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1 June 2022
Vol. XII, No. 5

June 2022

O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,/Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?/O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,/How can we know the dancer from the dance?―William Butler Yeats, from Among School Children,” 1926.
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“Funeral Dance,” Etruscan fresco, 5th century BCE, Museo di Capodimonte. (Photo: SCALA/Art Resource, New York.)

“Kylix by Epictetus,” c. 500 BCE, London, The British Museum.

From Elizabeth Boleman-Herring: This June, in Kifissia (a northern suburb of Athens) and on Andros, Diana Farr Louis celebrates (with us) her 50th anniversary in Greece; poet Claire Bateman, from Greenville, South Carolina, shares poems by Alexandra Thurman; Atlantan Mark Addison Kershaw contributes single-panel cartoons; from Kea, in the Aegean, and Carrboro, North Carolina, travel writer Matt Barrett considers the matter of Asian immigration to Greece; from Bellows Falls, Vermont, Dr. Guy McPherson sends word of the Anthropocene extinction; from Clemson, South Carolina, Dr. Skip Eisiminger writes (haptically) about our sense of touch; and from Fairport, New York, our Assistant Editor, Tim Bayer, has a few things to say about his and Emily’s new companion, Thunder Bubbles.

The author (on her 70th birthday) and Joy of The People, on Andros.

The author and Joy of The People.

Eating Well Is The Best Revenge

Homage To an Important Anniversary, By Diana Farr Louis

ATHENS Greece—(Weekly Hubris)—1 June 2022—By the time you read this, I will be drinking a glass of champagne—not retsina—to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my arrival in Greece as a permanent resident. Looking back over all that has happened since the 4th of June, 1972, it seems I was extraordinarily fortunate in that roll of the dice that sent me here. It didn’t look like it at the time, since the whole chain of events started with a near fatal car accident that landed me in the Mass General Hospital a week after graduation from high school, instead of Radcliffe College that September. But if everything had gone according to plan, and I’d enjoyed a summer of deb parties and four years of normal college, cossetted by the companionship of girls and boys I already knew, I would never have met the first-year, half-Greek Cliffie who invited me to “her island” the summer that I graduated, a year later than originally scheduled. (Read more . . .)

Poet Alexandra Thurman.

The poet Alexandra Thurman.

Speculative Friction

The Poetry of Alexandra Thurman, By Claire Bateman

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1 June 2022—Alexandra Thurman is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist. She has published essays and poems in journals throughout Canada and the US, among them Colorado Review, The Antigonish Review, American Literary Review, James Dickey Review, and The Fiddlehead. Her manuscript of poems, Whose Story, has been a runner up for the Yale Younger Poets prize, Cleveland State University Poetry prize, and the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award. Whose Story is one of three manuscripts she has been honing for over 30 years. Since 2016, she has been Director of Research and Writing for the California-based literary non-profit organization Engaging the Senses Foundation, and is the mother of three grown children. She received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 1992. (Read more . . .)

Addison-mermaid

Addison

Song of Myself, By Mark Addison Kershaw

ATLANTA Georgia—(Weekly Hubris)—1 April 2022—Editor’s Note: Greater Addisonia is a large and populous place. To riff on Walt Whitman, “It is large, it contains multitudes.” Some of that multitude will be familiar to regular visitors to Addisonia: the mustachioed painter (and his ribald muses), the adorable and pudgy offspring (with something up their sleeves), the not-so-suburban couples, with their dubious coiffures, the standing-erect and verbose wildlife, with so much to say (if at a distance). Rasputin (I ask you! Rasputin, dead these 106 years!) even makes an appearance this month, wearing an anatidaean inner tube and approaching the deep blue sea. (Addisonia, I tell you, contains multitudes.) (Read more . . .)

And There but for Fortune Go You or I

From Pakistan to Kea.

