Saturday, February 4th- It's 6 o'clock in Geneva. The alps form a ring of shadows at twilight. Boney M plays unmistakeably through the driver's radio as the bus charges ahead. My wheels are rusty and the emergency brake has nearly seized in place after an un precedented period of inactivity. Lo, it let up at the last moment and I'm now jerking & jolting, groaning & creaking back into a state of motion.
I leave behind me the better part of the last year on Lesvos trying to do something decent in a world spun violently off course. The first five months were so completely overwhelming that I was compelled to return as if to re-investigate the scene of some great calamity in which I was personally implicated. Actually, I felt more like a criminal who returns to the scene of the crime weighted with guilty curiosity. Details. Graciously hosted in the aging farming village (and aging farmer village) of Paleokipos, I shared the streets with a community has borne heavy sacks of olives on their wilted shoulders for so long that they still bend beneath the burden.
A 20-minute drive around the Gulf of Gera from Moria camp the refugee crisis here is a distant phenomenon, invented by NGOs who bilk the dangerously disconnected European institutions in order to line their pockets at the expense of the island's calm. Cynicism reigns in this detached place where tradition has no recipe for mixing with the orient. Here, I became fast friends with "Nick the Greek," the only English-speaker I came across in the village. He, too, is creaking beneath the weight of age and it would not be long before our conversations become insufferable rants about the crimes of politicians everywhere. I nonetheless admire his perspicacity and appreciate his perspectives on the villagers who he describes as "Mysterious and Evil!"