My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2006

ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey

  • NOW AVAILABLE!

StatCounter

  • StatCounter

Greek Heritage Festival Photos

  • P7110628
    Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Saco, Maine, USA 10-12 July 2009

Halki Seminary

  • DSC00655
    The Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki is located on the Turkish island known as Heyelbiada in the Bosporus straits. It was closed in 1971 by the Turkish government and is the subject of much controversy since it is the only seminary in Turkey and the position of Ecumenical Patriarch can only be filled by a Turkish citizen. Sign the petition to reopen it at www.greece.org

Index of Posts

« They Shall Not Grow Old | Main | Ithaka on the Horizon Book Trailer »

14 June 2014

Comments

Margaret

Stavros,

This morning all of your blog has disappeared to my view, save for this wonderful post in memory of your father. I hope it is just my computer playing up, or an easily remedied technical hitch, but I'm glad this post is still here for me to re-read, as I only read it quickly yesterday. You describe a man whose character was certain, who knew who he was and, unlike the reed in the wind, was not blown about by what other people thought. And yet there is no arrogance in your description of him, just a strong centre, as if he truly managed to be the stable bow which allowed you to do what you wanted to do, and be who you are. Thank you for sharing your memories here, and for reminding me what matters - not what others think but what we, having struggled, work out to be what we believe.

Margaret

Stavros

Margaret,

I hope you computer glitch has been resolved. I haven't experienced any similar issues which leads me think it may be related to your personal computer rather than Typepad.

Thank you for your gracious and generous comments. My father was indeed one of the most humble people I have ever known. He was far from perfect, as I have pointed out before, however, he was also someone who rarely criticized others for their faults, perceived or otherwise. He had dreams for me, yet to his credit he never sought to impose his dreams on mine.

My big regret was that I never really got to know my father better. Never got to know him as a person. He was always this larger than life person who I either idolized or at times, merely tolerated.

In many respects my own sons have a similarly alternating view of me. I suspect that they will have the same regrets some day. I hope that some day in the distant future that my writing may give them a peak into who I really am, even answer some of the questions that they are too young to ask just yet.

Back to the salt mines. I will try to respond to your other comments in a day or two. Pardon the delay.

Margaret

No worries. The issues are going nowhere and won't be solved tomorrow or the next day.

I hope you have a good week once the saltmines have finished with you for the day - we are enjoying the most glorious weather here. Since a fair proportion of our weather is your weather of a short while ago, I'm hoping that you're enjoying sunshine too.

It sounds as if you wish your father had written a blog, for the insight it would have given you into him. I hope that the future you speak of for your sons is tomorrow not distant. My elder daughter used to read my blog, often with her friends at school (cringe).

ares demertzis

One of your best, Stavro; moistened my eyes.
Your prose has evolved into a splendid
poetic writing style. Happy Father´s Day.

maria v

this was a very well written piece, and a wonderful tribute to your father

Stavros

Margaret,

The sun is hiding and I;m thinking about building an ark. BTW, when your kids and their friends read your blog it means you are "cool."

Ares,

That means a great deal to me coming from a talented writer like yourself.

Maria,

I know that you too have written movingly about your own father and how much he meant to you. May his memory be eternal.

GGW

That was a beautiful tribute, reminded me so much of the last days of our mother... No, maybe he didn't make the cover of Time, maybe he didn't have his 15 minutes of what we call 'fame', but that's not important, his memory lives on in you and your family and that's what life is all about - to be important to our loved ones...so much more significant than being on the cover of Time or anything else for that matter...

Thanks for sharing

Stavros

GG,

Thank you and good luck to your excellent blog.

GGW

Thanks very much for the wishes and the add...I've also added yours to mine...
Kali dynami

virginia

Beautiful words spoken so honestly..My father was much like yours , hardworking , salt of the earth, family man who had immigrated from Florina in Greece and integrated into Australian society. He loved his family deeply, they were his world.He taught us our values, a rusted on Labor voter, even our politics, our faith and our work ethic. Nothing good , ever comes easy..and we are here to do a good job of life. I talk to my young boy , Thimitri (Jamie), named after pappou ,about how wonderful my Dad was,some photos show a simple man, weathered by many years of work...but also many years of great memories,laughter, good times, and some sad ones too. Today marks his 17 years , since he left us , on a new journey...Happy Fathers Day Baba x

Stavros

Virginia,

May your memories of your father always be vivid and may a piece of him be reflected and live on in his namesake.

Greg, Birbil ( Birbilis}

Stavros,
loved it, reminded me of my Pop, didn't really appreciate him when we had him with us.
Bravo, well said.
Greg

Stavros

Greg,

They were a different breed were they not? We shall not see their like again for a very long time. Like all young men we did not always appreciate them for who they were and what they had accomplished because we were engrossed so thoroughly in our own lives. Only in the hindsight of old age can we see them for who they were.

I realize that your blog is written for family and friends but I think there is much that will appeal to other readers. This post was my favorite for reasons obvious to those who know me:

http://anadmaningreece.blogspot.com/2010/04/walking-stones-of-my-grandfather.html

Ifiyenia

Dear Stavros, I found you accidentally (google finds gems sometimes), and I am reading for the past couple of hours...
There are no words to describe how deeply moved and touched I was..
Facing the reality of how things are in patrida nowadays, sometimes it's hard to accept that Greeks have lost what made them.. "Greeks". But your Greek souls shines as our sun on a summer day.
The post for your baba brought tears to my eyes.. it's just a short time that I lost my baba so, you understand.
Thank you for your beautiful writing. Please, go on.
Hello from Athens.