Nothing At All To Write Home About

Pakistanis in Greece: There But for Fortune Go You or I, By Matt Barrett

CARRBORO North Carolina & KEA Greece—(Weekly Hubris)—1 June 2021—I met a young guy from Pakistan yesterday at Yannis Restaurant in the piazza on Kea. Andrea and I had come back from the bank and in order to test my bank card at the ATM machine, I had made a withdrawal that I really did not need to make since I already had a pocket full of spending money and now I had more. I thought the Pakistani guy was one of the Indians who live on Kea and work at various jobs, mostly at the gas stations. I asked him if he knew Rana, the one Indian guy whose name I knew, though I say hi to all of them, seeing them as kindred spirits in a way—fellow strangers in a strange land. I realized he was not one of the Indians and we talked for a few minutes in broken English and even more broken Greek and I came to understand he was not one of the local easterners but was living in Athens and had come looking for work. When I got up to pay, I told Yannis that I was paying for the Pakistani guy, too. (Read more . . .)

Quote by Edward Abbey.

Planetary Hospice

McPherson & The Three (Purportedly Chinese) Curses, By Dr. Guy McPherson

BELLOWS FALLS Vermont—Weekly Hubris)—1 June 2022—I suspect most people reading this essay are familiar with the expression, “May you live in interesting times.” The reader probably also knows this phrase is purportedly an ancient curse that originated in China. What some readers might not know is that this curse is the least dire of three (theoretically) Chinese curses. I’ll take them one at a time, from least dire to direst, starting with, “May you live in interesting times.” Mission accomplished. I’m there, as we all are . . . as we always have been, during more than two million years of the human experience, including more than 300,000 years of Homo sapiens’ existence on Earth. The current generation has witnessed the rise of the Internet and, simultaneously and predictably, the demise of a large proportion of the living planet. We have seen technological advances only dreamed about by past generations, and we are living in the midst of the fastest Mass Extinction Event in planetary history. Among the things the typical reader also knows is the old joke about the two kinds of people in the world: those who believe there are two kinds of people and those who don’t. (Read more . . .)

Macaque, Japan. (Photo by Lance McMillan.

Japanese Macaque.

Skip the B.S.

Haptic Teams Win More Games: Touch, By Dr. Skip Eisiminger

CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1 June 2022—Before I ever touched the woman I married, I knew she looked good, sounded good, and smelled good. When she finally gave me a taste, I knew she felt good as well. Her touch, and what I felt, was the best sense of all. For years, she bowed my spine like a cello between her knees. Today we call it “cribbage,” and though the bowing has slowed, the 60-year-old melody is still sweet. Touch led naturally to children, and when our first child was born, he liked nothing more than to be rubbed from neck to toe with baby oil after a bath. Smiling, he would stretch his small body to make each oiled stroke as long and pleasurable as possible. My wife loved this routine more than I did, but she had a nine-month advantage in developing what the Japanese call “skinship” and the Australians call “marsupial care.” If she had not returned to the bank where she worked, she would have worn this child like a !Kung mother gathering produce on the Kalahari, and I would have loved her for her devotion and envied her for the bond she’d developed.  (Read more . . .)

Bubbles with tiny tennis ball.

Bubbles getting stronger.

Won Over By Reality

“From Fur Ball to Thunder Bubbles,” By Tim Bayer

FAIRPORT New York(Weekly Hubris)—1 June 2022—The Zoom call showed a cupped human hand holding a little, black, 15-ounce fur-ball-with-feet; then, a blond, 17-ounce fur-ball-with-feet. The 5-day old puppies did not have a mother, so our son, Chris, and his roommate, Michaela, were fostering them. There was no back story about how the puppies had become orphans. What was known was that both fur-balls were in tough shape, in need of a vet and round-the-clock care. Chris and Michaela were taking turns pulling 4-hours shifts, night, and day, administering TLC to the siblings. They named the little blond fellow Omar and the black puppy Bubbles, inspired by characters in the HBO series, “The Wire.” Emily and I would receive videos of the tiny pups being fed and receiving medicine administered through tubes or an eye dropper. (Read more . . .)

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