Mar 1, 2010

Greek Ghost Whisperer?

On Sunday I re-visited my mother's birth village for a memorial service. We arrived very early in the morning with more than two hours to spare until the service. I took a walk down the family cemetery to pay respects to my two recently departed relatives, my aunt and grandmother, whose graves now lie side by side.

The air was crisp and clear and I was impressed by the abundance of greenery and variety of wild flowers. My mother's birthplace, Mani, is well known for its xerotes and bouldered terrain and I had never chanced to see the region with such life-giving aura.

This was the second time in three months I had journeyed to this tiny village overlooking the Messiniako gulf and although I'm not sentimentally attached to the place, I do have pleasant childhood memories of visits and can't help but admire the resoluteness of its habitants to withstand the harshness and inhospitality of the region.

It was 7.30 in the morning, I took out my camera and hid it in my coat pocket afraid someone might spot me toting the camera and label me as disrespectful.

In Mani when they mourn, they mourn - or at least keep up appearances of mourning. It wouldn't do for me to be sporting a camera like some silly Athenian tourist who was there to stroll around and take pictures instead of singularly and solemnly attending my aunt's memorial service.

Again, this is the key phrase:
I was in my mother's village, and like all villages, the villagers thrive on gossip. Long lost relatives -like myself- are the peculiarity of the day and easy bait for slander so that is WHY I made absolutely sure that nobody was around when I took a picture... or at least I thought so.

The same night we returned to Athens. I was exhausted but decided to show my husband and daughter #2, who hadn't traveled with me, the photos of my mother's village.

As I flipped through the digital camera's gallery I was confused. Someone had crossed my path in the second photo of the morning on the path towards the graveyard when I had made sure no one, NO ONE was around when I took out my camera.... or at least I thought so.

My husband looked at me, "What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost".
"I... I... ", I stuttered, "I think... I have". *gulp*

My husband -a down to earth, no-nonsense type- said that he felt that something didn't look altogether "right" about the dark silhouette and I was furthermore shocked when he didn't dispel my ghost theory and let it float -pardon my imagery- by simply shrugging his shoulders with a ..."why not?" *gulp*

Daughter#2 said "you may be a ghost whisperer". *gulp*

This it the picture, Internet. I CANNOT for the life of me understand from whence the figure appeared from.

Now you can all go *gulp*.