Friday, March 09, 2007

Preparing to Cross the Atlantic...12:50 East of Detroit

Last August I took my first adult flight to Montana to begin shooting an environmental documentary. Today I submitted an abstract to a committee for funding so that I can do it again next August, and perhaps even stay longer than ten days.

Saying a short but sweet prayer on the matter would not be inappropriate. Butte, Montana is in serious trouble.

Tomorrow morning, I hop a plane to Greece. Well, not quite. First, you see, we have to back up and get a running start, else we won't make it over the vast, vast ocean. So I'm flying first to Detroit and from there catapulting to Amsterdam, and then on to Athens. I'll be there for ten days and, more for fun and human sharing than serious research, I'll be interviewing a few Greeks here and there to ask them about life and to probe their environmental awareness.

It should be a wonderful time.

There's something you have to understand about Greece and me, though. We have a relationship. A history.

My father traveled there during his Navy days and of all his stories, the ones of Spain and of Greece were by far my favorites. To this day, the novels of Hemingway and Michener stand out not just in my memory but in my nostrils. Dad said the first thing he smelled when he stepped off the plane in Athens was the smell of olives. The man really loves olives.

Of course, that was the sixties and I'm sure things have gotten smoggier. Mostly, I hope I can track down an electrical outlet adapter so that I can recharge my single film camera battery. What can I say? Working conditions are not ideal.

I will also no doubt think of Tom, who was an excellent cook, a very decent poet and a rather good companion for a few months once before I realized what I always seem to realize too late. Perhaps I will even sit at some cafe where he once sat.

But mostly, I will revel in the peninsula's beauty and soak up the atmosphere. I will eat feta without hormones or additives. I will eat like I have never eaten before.

And I will dip my feet in the Mediteranean and feel the surf stir up the ghosts of Atlantis and countless others, lost to sea and wind and time.



Blogger ab said...

safe travels....i stumbled across your blog....watched the treatment for "the meeting"....i love "small" stories...Pittsburgh is a cool city, i miss visiting.

i rarely question the story telling....i critique editing. i wish this was that crappy to say? i hope not....ill keep following and best to you and your craft

March 09, 2007 11:36 PM  
Blogger johanna said...

thanks, ab...

i wish it was 16x9, too. (I also wish they were mpeg4s, but what can you do?)

I needed a camera fast last August to begin work on the documentary and got it on ebay on a recommendation: it turned out not to have widescreen, much to both our chagrin.

i'm hoping to trade up this summer, but it's a pity. the color reproduction on a Sony vx1000's pretty nice.

March 10, 2007 6:29 AM  

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