Sunday, April 02, 2006

Square thoughts

I observe the casual walkers (and the baby strollers), the casual runners, the casual college kids, and well, yes, all the casual individuals as they walk the streets adjacent to the big square. Clearly, I am one of the many people who enjoy walking down the streets of a square looking at people or just looking around, and for this reason I decided this sunday too to spend sometime there. Aside from the "moving" population I just described there is this other façade of the square: the one I like to call "permanent". The 2-3 homeless people stationed outside of the pharmacy and the bank every week, the big-not-so-attractive slogans that alternate each week attempting to drag customers, and last but not least, the middled aged Asian man, who rain or shine, plays his melodious musical instrument.

No matter where you live, you can surely find commonalities between my square and the one in your neighborhood or city. Why I like squares and streets so much is because by walking -or even standing there- you can deconstruct the culture, decipher the secret codes of behavior and communication among people, and perhaps most importantly, see life. Squares are also symbolic I find. Being the meeting point of many divergent streets, they remind me of real life, where the otherwise lonely paths of seemingly different people converge either as part of daily life happenings or under strange circumstances.

And this thought of crossroads and people "moving" brings me to a chief idea of mine, the belief that life is a journey. Whilst this is no news- people repeatedly say this, write poems/stories, produce movies- the concept of "life as a journey" is substantially broad and subject to many interpretations. You can indeed talk about the significance of experience(s) or the importance of having a fixed destination, or the change or... And still what I consider as one of the most fundamental aspects of this journey is the notion of continuum: the part of the self that acts as a base, the part that glues all experiences together, that replenishes our attachement to the destination, that ultimately provides for the possibility of growth... For after all, if the square was not there, I would have not been able to observe the casual walkers (and the baby strollers) and...


PS. The following is a segment of a song about a famous street "Aristotelous St" in Salonica, Greece. The song tells a story, a quite different one, about the street and the square:

Οδος Αριστοτελους

Βγάζανε τα δίκοχα οι παλιοί φαντάροι
γέμιζ' η πλατεία από παιδιάκι
ήταν ένα πράσινο, πράσινο φεγγάρι
να σου μαχαιρώνει την καρδιά

Παίζαν οι μικρότεροι κλέφτες κι αστυνόμους
κι ήταν αρχηγός η Αργυρώ
και φωτιές ανάβανε στους απάνω δρόμους
τ' Άη Γιάννη θα 'τανε θαρρώ


Mantalena Parianos said...

Xaire, anastacia! Odigithika sto blog sou apo tin prosfati episkepsi sou sto diko moy.
Giati grafeis sta agglika?

Anastasia said...

Απλα για να ειναι προσβασιμο σε πιο πολλους ανθρωπους.. αυτη ηταν η αρχικη σκεψη..

Nelke said...

Hola Anastacia! La verdad no sé exactamente, me dijeron que como a dos horas. Coloqué la fotografía por un amigo venezolano que vive en México.


Elpidia García said...

Hi Anastasia. Es una preciosa reflexión la que escribiste en este post. Coincido contigo. La gente entre la que caminamos nos sostiene, nos reafirma en la idea de que somos parte de un todo, igual que cuando estamos frente a la grandiosidad de la naturaleza. Caminar es algo que deberíamos hacer con mayor frecuencia, para re-sintonizar nuestros sentidos en las verdades de nuestra existencia.

(If I write in English I'm afraid I can say something stupid or I'll do it three times slower. I promise I will try next time I visit your nice blog anyway)


Optimus said...

Κάνεις πολύ καλά και γράφεις στα αγγλικά. Έτσι ξεκίνησα και εγώ με το δικό μου blog. Στην αρχή το είχα ανακοινώσει σε ξένους φίλους μου από την demoscene community που πολλές φορές αναφέρω στα κείμενα μου. Έπειτα, μιας και έτυχε να συνδεθώ περισσότερο με την ελληνική σκηνή του blogging, σκέφτηκα ότι ίσως θα έλεγε να ανοίξω ένα ακόμα στα ελληνικά (όρεξη που έχω! ;).

Πραγματικά ενδιαφέρομαι να διαβάζουν τις σκέψεις μου και άτομα από το εξωτερικό ενώ δεν νομίζω ότι οι περισσότεροι έλληνες έχουν πρόβλημα με τα αγγλικά τους. Εδώ όμως δεν ξέρω σε πια γλώσσα να επικοινωνίσω (από ισπανικά μέχρι και γερμανικά έχει ο μπαξές ;) αλλά σου υπόσχομαι ότι θα απαντώ στα άλλα άρθρα σου στα αγγλικά για να συμβαδίσω με το πνεύμα :)

You have a very interesting blog I see. I haven't read most of your texts yet, still I am impressed by the quality of your thoughts and the good use of english language. It's a blog I might visit soon (And still I have to find some time to add a link in the right frame of my blogsite, with the blogs I want to visit frequently, you will be there for sure :) Also, thanks for your comments on my blog! I might try to give a reply to most of the replies soonish :)

Pixie said...

Anastasia I really liked what you wrote.I often think that because of the ways modern society is structured we often stay inside the house, within closed walls and we forget the life outside those walls.Its is good that you are not only observing from your window but you are walking thsese streets observing yourself, living!

ciudadano europeo said...

anastasia, I always had a thing about observing at/talking to/connecting with people. It strikes me somehow as the only original, true feeling we are left. Sometimes I see it as a kind of soul-salvation. I feel this even stronger when I travel.
First time at your blog, love it.

Μακάρι να μπορούσα να γράφω καλύτερα αγγλικά, είναι σίγουρα απείρως πρακτικότερο και σε φέρνει σε επαφή με πολύ περισσότερο κόσμο.

¡Saludos a todos los amigos sudamericanos! Aùn no conozco bien tus idioma para escribir en eso. Intento aprenderlo mejor. Me voy a Seville para asistir a unas classes.

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