words.png
IMG_9876.JPG

I went with my parents to Cephalonia last month.

We meandered north, where roads hang over slashed cliffs that wet their long feet in glorious turquoise waters, and goats appear unannounced (‘holy!’) staring at the approaching cars and wondering what has happened to the world these past millennia.  

My dad had several heart attacks. 

The first two days we stayed at a village permanently scarred by people like us — fleeting and with no connection to the real world. I tried to learn about its past, but the few public information boards looked older than history; their letters erased by the sunlight, their pictures dead from dehydration. 

‘Why don’t you try the Internet?’ my mom said, who is an expert in cutting the Gordian knot.  

Our second accommodation, at the other side of the island, was a complete upgrade: better pillows, better views, and butter in the fridge. We surrendered to this new place instinctively, and remained its hostages for the rest of our trip. 

On our way back to the airport we stopped to buy honey, because nothing sells a product more than relentless advertising buzz from its makers. 

 

 
words.png

Apologies, but I have run out of welcomes and goodbyes and of all those other words that step in and out of men's lips.

I need to rest for a second. 

I’ve had plenty of that human touch, gentle mostly, sometimes hard. I was once slammed shut, do you remember? I blame the wind for that slap, gone like a squeak. 

Do not worry that your home has left the building - it’s still inside, standing by the kitchen sink, washing the dirty hours. It likes its slavery fresh and sparkling. 

And the key… Please keep it safe, for now, inside your rib cage. If it gets lost, you can cut a new one from my rib. 

 

 

Most rocks don’t roll unless humans have a say in it. 

As an advanced species we use rocks as entertainment, alcohol et al. We like rocks so much that we put a ring on them, a technological accomplishment that signifies commitment to a lifetime of unconditional love (alcohol et al). 

Human babies in particular like to be rocked, as do man-made boats. Someone must have put two and two together and invented water beds, which is a nice way to close our 4.5-billion-years old evolutionary drive from sea to land. 

Our next evolutionary goal would be to become rocks ourselves, not because of our desire to be stronger and more steady but to finally materialise our real estate dreams. We will continue to consume alcohol as long as it doesn’t have bubbles. 

 

 

 

A tree is its own home — a place for shelter, rest and a nice rain shower. The forest is a city, and humans are hot blooded cars driving through its ground ways. Honk if you don’t exist.  

Time too travels within humans, not in our veins and airways but in our bones. It’s a dead end. 

You need to be patient if you want time to find its way out. It takes years of scrupulous learning and practice, sweat and night-time panic attacks, like anything worthwhile. You don’t want time to pass too fast or too slow. It will go when it’s ready, at the right time, no pun intended. 

When time leaves our bodies it travels wild and fast, like an animal released from its cage. Eventually, it gets tired and seeks for a place to sit down and catch its breath. 

We call that a leaf. 
 

 

 

Our bodies are used to specific rhythms of light and darkness, which dictate the times we eat, sleep and do all sorts of fun things. These rhythms are sacred and not to be messed with unless we willingly board a high-speed aircraft for long-distance transmeridian travel from east to west. 

Jet lag is a chronobiological problem, much like a mismatched dance partner. Being wide awake at 3am, when everybody else is snoring and enjoying fresh ice dreams, is a clear symptom of a self-afflicting disease. Nothing heals travel like staying at home.  

Birds hate jet lag so much that, if they feel like travelling, they mostly fly from north to south and back. This is not a bad idea because if you keep flying up and down, the Earth will rotate to your destination, which your body will reach in complete sync with its time partner.  

Why else would the Earth rotate for?

 

 

The word currency is derived from the Latin currere, which means ‘to flow’. When sand flows in an hourglass it signifies that time is money, but also that it’s time to go to the beach.

Time at the beach flows like an accordion. The movement of water and land contract and expand time - much like a breathing lung.

Breathe in time, breathe out dollars and cents. 

If time was indeed our currency, a Time Stock Exchange would be erected on the world’s grandest beach, and data analysts would sit in front of screens counting tiny little newborn turtles making their way to the ocean’s great depression. 

A whale would beach itself just to remind everyone that life is priceless. 

 

 

In that greatest of Aesop fables, a boy repeatedly tricks his co-villagers into thinking wolves are attacking his flock. When a wolf actually does appear, the boy cries for help but the villagers don’t believe him.

Nothing rings truer to this fable than alarm devices. 

Alarms are 99% of the time false, so we never believe them. An alarm goes off and no one blinks an ear. Which means that most times, alarms completely fail to signify what they are meant to signify: danger. 

In ‘Amelia’, Joni Mitchell’s banger from the 70s, love is described as a false alarm - clearly something that The Weeknd thinks bears constant repeating.

It’s an important message that points to the truth of our fabled lives. 

Somehow our hearts have failed to signify their purpose - to love - so we spend our time chasing false alarms. 

To break free of this trickery, we should pray, every now and then, for the real wolf to come make us fall apart. 

 

 

Moderat, an electronic three-piece from Berlin, released earlier this year a single named ‘Reminder’, which contained the lyrics ‘Burning bridges light my way’. 

About two weeks ago, I saw on the cover of a magazine called Fantastic Man a young gentleman by the name of Demna Gvasalia - whoever he is - wearing a red hoodie bearing a series of letters that spelled ‘May the bridges I burn light my way’.

Which reminded me of ‘Reminder’. 

Last week, I stumbled upon this wooden bridge and felt thankful that the sun was shining, and that I could easily find my way.

When it gets dark, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

 

 

Oral hygiene is really important, especially if you are a building. Architects recommend brushing your windows twice a year. If you don’t brush, the accumulating debris will contribute to view decay and constant bad moods for your irritated residents. 

A clear window allows you to see for smiles, and smiling helps you maintain a healthy mind. 

