7 km of INFINITY - Dedicated to Maria Callas, Nikos Kazatzakis, Nana Mouskouri and Konstantinos Kavafy

Marina Mchitarian-Lazaridou Maria Callas

Virtual Philosophical Roundtable with the participation of the prominent Hellenes, Maria Callas, Nikos Kazatzakis, Nana Mouskouri and Konstantinos Kavafy, and the author Marina Mchitarian-Lazaridou.

Creative literature appendix to the project "HELLENIC BLUEZZZ OF MY SOUL"
The Villager’s Photo Remarks
Photo Artistic Project
Hellas, 13th of June 2023

A heart that loves is always young - Greek saying

Author: Thank you for your interest to this project. I titled it "Hellenic Bluezzz of My Soul." "Bluezzz" is an artistic approach. I would suggest to talk about Blue and Infinity of Blue. Usually when we speak about Hellas, we imagine Blue of the Aegean, Blue, Blue, and Blue. However, as an artist, in this project I want to show the provincial profile of Hellas. How do we feel a pulse and a heartbeat of a Greek periphery far from the sea. Perhaps, my artistic experiment has a drop of madness but without it we can’t feel our homeland deeply and to the fullest. Mr. Kazantzakis, my first question to you. How do you consider this idea?

Nikos Kazantzakis: To be an artist is a great mission. You have to be free in your spirits and ideas. It goes without saying, without a drop of madness nothing valuable can be done. Our imagination must go beyond our mind, we have to feel an energy of the idea and after we shape it. No fear in efforts to express our love to Hellas.
A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.

Read more at Brainy Quotes.

Maria Callas: Have you ever listened ‘’Ave, Maria’’ during your morning walks? When you walk and speak to nature, birds, flowers, stop for a while, listen to ‘’Ave, Maria’’ and continue. Do you feel the difference after enjoying the beautiful ‘’vocal art pearl’’? You are impressed and it seems that the nature with all the creatures around sings ‘’Ave, Maria’’. You feel a breath of Hellas.
Maria Callas performed ‘’Ave, Maria’’ for the virtual philosophical roundtable participants.

Author: Mr. Kavafis, is 7 km of Infinity a long road: not mathematically, poetically…?

Kavafis: “When you set sail for Ithaca, wish for the road to be long,
full of adventures, full of knowledge.” Well, mathematics can be reflected in poetry. You have to feel the road.

Author. 7 km of Infinity is a feeling of being forever young. Ms. Mouskouri, one of your albums your is titled ‘’Young forever’’. Does this long road convey a feeling of being young forever?

Nana Mouskouri: “Love and happiness is not something that you can have once in life, and put it in a pocket, and say that it’s there forever. You have to cultivate love. You have to care so they can care for you. You have to care for everything. It’s a philosophy. You respect your life, and you respect your audience and your singing as well. All this allowed me to survive for a long time.”
Nana sings the song "Forever young."

Kavafis: Marina, how many letters are in the Greek alphabet? With the limited number of the letters stunning pearls of literature have been created. Metaphorically saying, this is the principle of "7 km of Infinity". In other words, this is Love. Do you remember: "One candle is enough. Its gentle light will be more suitable, will be more gracious when the Shades arrive, the Shades of Love."

Author: Every morning I listen to the beautiful melody of Nature. The 1st soundtrack of a new day is my heartbeat. I feel my mind flies beyond the horizon. How do you feel a beginning of a new day?

Nikos Kazantzakis: Every morning I smile and greet the beautiful rose in my garden. Do you remember: "You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint the paradise, then in you go."

Nana Mouskouri is singing "WHITE ROSE OF ATHENS."

The summer days are ending in the valley
And soon the time will come when we must be apart
But like the rose that comes back with the spring time
You will return to me when spring time comes around

(Lyrics by Nana Mouskouri)

Author: For our virtual meeting I chose the lake Kerkini, Central Macedonia. Very peaceful, beautiful, attractive, virgin place in Central Macedonia.

Photo by the author

Maria Callas: There is so much passion and energy in this peace. The mountains are hugged by the clouds tightly, the lake surface reflects sky, lotuses are in dance on the water surface. In the grey blue horizon we feel tenderness, passion is hidden everywhere. Soft shades of blue create the mood of love, attractiveness, possible fire of passion…
The Opera Diva is singing ‘’Habanera’’ (Love is a rebellious bird) (Carmen, George Bizet)

Love is a rebellious bird
that no one can tame….

Author: Yes, love is a passion and not only… "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13. Appreciate every moment of your life, do as much as you can – Yes, Mr. Kavafy?

Kavafy: Yes!

And if you can’t shape your life the way you want, at least try as much as you can not to degrade, it by too much contact with the world, by too much activity and talk. Try not to degrade it by dragging it along, taking it around and exposing it so often to the daily silliness of social events and parties, until it comes to seem a boring hanger-on.

Author: Maria, I remember your photo in Constantinople taken by great Ara Guler. I loved peace expressed through the photograph. Ara could capture the moments of peace and love.

Maria: Yes, I remember that photo.

"I belong to the givers. I want to give a little happiness even if I haven’t had much for myself. Music has enriched my life and, hopefully - through me, a little - the public’s. If anyone left an opera house feeling more happy and at peace, I achieved my purpose," - this has been highlighted in my life wisdom.

Author: Dear Friends (If I may), while organizing this virtual roundtable, I was thinking to talk about Hellas. However ancient Greece is a citadel of civilization. While talking about Hellas, we touch all the fades of human soul, world culture, politics etc. This is natural because the Hellenic spirit penetrates everywhere.

Author to Niko: Mr. Kazantzakis, why are you silent?

N.K. “Look, one day I had gone to a little village. An old grandfather of ninety was busy planting an almond tree. ‘What, grandfather!’ I exclaimed. ‘Planting an almond tree?’ And he, bent as he was, turned around and said: ‘My son, I carry on as if I should never die.’ I replied: ‘And I carry on as if I was going to die any minute.’

Which of us was right, boss?” Zorba the Greek But do you know what I want in this hottest summer weather? I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.” (Zorba the Greek) All the participants are listening to the song by Nana Mouskouri "Oh Happy Day."

He (Jesus -MML) taught me how
To watch, watch and pray,
Watch and pray,
And live rejoicing everyday

Author: Sometimes I ask myself: ‘’Marina, what will be your last message to you before the departure to Heaven?’’ If an opportunity to be born again is given to me, I would live the same life. I did what has been assigned to me, I enjoyed what I considered right for me, I was creative as God created me, I was thankful for every moment to God and my Greek Mother. What about you?

N.K. Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.

M. C. Only when I was singing did I feel loved.

N.M. Do you remember my song ‘’When I dream’’?

I could have a mansion that is higher than the trees
I could have all the gifts I want and never ask please
I could fly to Paris, oh, it's at my beck and call
Why do I go through life with nothing at all
But when I dream, I dream of you
Maybe someday you will come true
K.K. Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.


Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor

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