Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Son of sage...

Last August I did a tribute to my mother, Artemisia Kelaidi on the centenary of her birth...at the time I did not have a picture of her scanned. My nephew-in-law (John Sooklaris) has conveniently scanned one of the loveliest images of my mom when she was about the age I am right now: she was a beauty! And come to think of it, her silver hair did justify her generic honorific (sagebrush [Artemisia], to cut through some of my baroque prose).
Although she passed away a decade ago, I probably think of her more frequently now than I did when she was alive...one of the compensations of aging, actually. Some of us realize, as we age, that we are treading on familiar footsteps.
We think we are so original, so different. As I grow older I realize that much of what is best in me is the result of my parents' aspirations and deliberate molding. Most of my neuroses are a consequence of what I have resisted and still avoid. They say, "may I be the man my dog thinks I am", I might coin another truism, may I grow up to be the man my mother hoped I might become.


  1. Generally I like to muddle my way through your "baroque prose" but in this instance, I'm very pleased you illuminated the subject at hand :>}

    Artemisia has very kind eyes...as if she knows the best, yet accepts the quirks. How very lovely that you honor her so.

  2. Very touching Panayoti, you are an honor to your mother...

  3. I had the opportunity to interview Wendell Berry last week and he expressed a very similar thought. Such beautiful eyes your mother had.

  4. My mother's eyes were beautiful, and often laughing. They were a silvery blue color I have not seen again. She was high spirited and very bright. Her Greek was melliflous and rich: her English was quite good: not as heavily accented as most Greeks of her generation. She always had a bevy of close girlfriends and men adored her. She gathered young people around her until the day she had a massive stroke. She cooked wonderful meals almost every day of her life from the time her mother died when she was only twelve until she had a stroke at age 89. I have tried to reproduce her recipes when I too cook (almost every day). Because I know I had her blessing and somehow bear some of her essence within me life is sweet and thinking of her gives me as much joy as it does nostalgia and the ache of loss.


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