The Art of Hosting

Yesterday we had our inaugural core team conversation about the Collaborative Space Making.  A sweet, flowing, organic, focused and practical call…seeing the next steps for our ongoing work together.


During our time together, we spoke about how it seemed particularly significant that this build was happening at this time. 


As the actions of this nation are converging right now, to call for the need of structures and measures to house the new - actions that are bringing a renewed sense of hope to the collective. The same symbolic optimism seems to be emerging for this build on this small peninsular.


Yesterday, I had lunch at Julia’s & Georgios’ taverna at Kastri beach. On my arrival, they met me with welcome’s ‘Yassou Sarah, ti Kanis”, kia…and then Georgios asked me questions about whether the land being built on was our land.  Neither of them had realised that Axladitsa curved over the hill from the main house to rest at the road edge.  He then asked further questions about the building: how big, where was the access, one floor or two…then continued to affirm how nice the people were who came to be at Axladitsa.  Both of them were happy that this was happening and wished us well. 


Before, I might have hesitated or even felt protective of the culturally inquisitive questioning – but my deep sense here was a motivation from a place of genuine curiosity, excitement and optimism that people were still being drawn to this area – life was still coming here – and even perhaps, that the ‘crisis’ was something that could be navigated with less fear and concern.  In fact, I felt welcomed, held, supported.


So, as this local creation becomes visible – I have slowly begun to realise the significance of a threshold that I have personally stepped over, in relation to this Land and these People – in the parallel processes of the local and national context. 


In the check in of our call with Linda, Valerie and Maria, I realised that the act of showing up in Syntagma last week awakened a connection in me around my own active citizenship here in Greece.  I realised I deeply CARED about this land.  I cared about the people.  I cared about what was happening here – and how people lived.  And I cared about the dignity and purpose people lived by.  I cared about their sense of pride and power they offered in an attempt to make a difference.  I cared about my own.  I SAW that personally in Syntagma - on 15 June – in the eyes, in the faces, in the actions of the many I stood beside.  I was there WITH them – people indigenous to this land, people who call it home, now myself included – and people who are simply passing through.   I took my place in the gathering as strongly as the rest.  I am with them now as they gather for 48 hours on the streets, even now that the vote for austerity measures has been approved.


Through this experience, I have felt my own citizenship awaken – as a resident of Greece – and have been compelled to bring my voice and my actions felt alongside others’.  I became conscious in Syntagma, and now in the build here, and the conversations on the beach with Julia and Georgios - that I was somehow claiming my right to be here AND it being RIGHT TO BE HERE, 5 years on.


Through the act of stepping forward in service of the whole, I now felt able to claim my right to be fully present here as an individual.  Not the other way round. 


Interestingly, my desire – and ability - to speak Greek has also emerged.  In recent days, I have made agreements with people that, we speak the indigenous tongue only.  As a friend once said, “language is the unwritten rules of a cultural”.   Perhaps I have embraced the rudimentary rules of this culture enough, and am now ready to practice them.  Perhaps I too have been embraced by the culture, and so the conduit is open.


Therefore, the timing of this building project is 100% right.  I have somehow claimed this land and people, at another level deeper, and vice versa.  I have earned the right to create something new, in accordance within the local tradition, but also…most importantly, with their blessing.  Curiously, only days before, I had also received a phone call the previous, previous owner, who lives at the beach, wishing us well, only at the time, I had not understand the significance of this witnessing.  In a sense the original landowners are accepting and affirming our actions…a most important, honouring and critical ‘stamp of approval’. 


Knowing that the Guardians had welcomed us years before...and called us home.


The creation of this physical space – the collaborative space making – is another act of being present in this local community – the next level of visibility.  Implicit for me is the intention of bringing more creativity, passion, meaning, beauty to this home place.  It is as much a gift to this local area as it is a gift to all those, who I sense will be called to be here, rest here, live here.


The foundations are in place and the structures of belonging are strong and centred.


This project for me is, in a way - a BEACON of HOPE – a symbol that, as our structures edge towards the possibility of fundamental shift, we CAN co-create the new at the same time – as are the actions in SyntagmaIt simply takes some intention, some purposeful digging – and then some bold actions of creativity and practical application.  It is right that WE be here!


And as our worlds shift – as people act on what is truly meaningful to them - systems shift – cultures change.  Connections deepen.  Alignment happens.  Life flows.



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