I depart for Europe in about 40 days. By 1 March I will be back on Paros and in my apartment. I am looking forward to the next phase of my life, but I am nervous. Perhaps this will never go away. I have faith that if I show up, do the work I am assigned and participate in the human experience around me I will do well, and probably better than that. I am just nervous because for the first time in 10 years I am branching away from my biological family again and taking on the mantle of an adult, a garment I do not always wear well or properly.
I have heard that due to the economic crisis and possible political instability (from a US standpoint of course ) there may be a drop in enrollment this spring. This is believable in this day and age and perhaps this is one curse of the electronic info-era we currently live in. There has always been and always will be economic woes and political upheavals. The media has blown so much of this out of proportion that it feeds the fears of those who stay glued to their TV sets and believe everything they see and hear from that medium. As a student of history I am thrilled to be living through and in this period of time. Once again we are perched on the brink of change, imminent growth and cultural wisdom, but only if we take a helpful and positive track. Hiding in the shadows helps no one. As a species we are slowly overcoming many of the angers and fears that have directed our thinking for millennia. The currents flowing down the river of change are paced by the fierce creatures that run along its muddy banks. They wave crude spears and dark banners, shout slogans designed to divide and alienate and try in vain to alter the water’s course. But water always seeks its own level and these creatures have historically been left behind, rendered hoarse and obsolete by time. All of this is out of my hands. I am grateful for that.
I have mailed 5 boxes to Greece so far. 1 today and 4 last week. The first 4 have arrived and are being inspected by customs. If I have to pay fees for these I will, but I hope not. They are not consumer goods, but rather goods I have purchased for my own use at the Aegean Center. Most of it is used gear anyway. The rest are books–a small library consisting of some collections: Hemingway, Chekhov, Callahan, Kertesz, Frank, Ashbury, Oliver…the list goes on. To be honest I chose the best of my personal library and then weeded that out some more. Ex Libris Paros…
I have my painting supplies and will be carrying them in my checked baggage during the flight. There are no caustic materials and I am already in love with many of the names on the list…Permanent Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Payne’s Grey. Soon I will be an undeniable beginner again, a place I enjoy of only for its foolish zest and unknown questions. I will be asking for a lot of help in the next few months.