Deconstructing Ellas, Deconstructing Bloodlines
Discovered two quotes that brought into focus, what I have been struggling with since Mama’s passing last November. How is it that now that Mama is gone that I feel disconnected from being Greek? My DNA remains the same but the intangible connection to my extended family - especially family that lives overseas or across Canada - has weakened. With Mama gone, the phone has stopped ringing and the only Greek I hear is at Church on Sunday or on the CD’s we brought home with us from our trip last May.
Something to think about as I revise the chapters that deal with Magda’s physical journey to Greece.
I was family. But I was more than that. I was family from across the ocean. I was stranger family. I was unGreek family. In me, to them, lay mysteries covered over by my silence. I was as mysterious as an idiot or as a child before he can speak.
- Daphne Atlas, Greece by Prejudice
The only Greece I could believe in was the Greece I knew. Greece was downstairs in our house in Rye, as I sat by the banister on the second floor, watching the people in our living room, listening to their babel of words and laughter. Greece was downstairs on a Sunday night, while upstairs in America, I answered questions in my workbook before going to bed.
- Elias Kulukundis, The Feasts of Memory: A Journey to a Greek Island
As with many writers of the diaspora, my understanding of Greece comes from excavating and recreating my family’s past.