinite space…

Hamlet, II, 2

But they will teach us that Eternity is the Standing still of the Present Time, a Nunc-stans (as the schools call

it); which neither they, nor any else understand, no more than they would a Hic-stans for an Infinite greatness

of Place.

Leviathan, IV, 46

On the burning February morning Beatriz Viterbo died, after braving an agony that never for a single moment gave way to self-pity or fear, I noticed that the sidewalk billboards around Constitution Plaza were advertising some new brand or other of American cigarettes. The fact pained me, for I realised that the wide and ceaseless universe was already slipping away from her and that this slight change was the first of an endless series. The universe may change but not me, I thought with a certain sad vanity. I knew that at times my fruitless devotion had annoyed her; now that she was dead, I could devote myself to her memory, without hope but also without humiliation. I recalled that the thirtieth of April was her birthday; on that day to visit her house on Garay Street and pay my respects to her father and to Carlos Argentino Daneri, her first cousin, would be an irreproachable and perhaps unavoidable act of politeness. Once again I would wait in the twilight of the small, cluttered drawing room, once again I would study the details of her many photographs: Beatriz Viterbo in profile and in full colour; Beatriz wearing a mask, during the Carnival of 1921; Beatriz at her First Communion; Beatriz on the day of her wedding to Roberto Alessandri; Beatriz soon after her divorce, at a luncheon at the Turf Club; Beatriz at a seaside resort in Quilmes with Delia San Marco Porcel and Carlos Argentino; Beatriz with the Pekingese lapdog given her by Villegas Haedo; Beatriz, front and three-quarter views, smiling, hand on her chin… I would not be forced, as in the past, to justify my presence with modest offerings of books — books whose pages I finally learned to cut beforehand, so as not to find out, months later, that they lay around unopened.

Continue reading:

http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/borgesaleph.pdf

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4 3 2 1 …..

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Βαρύ και ασήκωτο. Κυριολεκτώ. Διαβάζεται, όμως, απνευστί. Τουλάχιστον το ένα τρίτο που διάβασα μέχρι στιγμής. Τέσσερα παράλληλα μονοπάτια ζωής για τον Φέργκιουσον. Τέσσερις Φέργκιουσον που θα ζήσουν τέσσερις εντελώς διαφορετικές ζωές, όπως διαβάζουμε στο οπισθόφυλλο. Η τύχη των οικογενειών τους αποκλίνει. Οι έρωτες, οι φιλίες και τα πάθη τους είναι αντίθετα. Ωστόσο κάθε εκδοχή της ιστορίας του Φέργκιουσον διατρέχει το κατακερματισμένο πεδίο της Αμερικής των μέσων του 20ου αιώνα σε ένα μεγαλόπνοο μυθιστόρημα για το δικαίωμα στην ύπαρξη και τις ατελείωτες εκδοχές της, για την αγάπη και την πληρότητα της ζωής. «Πρωτότυπο και σύνθετο».

Bitter Lemons by Lawrence Durrell

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Cloudy, rainy weather. Winter ante portas. Hot coffee and the wonderful autobiographical book by Lawrence Durrell from the days he spent on Cyprus.

Bitter Lemons

By Lawrence Durrell

In an island of bitter lemons
Where the moon’s cool fevers burn
From the dark globes of the fruit,

And the dry grass underfoot
Tortures memory and revises
Habits half a lifetime dead

Better leave the rest unsaid,
Beauty, darkness, vehemence
Let the old sea-nurses keep

Their memorials of sleep
And the Greek sea’s curly head
Keep its calms like tears unshed

Keep its calms like tears unshed.

 

 

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.

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.