Dragi čitatelju,

šaljem ti pismo iz Grčke. „Marija, gdje si ti to, i jesi li još uvijek tamo”, rečenica je kojom su me najčešće pozdravljali prijatelji u proteklih godinu dana. Nalazim se na obali Egejskog mora, između dva sela. Thanos i ja smo na osami i, uz malobrojne ljude koje srećemo kad odemo do Larisse, većinu prijatelja čine nam psi lutalice i samostalne, poludivlje mačke. Sve je počelo kao slučajnost, kao zaplet iz nekog romana – dvoje se ljudi upozna, zaljubi, ali ona je iz Hrvatske, on je iz Grčke. Odluče da će pola vremena provoditi u Hrvatskoj, pola u Grčkoj. Međutim, ubrzo se svijetom pročuje za neobičnu bolest koja se iz Kine počinje širiti Europom. I prije nego što se uspiju snaći, u lockdownu su, u Grčkoj, bez znanja o tome koliko će sve ovo trajati, hoće li ikad prestati, i kako će njihovi životi izgledati u sljedećih godinu dana.
Odlučili smo od svega pobjeći u izolaciju. Životi nam izgledaju dobro, relativno dobro, s obzirom na to što se trenutno događa oko nas, ali apsolutno dobro, s obzirom na ono kako je drugima, onima s manje izbora. Provela sam ovdje ljeto, jesen i zimu. Doživjela sam Mediteran na način na koji dosad nisam imala prilike.

Ja sam kontinentalna osoba, navikla sam na more uokvireno u godišnji odmor. Mediteran je za mene dosad bio dio ne-pravog života, on je bio pojednostavljena kulisa za ono što se događa kad se život stavi na čekanje i kad počne doba odmora. Naravno, potonje je podrazumijevalo ljeto. Mediteran je za mene bio vječno ljeto, šarmantne male konobe, mazanje tijela uljem na plaži, svijest o kratkotrajnosti i kupljenosti iskustva.

Kad se obali pristupi bez komodifikacije – kao privremenom domu, kao ekosustavu, živom organizmu – nauči se poštovati njegova mnoga lica. Kišu koja neprekidno pada u siječnju, kao da netko gore danima cijedi netom oprane oblake. Promjene raspoloženja i užasne migrene koje dolaze s oscilacijama u vremenu i temperaturi. Snijeg koji napada preko noći, i onda isto tako, preko noći, nestane. Vjetar koji se uvlači u kožu i kosti. Naučila sam biti zahvalna za odvratnu mučninu koju mi ove promjene vremena uzrokuju, jer mi ona pokazuje da sam dio prirode, dio ekosustava, i da sam opremljena intuicijom za predviđanje promjene. U ovom vremenu konstantne promjene, a koje ipak  postoji kao konstantna sadašnjost, kao jedan, dugački dan, ova intuicija važno je uporište za moj osjećaj da nisam potpuno nemoćna. Mediteran mi je dao ljeto puno sunca, odmora, inspiracije i ljubavi, a onda mi je dao zimu koja me ojačala i dala mi nadu u snagu čovjeka, snagu koja nije slijepa, destruktivna, nego je to snaga koja poštuje prirodu kao zakon veći od vlastite, ograničene volje.

Prostor koji je ljeti pun i živ, sad nastanjuje priroda.

Dok sam pisala ovo pismo, dvaput su se stigli izmijeniti proljeće i jesen.

Na videu čitam jednu od pjesama, nastalu ovdje tijekom ljeta, a u galeriji prilažem nekoliko fotografija ovog malog, izoliranog prostora punog ljubavi i snage.

Dragi čitatelju, puno te pozdravljam. Želim ti da ti ljeta budu topla i kreativna, nebo vedro i milostivo prema tvojim fizičkim i metaforičkim vrtovima, more tvog života otvoreno, beskonačno i bezopasno. Želim ti da te zima osnažuje, a ljeto njeguje. Želim ti da u svom srcu imaš ovu dvojnost Mediterana i da je nosiš kao oružje i lijek.

S ljubavlju,

M

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  Dear reader,

I am sending you a letter from Greece. “Marija, where are you and are you still there?” This is the sentence by which my friends have most often been greeting me for the last year. Thanos and myself are in a secluded place between the two villages at the Aegean seacoast and, except for a very few people that we meet when we go to Larissa, our circle of friends mostly consists of stray dogs and free-roaming, semi-feral cats. It all started by chance, like a novel plot — two people meet each other, fall in love, but she is from Croatia, he is from Greece. They decide to split their time between Croatia and Greece. But soon an unusual illness breaks out in China and starts spreading all over Europe. And before they manage to deal with it, they find themselves in lockdown, in Greece, not having the slightest idea about how long all this will last, if it will ever come to an end and what their lives are going to look like in the year to follow.
We decided to ran away from it all into isolation. Our lives look good; relatively good, in comparison with what currently goes on around us, and on the other hand absolutely good, considering what other people, with less choice, have to go through.

I spent summer, autumn and winter here. I experienced the Mediterranean like I had never experienced it before.

I am a continental person, used to sea in a vacation frame. So far, for me the Mediterranean has been a part of life that is not real, a simplified backdrop for what goes on when you put your life on hold and holiday time starts, which, naturally, implied summer. For me, the Mediterranean represented never-ending summer, charming little wine cellars, putting oil on my body on the beach, a sense of short-termed bought experience.

Perceiving coast without commodification — as a temporary home, as an eco-system, living organism — teaches us to respect its many facets. Rain falling down incessantly in January, as if somebody up there is wringing out clouds just as clothes hand-washed only a moment ago. Mood swings and horrible migraines coming hand in hand with weather and temperature oscillations. Snow covering everything overnight and then disappearing in the same way, also overnight. Wind crawling into your skin and bones. I have learnt to be grateful for disgusting, weather-caused nausea because it shows me that I am a part of nature, a part of eco-system, and that I am equipped with intuition for anticipating change. In this time of constant change, that nevertheless exists as a constant present, as a long day, this intuition is an important stronghold against my feeling of utter helplessness. The Mediterranean has given me a summer full of sun and rest, and then it strengthened me with winter, giving me hope in power of humans, power that is not blind and destructive, but respectful of nature as of a law, higher than its own, limited will.

A space that is full and alive in summer, now is inhabited by nature.

While writing this letter, I have seen spring and autumn switch places with each other two times.

In a video I am reading one of my poems, written here, during summer, and for the gallery I add few photos of this little, isolated place, full of love and strength.

Dear reader, I send you many regards. May your summers be warm and creative, may your heaven be clear and have mercy on your physical and metaphorical gardens, may the sea of your life be open, endless and harmless. I wish you to be empowered by winter, and cherished by summer. I wish that you carry this duality of the Mediterranean in your heart as a weapon and as a cure.

With love,

M

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