Paris -we are with you

The world is with Paris today!

Write with Joy

Yesterday, it was 13th of November 2015, Paris outlived its most horrific night throughout the modern history. Here are the facts, around 130 people were killed in six different places in the capital while many others are badly injured. It’s proclaimed that Islamic state group takes responsibility for the attack.

When I’ve heard about it, I was terrified by shock and not being able to believe it! Two questions popped up in my mind immediately after receiving these terrible news.

First of all, how is this possible in 21st century, how is it even plausible such a dreadful thing to happen? I don’t care who is responsible for this, whether it is part of a terrorist attack or any other kind of intervention in Europe, I care about the people who lost their families that night, I care for the falling innocent victims of that abomination. Can you…

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The white pigeon

A story inspired by a real events.

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It was early morning; my teeth had not stopping shattering for a moment, even for a tiny fragrance of the second. We know that the winter would be soon upon us, we were able to feel it in our bones, which were what we get from our bodies. Only skeletons, barely covered with skin, our muscles were not so strong as before. We were living every single day on the verge of dying.

Sometimes, we envied our brother out there, whose hearts stopped beating, they were no longer able to see what we saw, and they did not feel the desperation anymore, the cold and the fear. I envied them, too.  Yesterday, there were two deserters, boys on age of nineteen, they crossed the barrier, reaching the no men’s land, and they waved their hands up into the air. The Germans did not shot, but our commander set fire on…

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Drown your demons

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Being there, the sand was crumbling under my toes, the wind was entangling my hair even more, the sky was covered with grey. Everything looked as I remembered, the beach with its isolated lighthouse, the remotely destitute house on the hill, as if every speck of sand was on its exact place, waiting for someone to come and to bid ‘goodbye’ for one last time.

The picture might be deceiving, but the funny feeling in my stomach did never fail me to warm that something is amiss.

There was a bitter taste in my mouth, I don’t know from what exactly, the coffee or the cigarettes or my sense of guilt not leaving me alone. If I tell you which one of this, I will lie to you…

As I watched the waves crushing into the small rocks around I wanted only to breathe properly, I felt as someone was…

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7 seconds –they can define you

Something different from my writing blog, hope you enjoy it 🙂

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You are ready for a new day, the alarm of the clock is making an unbelievable excruciating sound which bounce back like a tennis ball. You want to stay in bed so much that you nestle yourself up, promising only two more seconds for you and the bed comfort that surrounds you. You refuse to open your eyes given that doing so it will kill the last hope of spending few more moments in your bed. But, no, your brain is rushing around like that comic hero ‘the Flash’ in searching for an answer to what you are supposed to do today. In a fracture of the second, you open your eyes as an adrenaline has flown in you, because you remember that you have a very important day. Probably running errands for your boss and making an interview for a new secretary.

The clock rang.

You are up.

In…

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Mistletoe symbol throughout time

*With this post I want to wish to all of you wonderful preparation for the upcoming holiday days. Wish you love, happiness, warm in your heart and joy.

Mistletoe

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Today, mistletoe is associated largely by the tradition of kissing modestly under it. However, back into the ancient times, there are many other practices as well relating to it.

For instance, in ancient Greece, the plant was sacred and rare to be found. According to the myth, once the Gods were offended by the plant, so they refused to look at it when women were being kissed under it.
The ancient druids had different specification of the plant, though they regarded it as a sacred and gave it their reverence. Interesting fact to reflect upon is that they considered the plant to consist the sperm of the God. Moreover, they used it with herbal function to cure almost everything, from witchcraft to antidote against poison. Nonetheless, one long standing tradition among the Druids was that after the sixth day of the winter solstice (‘Alban Arthan’), they used to cut the three, with a golden knife being extremely precautious the three not to touch the ground as it could lose its magic powers of protection, and divide its branches after distribution among the people. Those branches were hung in the doors of their homes in order to protect them from evil spirits and all devilish spirits.

In Norse Mythology, there is a legend explaining the origin of the mistletoe. Everything began with the norse god Balder, who was the most beloved one by all, but mostly by his mother , Frigga. She wanted to protect her son from all the evil in the world, that’s why she went far and wide into the world collecting promises from everything which contained the four elements – fire, water, air and earth. However , she chose Loki to find her the loophole, which was the mistletoe. Not only did he find it, but he made arrow from the wood of the plant. Unfortunately, Loki was not filled with good intentions, he gave the arrow to Balder ‘s brother, who was blind, dictating every move of the latter, the arrow pointed Balder’s heart and he died. As a consequences, Frigga’s tears turned into the mistletoe ‘s berries.

