Simplicity’s Nobleness or ‘Who the hell needs lobster in paradise’?
This text was born one early and very hot summer morning in 2013 in Piraeus and it was inspired by a few simple lines expressed by my friend Sergio Tettucci, in a talk that we had a few years earlier. His love to life and his spirit of beauty, joy and happiness and his deep love to Greece, came to my mind that morning in Aigina. He passed away last year and I am therefore re-posting this text, in his memory and to his daughter and my friend Eufrosini.
Have a great and beautiful journey brother Sergio… BOOM! _______________________________________________________________
An early morning in Paradise
It is a very early morning at Themistocles Avenue in the coast line of Piraeus and the sun is rising. I look out over the Saronic Gulf, and I see Aigina very clearly on the other side. Poseidon has blown away the slightest tinge of mist in the morning hours, so the island appear much brighter and clearer than usual. I jump down into my neigbours little boat that I have borrowed for the day, I start the engine and head out across the glassy turquoise-blue “pool”. Maria, newly awake, is waving from the rooftop terrace at home, where she stands dazed with her sweetest morning smile on her face and a big cup in her hand. It’s probably the mountain green tea from Pillion, the mountain of the ‘centaurs’ behind the city of Volos. She had picked it herself a couple of weeks ago when we visited her family.
I am steering towards the island of Aigina, which is about 40 minutes from Piraeus. The dolphins, 4 of them, stir up ripples on the glassy surface with their games right next to me. We keep each other company for a while and we play until I turn into a little cove at Aigina’s northwest coast and they continue towards Epidauros at the shores of Peloponessos across the gulf. The clock shows 06:20, the sun is shining on a cloudless sky, and it’s already 24 degrees. It will be a very hot day, I am thinking.
After I have tied the boat by the cliffs in the little lagoon, I gather up some dry twigs and make up a small fire right at the edge of the water on the cliffs. The small cast iron pan in the boat suffice just fine for my two eggs that I crack down in the pan with a few drops of olive oil in… Next to it I put a small coffee pot, a ‘briki’. Enough for a little cup of ‘Greek coffee’.
My good friend Sergio, the Italian ‘life-drunk’ man from Tuscany, came to my mind and I remember one conversation I had with him once. In February or March of 2010, we were sitting one very hot afternoon in the shade under the coconut-palmes in my little Greek Souvlaki Grill in Agonda Beach in India drinking Feni, and he said:
“Kosmo…”, as he calls me, “… Imagine standing in Pireus, by the Saronic Gulf, an early summer morning, about five thirty or six in the morning. The turquoise sea is calm and the surface is still like a mirror and you start the little engine in your little boat and you steer out over this mirror. The misty, pink skies of the sunrise turn into light blue and when you come to Aigina,… there by the golden yellow cliffs you make a fire, you put your pan on the fire and you break two eggs into it”… He stopped, he looked at me and smiled with all his face, most of all his eyes. Then he continued: “Ma Kosmo,… you see only in “hell”, in the dark, cloudy shades where death and depression live, the human needs lobster. In paradise, in the sun, in the light, in the warmth, there where love and beauty lives, it’s enough with 2 fried eggs and a coffee” and then he smiled widely and stroke me tenderly on my chin like a brother.
Remembering Sergio’s words this morning I enjoyed the best two fried eggs ever and the most delicious coffee.
The clock is still not even 7 and I light a small joint of some good Kalamata weed and I close my eyes and salute the life I live. This is life in its absolute greatness, and Sergio’s words echoes in my head this particularly blessed morning. “When Man is in paradise, he truly need nothing more than two fried eggs in a pan over the fire at the Saronic Gulf”. It’s really exactly like that. It is when Man is in hell that he needs Kobe steaks, Fourchu lobsters, Krug 1928 champagne and Petrossian caviar, in his sad efforts to compensate for the spiritual void and the stressful “rat race” he otherwise try to call life.
I close my eyes for a while and my thoughts wonder… I repeat with a low voice: “Don’t fill your life with days, fill your days with life”, my old quote that was the slogan i made my torch during the first decade of this millennium.
My mind continue:
To ‘live’ burdened and dictated under consumerism, greed and egoism, merely like a frightened and subdued observer of real life, nurtures and gives strength to the ugliest demons and leads to the worst kind of death. The death that occurs in the soul long before the actual physical death. This pandemic spiritual virus, is well spread in central and northern Europe and now also southern Europe is under attack by powerful, scared people with ugly, dry and tormented souls. Nowhere else does the seeds of emotional death and spiritual destruction grow as efficiently as in the spiritual deserts of an abused and tortured human soul. A human that is left unseen and unloved is pushed to spiritual death.