For this reason, window cleaners should be recognised for original contribution to sanity and be rewarded honorary PhDs. 

Trees, unlike buildings but very much like cats, clean themselves. Their smiles are always bright, and they don’t need PhDs because they’ve already written all the books in the world. 

 

 

Say anything you like, but last Thursday I watched the live broadcast of the announcement of the Nobel prize for literature. 

I tuned in about ten minutes before the actual announcement, my first experience of this kind. I quickly figured out that the event was taking place in an old European interior blessed with Marie Antoinette’s cake aesthetic, including a high ceiling, a few chandeliers (no Sia) and off-white rococo walls in gold details. The highlight was a closed door at the back of the room, a beautiful manifestation of a totally unnecessary obstruction. What was behind it?

Several individuals were standing in front of the door, caressing really expensive cameras and occasionally turning to photograph the crowd behind them. The crowd, a relatively older demographic, used their phones to photograph their surroundings. No one was taking selfies, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable - are these people real? 

‘Ok, they are waiting for something to come out of the door’, I thought and felt extremely proud for nailing the mystery of this broadcast (The process for the announcement of the Nobel prize is a well known ritual, so now you know not to invite me to trivia nights). 

Nothing was actually happening so I started mind-wandering; I thought about people waiting outside closed doors and realised that many important events in our lives involve such a ritual.

My thoughts took me inside a Greek Orthodox church during Easter, when all the pilgrims stand patiently in the nave, holding wax candles, waiting for the priest to emerge from the sanctuary’s door to bless them with the Holy Fire 🕯🕯🕯. 

When I was a child, I used to think that the sanctuary door leads to Heaven, and as I turned my attention back to the broadcast, I entertained the fantasy that all these people had gathered at the Swedish Academy to knock on heaven’s door. 

‘Feels like I’m knocking on heaven’s door’ I sang to myself as the Academy’s door opened, and a very somber lady emerged to announce that the winner of the Nobel prize for literature was Bob Dylan. 

 

 

When Australians open their eyes in the morning, they think about sharks and how unfair it is for our species to share a planet with such cruel predators. 

Our powerlessness over sharks is a universal embarrassment. Here we are, a supposedly advanced species able to print on both sides of 100% recycled paper, yet at the complete mercy of a fearsome set of sharp teeth appearing out of nowhere to consume us. 

To compensate for our embarrassment, we eat everything in the animal kingdom that is not a shark. Some people even eat ants, which is a highly unnecessary practice. Seriously, stepping on ants is enough to demonstrate our superiority, there’s no need to eat them as well. 

To drive our message home, we eat a lot of fish and other water species, including whales 🐳 that are completely harmless and even if they accidentally swallowed us they would immediately eject us out of their blow holes, an indisputably awesome experience and also how I react when I eat too much wasabi. 

I won't mention eating octopuses because I am still talking about it with my therapist.

 

 

 

I followed the thundering click-clack of your sacred walk to find you there, standing, where others have found you before, wearing your white empire waist dress, hand beaded with tiny quartz crystals cascading to a ruffled chiffon train, like foaming surf or perhaps a comet, the most beautiful girl in the world, the most beautiful waterfall. 

I fell in love, so typical.  

 

 

A few years ago I woke up recollecting a dream sequence, one that has since stayed with me.

At one point in that dream, I found myself in the backstreets of a city annihilated by warfare, though, for some reason, it was packed also with paparazzi standing on the sidewalks, flashing their bulbs and shouting names. Suddenly I was led to a backyard, and then inside a tin shed located at the end of that backyard. It was raining inside the shed but the rain was invisible if that makes any sense. Once in, I noticed that the middle of the shed was fitted with a catwalk covered with (visible) water; on each side of the catwalk, a series of white seating steps were attached to the walls. The invisible raindrops were hitting the walls creating little pixels of colour, like TV snow made of tiny square skittles. I don’t recall the soundtrack, but I was listening to Deafheaven’s ‘Dream House’ at that time, so it seems appropriate. Once seated, I noticed a number of female models wearing gold raincoats, floating on the ceiling and then descending, holding red umbrellas, like Mary Poppins in a Magritte painting. Very slowly, one by one,  the models submerged themselves and disappeared in the liquid catwalk. 

I took this photo recently. As I stood there, waves broke at the edge of the sea pool, sending over water that slowly proceeded to cover the concrete sidewalk. I recalled my dream and thought of Aleppo.

 

 

In their 1980s manifesto, Coop Himmelb(l)au call for architecture that bleeds and breaks, that is dry and heart-stopping.

Coop Himmelb(l)au's manifesto aims to inspire radical and unexpected design, though I suspect these elements lurk in even the most common houses.

All houses bleed and break when they are abandoned. 

For example, my heart stopped when I first glanced at this house, standing there under the dry Australian sun. Clearly, its roof was bleeding. 

I thought: To be radical, architecture needs to anticipate abandonment. 

We need architecture that regenerates housekeepers, the same way a lizard regrows its severed tail. If we can’t have that, we need architecture that moves with its wandering owners.

In other words, we need to reside in our house keys. 

 

 

This photo demonstrates a careless driver checking out a cow. In Australia. If the photo was taken in India, it would have demonstrated a humble pilgrim paying his respects to the mother of the universe. 

Location matters, especially if you are God or a deity. There are clear geographical boundaries on how much you get to be worshipped and by whom. 

It’s the same with soccer. In most cases, your geographic location dictates your chosen team. And you can’t support two teams. You need to choose. 

The only thing that is consistent, regardless of your location, is the soccer ball. Which looks like a cow.

Like a cow, a soccer ball carries within it the whole universe; every kick is a comet until it disappears into the goal posts' black hole, only to magically reappear midfield, positioned again for our fickle fascination of an everlasting God.