During the Romans’ times , the practice of kissing under a branch of this plant, could be traced back into the festive celebration of Saturnalia, a festival which brought into a daylight all kind of indulgence, such as conspicuous consumption of drinks, food and practicing sexual activities . The day on which all of that took place was 17th December, after that it was chosen someone who pleased himself more than the other, he/she was sacrificed in order all evil influence in people’s hearts to be exterminated by this ritual.

Back into the medieval times, many people hung branches of the plant in front of their doors or home’s ceiling, they believed that the plant could extinguish fire and make the evil spirits go away. As we could see the promotion of the idea of the mistletoe as a symbol of the good, harmony and protection preserved despite the fact that so different group of societies used and adopted its meaning and origin.

Christmas at the trenches or it could have been something else ?

Christmas Truce of 1914

That’s not a story about family gathering or cozy atmosphere around the table while all of us are happily curled up, eating delicious meals and exchanging presents. No, it is a story about something which we could feel if we only came across with it, it is a moment of immense courage, humanity and goodness. It is a story of people wishing to touch the warm of the lighting hope, even for a while, a story which aspire million people, despite the fact that it is hundred years old.

It was 1914, the first year of the great war, in the western front around Christmas time, British, French and German solders made something phenomenal for that time, they created few days of ceased unofficial fire hostilities between one another. For that time such a thing was extraordinary one, not because it did happen, but because the scope of it.
Historians dive deeply in order to discover the reasons for such a truce. One of them point the conditions and the position of the trenches, in fact, they were only a yard apart which made them a twisted game for playing and inevitability for any strategic thinking. As Private R Fleming of the 2nd Durham Light Infantry explained it much more vividly and simple: “It is not war this. It is who can kill the most in the shortest possible time” ( The Newcastle Evening Mail January 13, 1915). Another point out the weather as decisive element, as it is reported that previously before Christmas there was a heavy rain which resulted quickly in flooding half of the trenches. The british and german soldiers were forced to climb above being fully exposed to another. However, no one of them shot or started fire. Speaking of the weather, it is worth mentioning that despite the fact that the whole November was raining, but the temperature was not extreme, on the Christmas eve heavy snow and frost covered the trenches and the soldiers there. Could we speculate about health condition of many individuals on their limits?

However, another series of unofficial truces were recorded and they should be put into consideration in order an object estimation of the situation to be made. For instance : “In one section the hour of 8 to 9 A.M. was regarded as consecrated to “private business,” and certain places indicated by a flag were regarded as out-of-bounds by the snipers on both sides. (Morgan 1916, pp. 270-71) “ . Nevertheless , such an attempts of friendly relation with the enemy were soon suppressed by the generals and many people even battalions were reprimanded severely for such violation of their duties.

Despite the punishment, the Christmas ‘ truce took place, making its history for many years to come. Everything started with singing of carols, on 24th of December, as the Germans celebrate that day before 25th with a festive mood and families around them. But at the year 1914 they were away from home, instead of warm the cold penetrates their bodies, no families, only the enemy on the other side, not far away from them. But then a white flag was waved in hope of fragile peace and rest from the war, only for a while. The singing of the carlos were accompanied by trees enlightened with lanterns ,which were placed above the trenches.
But how the truce began, according to one letter :
From out trenches: “Good morning Fritz.” (No answer).
“Good morning Fritz.” (Still no answer).
“GOOD MORNING FRITZ.”
From German trenches: “Good morning.”
From our trench: “How are you?”
“All right.”
“Come over here, Fritz.”
“No. If I come I get shot.”
“No you won’t. Come on.”
“No fear.”
“Come and get some fags, Fritz.”
“No. You come half way and I meet you.”
“All right.”
One of our fellows thereupon stuffed his pocket with fags and got over the trench.. The German got over his trench, and right enough they met half way and shook hands, Fitz taking the fags and giving cheese in exchange.”
Letter from Private H Scrutton, Essex Regiment, published in the Norfolk Chronicle on January 1, 1915”.
According to Staff Sergeant Clement Barker in a letter to his brother : “A messenger come over from German lines and said that if (our side) did not fire, they (the Germans) wouldn’t in the morning (Xmas day). A German looked over the trench – no shots – our men did the same, and then a few of our men went out and brought the dead in and buried them and the next thing a football kicked out of our Trenches and Germans and English played football.”

