6th August 2011
This day four years ago I sat by the hospital bed of Panos in Athens. I had arrived on a flight from Sweden the day before. He was due to have an emergency operation to remove a tumor in his brain. He was 71 years old, had never been to a doctor in his life and certainly not been a hospital patient. I knew he was scared although he would never admit to it and I had dropped everything to be by his side. “Today,” he said, “is Metamorphosis Day in Greece”. He made me go to Church. I actually stayed in an apartment belonging to his brother’s family on Metamorphosis Street and the Greek Orthodox Church next-door was named The Church of Metamorphosis. I prayed for a Transformation for both of us. Panos was my partner and friend since we first met in 1999. The operation seemed successful but Panos never recovered. He died a few months later and was buried on Christmas Eve. I realize now that the time between his surgery and demise was a time of metamorphosis for both of us. A lot happened.
This year I found myself at a summer concert to celebrate Metamorphosis. A romantic violin adventure was promised up at Sonnenlink http://www.mani-sonnenlink.com/enindex.html and the evening was truly magical. A talented Greek 25-year old Joanna Gaitani mesmerised her audience with her grace, beauty and sheer energy while French master Jacques Bernier accompanied on piano. The feeling created was truly one of metamorphosis, out of this world.
Meanwhile a cultural event is going on in Stoupa this week where my book “Travels with Socrates – a modern diary from Greece”, dedicated to Panos, is on display.
Life goes on but on a higher octave.