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Chronis Missios: A tribute

by BalkanIdentity Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 03:26:03 AM EST

In November 2012 Chronis set sail. He is one of those few that were given that very rare grace to speak simply, as requested by Seferis:

Δε θέλω τίποτε άλλο παρά να μιλήσω απλά, να μου δοθεί
   ετούτη η χάρη.
Γιατί και το τραγούδι το φορτώσαμε με τόσες μουσικές
   που σιγά-σιγά,βουλιάζε ι
και την τέχνη μας τη στολίσαμε τόσο πολύ που φαγώθηκε
   από τα μαλάματα το πρόσωπό της
κι είναι καιρός να πούμε τα λιγοστά μας λόγια γιατί η
   ψυχή μας αύριο κάνει πανιά.
I want nothing more than to speak simply, to be granted that grace.
Because we've loaded even our song with so much music that it's slowly sinking
and we've decorated our art so much that its features have been eaten away by gold
and it's time to say our few words because tomorrow our soul sets sail.

(from An Old Man by the River Bank - G. Seferis)

Chronis did not learn to read and write at an official school as at second grade he was forced to drop out. His education formed in a place that somehow liberated his soul as it incarcerated and tortured his body. He extended his grace to us through his line-of-thought books starting with Καλά εσύ σκοτώθηκες νωρίς (Lucky you died early) (the only translation from Greek I could find is here and since my French is elementary I cannot vouch for its quality).

In this tribute I wanted to let some of his words express his deep concern for the fate of this world as well as his faith in the potential of humanity as personal beings forming a community but before I do so I have to at give a brief synopsis of the life that formed his world view.

For the New Year - afew

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Ballooning for sustainability: Bertrand Piccard and his vision

by BalkanIdentity Mon Nov 19th, 2007 at 06:08:21 PM EST

I just attended an inspiring lecture by Dr. Bertrand Piccard.

First a little background, Bertrand was born in a family of explorers. His grandfather Auguste is credited with inventing pressurized cabins for aircraft and, for a time, held both the highest altitude and deepest dive records. His father, Jacques, designed and built the deep diving vessel Trieste that managed to dive 10km below surface at the deepest point of the ocean at the Marianna Trench. This feat was not repeated with manned vessels since and currently there is no operational vessel that can readily achieve such depths. Bertrand himself continued the tradition of pushing the frontier by completing the first round-the-world trip in a balloon (the Breitling orbiter) which was also the longest in duration flight achieved. He is also a psychiatrist and hang-glider pilot champion.

Diary rescue by Migeru

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Cana and Qana: Bible and DemocracyNow intertwined...

by BalkanIdentity Tue Aug 1st, 2006 at 03:57:56 PM EST

Robert Fisk's narrative and John 2  description of the Cana wedding diverge in strangely parralel ways:


1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.


When I arrived there, there were a number of, maybe 20, 30 children, the corpses of children, lined up outside the government hospital, hair matted, still in their night clothes.

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