At the first down at Christmas day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches, facing the Allied lines , shouting ‘Merry Christmas’ in their native tongues. Firstly, the allied soldiers speculated that this might be a trick, but eventually after seeing the Germans unarmed they showed up,too. That was the begging of exchanging box of cigarettes and plum puddings.
During the truce the soldiers negotiated with one another to bury their men properly. Another interesting fact is that after the truce ended, after the armies were given command to attack one another for the first day after Christmas many of them,if not all of them, refused to disobey their orders. Here we could sense the emotional bond formed for such a short period of time, given the circumstances it was still extraordinary one.

One question arises : if the scope of that even or even the duration of it had been greater, would the ww1 have been stopped in its very begging or not? What if those people were given medal for courage and peace, what if others had done so? Could we have escaped the atrocity of the great war? What better knowledge from someone who have fought there and chose peace over war?

Halloween- spells and charms

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Every year, on 31th of October millions of people celebrate one pagan custom, which impose trick and treaty, many pumpkins and a lot much more sweets for the children. A long time ago, before being converted into a global phenomenon, Halloween was simply an Irish custom, practiced by small population of catholic people. One interesting fact is that the only place in the world where Halloween is celebrated and praised as a national holiday is Ireland, where the children are excused not to go to school on this day.

But that is not the end of it, even much more earlier, around 2,000 years ago the Celtic ‘s festival Samhain is strongly related to the present day Halloween. According to The World Book Encyclopedia. “The Celts believed that the dead could walk among the living at this time. During Samhain, the living could visit with the dead.” More importantly, it was the most significant holiday in the Celthics’ year, the time when the dead were finishing their journey from the otherworld. People believed that their ghosts would travel and haunt the world on this day, probably lost and melancholic, forsaken and abandoned by the world they had left behind.

The celtic people had only two seasons : winter and summer, therefore “Samhain” means ‘summer’s end” celebrating the harvesting season and the beginning of their new year as well. To top it all, they believed that there was something superficially magic even sacral during that day, as it represented the summer’s abundance and the winter’s hollowness, as if two distinctly different powers collided into one another.

That day was related to the All Hallows Eve, which was the day before the All Saints Day (presumable on 1st November), the Catholic Church decided the latter to be the day on which all pagans were converted into Christianity.

The festive became even more popular during the time. The first celebration of the festive by the Irish people involved in itself, pot clanging used for telling the death that they were not forgotten as well as bon firing to scare them away, preventing them from getting to close to the living. Sometimes people placed food and water for the ghost in hope of quenching their thirst and feeding them in order to appease them.

However, that celebration is not only for the dead ones, but for the living,too. As a matter of fact, the scotish romantic poet Robert Burns wrote a poem about it, it is titled “Hallowe’n”, which was prevailingly popular among the young people in the 19th century.

“Some merry, friendly, countra-folks

Together did convene,

To burn their nits, an’ pou their stocks,

An’ haud their Halloween

Fu’ blythe that night. “

This is only part of the poem,which is richly filled with strange rituals performed at that time, some magic, some charms and spells. For instance, one ritual involved nut burning, it was used as a weapon of saying whether two people would be faithful to one another. Two nuts were placed in the fare if they burned together, the two lovers shall be together forever, if one of the nut cracked or jumped out of the fire, their happing would be doomed. Another one was called a “looking-glass spell” in which one person were supposed to eat apple in front of a mirror, after that if  she/he looked carefully they would see how the reflection of their true lover was peaking over their shoulder secretly. Final example of future telling is the picking straw, in which an young woman had to pull three oat straws from a stalk of oats and if the third straw had grains on its top, that woman shall lose her virginity before marriage.

Halloween couldn’t be recognizable without one particular object : the flicking pumpkins or jack-o-lantern. The origin of which is doubtful one, one people claim to belief that it is related to the irish fable of Stingy Jack. In a nutshell is about how Jack tricked the Satan and then he died. He was not able to enter the Heaven as he sinned, neither the Hell,so he started wandering around. He was able to beg a coal from Satan in order to light his way and he put the coal inside of a carved-out turnip and thus the jack o’ lantern. The lost soul. Another source claims that during the 18th century the kids used turnips first instead of a pumpkins, they were called  Hoberdy’s Lanterns and they were noticed in in Worcestershire, England