I’m starting to prepare for my vacation this summer to Greece, so I’m reading books, watching movies, searching websites, and reading guidebooks to help me plan my trip and to get inspired. I would love any comments or suggestions from my readers as to where I should go!
April 11, 2012: Odyssey with the Goddess
I just finished reading Odyssey with the Goddess by Carol P. Christ.
At the end of the book, Carol writes: “I picked up my pen and wrote the phrase: ‘the serpentine path.’
“Those were the words I had been searching for as I sought to name the experience of Zakros! The serpentine path was the path of my life, a snakelike, meandering path, winding in and out, up and down. The antithesis of the “straight and narrow.” A path that does not ever “come to a point.” Two steps left, two steps right. Into the darkness, into the light. Not the goal, but the journey.”
I love these words from Carol’s book about her odyssey to self-realization on the island of Crete. She finds power in the Greek goddesses and learns that she doesn’t have to be in control all the time. She learns that she is loved, that she just has to believe and accept the love that is in abundance around her. I love this story because it celebrates the power of womanhood in an ancient culture where women were seen as goddesses.
April 2, 2012: Shirley Valentine
My British friend Sandy came again to Oman to visit for her spring break and, at my request, she brought the movie Shirley Valentine (1989). From IMDb: “Shirley’s a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband’s chip’n’egg, wondering what happened to her life. She compares scenes in her current life with what she used to be like and feels she’s stagnated and in a rut. But when her best friend wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece for two, Shirley begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light.”
I can identify with Shirley’s feelings as a housewife feeling stagnated and trapped. This movie reminds me of my favorite Italian film, Bread & Tulips, where a frustrated housewife escapes her life and makes a new life for herself in Venice. I love these kinds of movies where women realize their unhappiness and make changes in their lives to improve them! Bread & Tulips is one of the movies that inspired my life as it is today, except sadly I’m not living in Venice. 😦
December 2011: Mama Mia!
My friend Sandy brought the movie Mama Mia! (2008) when she came from Britain to Nizwa to visit her husband Malcolm in December. From IMDb: “Set on a colorful Greek island, the plot serves as a background for a wealth of ABBA songs. A young woman (Amanda Seyfried) about to be married discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), who was once the lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos. In the meantime, Donna has invited her backup singers, Rosie and Tanya.”
This movie is so beautifully filmed and makes Greece look so enticing, I can’t help but be inspired to visit! When Meryl Streep, wearing a gorgeous dress with a gauzy red scarf, sings “The Winner Takes It all” to Pierce Brosnan, running dramatically up the steps of a rocky island, I can’t help but get all choked up. Sometimes when I hear this song, so heart-wrenchingly sad, I weep…. 😦
The winner takes it all, the loser has to fall,
It’s simple and it’s plain, why should I complain.
But tell me, does she kiss like I used to kiss you,
Does it feel the same when she calls your name.
Somewhere deep inside you must know I miss you,
But what can I say, rules must be obeyed.
The judges will decide the likes of me abide,
Spectators of the show always staying low.
The game is on again, a lover or a friend,
A big thing or a small, the winner takes it all.
June 2010: Three Junes
The first thing that got me yearning for Greece was the novel Three Junes by Julia Glass. I read this while I was living in Korea and starting to think about my summer vacation. At that time I was trying to choose between Turkey, Greece and Italy. I am saving Italy for a romantic interest, which I still have yet to find. I would have gone to Greece if my daughter Sarah had been able to go along with me. Since she couldn’t, I settled on Turkey, where I ended up having the time of my life!! 🙂 See: catbird in turkey.
From Amazon.com: “In June of 1989 Paul McLeod, a newspaper publisher and recent widower, travels to Greece, where he falls for a young American artist and reflects on the complicated truth about his marriage… Six years later, again in June, Paul’s death draws his three grown sons and their families back to their ancestral home. Fenno, the eldest, a wry, introspective gay man, narrates the events of this unforeseen reunion. Four years later, in yet another June, a chance meeting on the Long Island shore brings Fenno together with Fern Olitsky, the artist who once captivated his father. Now pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt about the past against her wishes for the future and decide what family means to her.”