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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 52

Tales from Crete | 52

This story is a little different, and more private than I usually do, but I think you should because it is a big part of me and the reason why I have the outlook on life that I have.

On September 25, 1919, my father was born, so he would have just turned 100 years old if he had not died far too soon at only 70 years old. These kinds of anniversaries make one turn back the clock and think a little about episodes and other things that might have been a bit forgotten, or just find something that you hadn't thought about before.

As I've probably mentioned in other stories, I come from a strangely mixed family. On my mother's side, it was Christianity that was the essentials and foundation in life, while my father, in diametric contrast, came from a family where spiritualism and the more spiritual were a large part of everyday life. In the Christian faith, two things that are not compatible. But that was the case in our family, where nothing was completely black or white, right or wrong, but much more nuanced. My father once told me that it didn't make sense if a painter only used the white color on a white canvas. Not much would come of it. And then it was up to my brother and I to find out ourselves where our point of view should be. I chose to stand somewhat in the middle. The important thing in my family was not where you stood, but that you found the place to stand where you stood best, and to believe, moreover, was something you were and not just something you believed in, neither in one direction nor the other. Likewise, honesty was also a concept that filled a lot in my upbringing and still does. Because just like with love, honesty and faith don't have much weight if you don't start by looking inward and can first be true to yourself and honest with yourself.

My father's middle name was Emmery and it was only now, 30 years after his death, that I examined the name more closely and suddenly there were a few more pieces in my personal puzzle that fell into place. Emmery (spelled with two m's) comes from Germanic (God Irmin – meaning mighty) and Irmin or Emmery was, according to mythology, the supreme god in Niedersachsen and the Netherlands. If you spell the name Emery (with only one m) the meaning is: Bravery. More and more it all fell into place, because if there was anything my father was, it was brave in the very best sense. During the occupation he was part of the resistance movement, where he secretly passed on confidential information about the occupying power's plans, under the guise of being a traveling salesman, which he also was. But it was constantly with life as an effort, because during the war he had the same attitude as the Greeks have in the meaning of the 9 blue and white stripes in the Greek flag: ”την την την την της ή το θάνατα” (Freedom or death), and that despite the fact that he was arch-Danish, born and raised in Aalborg, and never managed to get to Greece - or did he? Because another piece fell into place for me when I thought of his passion for well-honed sharp knives. As a scout of many years, he knew the importance of a good solid dagger and had saved a few from his youth. It was definitely not a toy, but still, as a child I had to learn how to sharpen a knife properly so that it could last for many years and be used as a tool. "A knife must be sharpened with emery" he said, and took out an old emery stone for the purpose, spat on the stone and then showed how to sharpen the knife. "You can't just use a file or iron. If it has to be done properly, you have to use an emery stone or some emery cloth," he said. What I didn't know at the time was that emery is a natural mixture of the black mineral magnetite and the second hardest naturally occurring mineral corundum, which forms in the rocks in the mountains of certain Greek islands including Crete. I also did not know that the word emery comes from the Greek word "smyridópetra or smiris" which immediately means "Emery stone" - exactly the stone that my father used, and which I probably still have lying in the basement at home.

Is it a coincidence that in 2005 my mother was the reason why my family landed in Crete shortly after her death, is it a coincidence that my father's middle name was the same as the mineral that forms in the rocks of Crete and the name Emery means bravery, is it a coincidence that we quickly ended up at the only hotel in Crete that has the name Elsa (which is my mother's name), is it a coincidence that I immediately felt at home the very first time I came to Crete and is more popular here than in Skive, where I live, I have no idea. But I think it's strange that I'm almost drawn to the Cretan mountains, love being here and not only feel at home in Crete, but also recognize places I've never been before. I could go on like this, because these are just a few examples that I just thought of here on this anniversary, and I won't get into how or why at all. But I am grateful that I myself was raised with a natural curiosity and at the same time skepticism, and have had to find my own point of view, between the Christian faith from my mother's side and the more spiritual from my father's side. Exactly where I stand is of no consequence in this context, but one thing is for sure - it is not easy to make a painting that makes sense with only white paint on a white canvas, and life is not only black and white, but much more nuanced than that. Whether you believe one or the other is unimportant, but it is not unimportant if you are true, at least to yourself, because it is only then that the possibilities and the palette of colors appear and unfold, right in front of your nose. one, without actually realizing it.

Have a really nice weekend and "do not examine facts in the light of arguments, but argue in the light of facts" as a Greek proverb says.

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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jens christensen - October 22, 2019

rigtig spændende fortælling min egen far er også født i år 1919 i oktober
ps tak for en rigtig god ferie i sidste uge det var bare så spændende og unik en rejse
som man ikke finder mage til hos andre rejsebureauer helt unik og enestående
alle indtryk og oplevelser har sat sig endnu der bliver ved at dukke flere op
det er helt igennem en tur vi aldrig vil glemme vi bliver nok aldrig færdige med kreta
ser frem til næste tur med dig som rejseguide
mange hilsner og tak for en rigtig kanon rejse
med venlig hilsen kitty og jens christensen

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