Stavros

Dear Ifiyenia,

Na se kala. Thank you. I haven't done much writing lately and your gracious comments make me want to do so again.

I am so glad that there are some readers in Greece that are able to read my musings. I have made one attempt to write in my mother tongue here:
http://greekodyssey.typepad.com/my_greek_odyssey/2007/08/post.html

I wish I had more than the equivalent of a 6th grade Greek education so I could reach more people but such is the reality in the diaspora.

Fathers and mothers are part of our DNA but more importantly they are part of our consciousness until the day we die. They live in us.

Regards, Stavros

petroskar

stavro,
you have to write a book.people like you make greeks in diaspora proud.may god bless you with pola hronia.
with the kindest regards,
petros

sses you with pola hronia.

Stavros

Petro mou,

Many years to you and your family as well. I am currently working on a book. You will be among the first to get a copy.

Take care, Stavros

Panagiotis Athanasoulas

What a nice work!!!!
greetings from Creta!

noula

Thank you Stavro for sharing this wonderful story of your father with us. Today is Father's day, is it a coincidence that I saw this blog today? or just that your dad is still around us? I am forwarding this beautiful story to my kids and also on my wall in Facebook, I run a Facebook page for all of us Politas in Diaspora. May your father's memory be eternal. N.Rodakis

Stavros

Thank you Noula for taking the time to read it and your kind wishes. Many happy returns of the day to all the fathers in your life. As a Politissa perhaps you would be interested in reading this old post:

http://greekodyssey.typepad.com/my_greek_odyssey/2010/08/always-keep-ithaca-in-your-mindto-arrive-there-is-your-ultimate-goalbut-do-not-hurry-the-voyage-at-allit-is-better-to-let.html

Maria

Τυχαία βρεθηκα στο blog σου και είναι μια ευχαριστη εκπληξη...Όσο υπάρχουν Ελλήνες που νιώθούν και πράτουν όπος έπραξε ο πατέρας σου ο οποίος σου μεταλαμπαδίασε την αγαπή του για την Ελλαδά νιώθω ότι ακόμα υπάρχει ελπίδα για να μην χαθεί η Ελληνικότητα στην διασπόρα.
Η τυπίκος Ελληνας πατέρας που κρατούσε γερά το τιμόνι της οικογένειας ένας έντιμος ανθρωπος.

Η ανάρτηση σου με συγκίνησε βαθύτατα..Περίμένω να συνεχισεις να γράφεις

Μαρία (από Αθήνα)

No matter how far you go, you ve still got one foot tangled up in your roots, like it or not.
And that's the foot that always trip you up

Stavros

Μαρια,

Σε ευχαριστω πολυ για τα αισθηματα που εκφραζεις τοσο ωραια. Ενα παραξενο πραγμα για την διασπορα ειναι οτι πιστευουμε ακομα παρα τα σημερινα γεγονοτα οτι η Ελλαδα μας ειναι αυτη που εμενε τοσο λαμρη στη μνημη των γονεων μας. Και ετσι μενει για μας και ευχομαι για τα παιδια μας.

Υοu can't know where you're going unless you understand where you've been.

Να εισαι καλα, Σταῦρος

Panagiotis

Hi Stavro

Your story about your "baba" has deeply moved me, your experiences and feelings are echoed in my life. Certainly a migrant father working 7 days a week would not make the cover of time magazine. I just stumbled across your blog, well done Stavro. Im 41 yo born and bred in Sydney and my 83 yo baba still refers to me as levedako. I love him dearly....
God bless you Stavro, your father sacrificed to make your life a better one... you enjoy life with your family, this will bring "xara" to your makariti father
Regards,
panagiotis

Stavros

Thanks Panagioti,

The one thing I regret is that I never took the time to get to know my father better. My father never talked much about himself and I never bothered to ask him the really important questions. Don't make the same mistake.

Best wishes to you and your family. May God always hold you in the palm of His hand.

Panagiotis

Ela Stavro,

Thats great advice, your intuition works well!

In a way our folks drew the short straw on life (leaving their homeland, families & going to a foreign land). I know you wrote this beautiful piece on your father over 3 yrs ago, you mentioned whether people in 100yrs will remember his struggles and triumphs.. Immortality for people like our folks is a given, we are so fortunate to have had and have such great parents with proud & rich heritage
Keep well and keep up the fine work!
Giasou
Panagiotis

Stavros

All their sacrifices, and there were many, were for their children. They never wavered, never thought of themselves. May we keep them always in our hearts.

Na se kala.

Frank Verdi

Hi Stavros,

I am a friend of Greg Birbil's and that's how I came to read this. Even though I grew up without a father, you brought a tear to my eye. I knew Greg's dad and he was a very wise man and I am sure your dad was a lot like him. Your feelings and love for your dad are wonderful and make me sorry I never knew my father, but that is the way of life. Wonderfully written and thanks for writing it.

Stavros

Frank,

Thank you for taking the time to write these very kind words. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone to grow up without a father. All of us however as we go through life meet father figures who in their own way improve our lives for the better. I hope you will remember them as just as fondly.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan

Searching for Ithaka

  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy

FAIR USE

  • This site may include excerpts of copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available consistent with the established practice of academic citation and in an effort to advance understanding of the issues addressed by My Greek Odyssey blog. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. All original material produced by the author and published on this site is copyrighted.

Posting

  • POSTING STANDARDS
    User comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will not be accepted and will be removed from the site. Users who continue to violate any of my posting standards will be blocked.

Books