I have noticed over my 53 years in this world that simplicity is the actual wealth of nature and it is never ever determined by material wealth or pseudo-educations. It is imprinted in our spirit from the very beginning and therefore naturally beautiful and in that sphere, in this simplicity, rests also the human being’s most noble traits. These noble traits are best detected in the desire to want to find God’s smile where it is,.. and NOT where we want it to be. This means to be able to in oneself find the tranquility and the humility needed to carefully listen, to understand and to submit to nature and to the universal “laws” and principles, thus surf on the smile of God instead of lost, looking for it where it DOESN’T exist.
The true nobility of the human soul is never pretentious, arrogant and selfish. It can not be ‘constructed’ by an apparent fear of death, which is nothing else than the fear of living. True nobility of the human soul, can only be a natural part of you, or it simply is not there. It cannot be caught, chained, trained or redirected anywhere by anyone. The western human being is detached from true joy and therefore from eachother, because of self-betrayal, fake and superficial happiness directed by a ludicrous entertainment industry and a hideous ‘lick upwards and kick downwards’ subservient behaviour. They are trying to experience joy where God weeps, in other words!
The western human being acutely need to procure for himself the desire to create a life that he don’t need to escape from. Imagine an existence that is not dictated by the desire to have but by the desire to be and imagine how little you really need, then,.. then when you no longer need a vacation from your ‘prison’ in order to get a glimpse of real life.
I open my eyes and I feel a euphoric sharpness from the remarkable beauty of this day and I decide that it is enough with this mornings philosophic reflections. I send a loving thought to Sergio and his beautiful daughter Eufrosini and I prepare for Marias arrival soon.
Maria is coming with the ferry soon!
The oxygen tube is filled in the boat and the harpoon in order. I’ll get the lunch in a while. The lunch, three Pandora fishes that I pick up from the reef after some half an hour of searching, ‘breaded’ in salt, filled with parsley, fresh oregano, garlic, olive oil and then a few minutes on each side on the grill. An aubergine, cut into the shape of a sun-feather also grilled and a bottle of ice cold, white fresh wine from Maria’s brother’s grapes in Crete. This simple but outstandingly delicious meal reminds me and my beloved that humans really don’t need much at all to be genuinely happy when one is in paradise, both emotionally and geographically.
As Sergio had put it, only in hell the human being is, in every way, always seeking to forget and push aside the truth about where he really is. Instead of closing their eyes to it, people should try to see the obvious. See with the eyes of the soul, like Sergio expressed so well. I mean, because otherwise you are just looking without seeing. Paradise and Hell are not physical places, but states of mind and ‘places’ in our emotional and spiritual life, in our soul. But it is also a truth that some geographic locations and some human ‘idea-worlds’, ‘habits’ and ‘human climate’, highly tease the paradise in us to express itself… and other geographical locations and its human, ‘idea-worlds’ and ‘human climate’ elicits hell in us and around us.
“To pour water on the ground is not necessarily benefiting life and growth if the ground and the water is toxic. The same goes for the human soul.” (quote by my father Christos Loumakis)
In the Judeo-centered, religious doctrine, whether it’s expressed through Judaism, Christianity or Islam, Man seek God outside his own being, but in Hellenism man seek God within his own being. The first doctrine requires naive belief, submission, non-critical thinking, conformity, self-denial and limitation of the genuine human expression and the other doctrine requires knowledge, wisdom, liberation, critical thinking, self-awareness, personal perception and “flow” between macrocosmos and microcosmos, between creation and the created.
THE FIRST DOCTRINE ‘SPEAKS OF‘ LOVE AND LIFE AND THE OTHER ONE ‘IS‘ LOVE AND LIFE.
Here, by the cliffs of Aigina, in the sight of God and in Maria’s arms, even death is nothing but a laughable wink…
“…For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?” – Kahlil Gibran
Last year, my beloved and me managed to make Aigina our home (2015).
Posted on July 27, 2013, in Articles in English, Hot and tagged Culture, dolphins, ethics, Greece, Human Rights, morals, Piraeus, RESPONSIBILITY, Salamina, Sergio Tettucci, Simplicity, Society. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.