Summer- and winter-, midday- and night-, near-Lughnasadh- and Imbolc-born respectively around the dawn of the seventies, we, the male and the female co-founders of the SolitaryThinkers blog site, met in the nineties as students of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, at a time when university education was public and largely free, wherefrom we hold three language and literature B.A. degrees. We have forged ourselves into a powerful translating and writing team that has been struggling to barely survive since then. We have translated dozens of fiction and non-fiction published books as freelancers for many of the leading publishing houses in Greece, and we have distinguished ourselves as ghost writers for professors of many major Greek universities.
To no financial avail. The academics have been approaching us to most inexpensively attain for themselves higher hierarchical positions thanks to our ghost articles, and the commercial publishers have been rubbing their hands over unexpectedly high sales and receiving enthusiastic credit for bringing out excellent and captivating translations. What our readers and the critics never suspected, is that for each assignment we had been laboring for tiny payments we at times never even received, because we had no family support and no connections with politicians, circumstances unheard of for anyone to succeed as a freelancer in countries like modern Greece. As the middle class is being squeezed out, books have become more and more of a luxury, the assignments’ pie has become smaller and smaller, less and less serious translators (not the mass-production software-loving kind) are needed, and the self-appointed intellectual minions of the elite remain afloat by throwing the independent hard-working souls overboard.
We are Leon and Plutonia, both born in dysfunctional families and conservative environments completely incompatible with our freedom-breathing minds. We tread this path of life hand-in-hand because we think alike on pretty much everything, and we are together and yet solitary, in which there is no paradox, because only in silence can we develop our rich inner resources and insights to share with each other and with the world. The following two quotes best describe our yin-yang symphony.
Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
Let there be space in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each others cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together;
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Hafez, Persian Poet:
Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me”.
Look what happens with a love like that. It lights up the whole sky.
We are jobless and faced with homelessness, because since long before the debt crisis we have been targets of reckless hatred within our families, which destroyed any mainstream opportunities we might have had in this life. We have been struggling to sustain a basic level of existence and maintain a holistic equilibrium with unimaginably scarce means, but it is hard for anyone who has not been feeling the embrace of Hades all their lives to understand how ruthlessly exploited you get when you have mortal enemies instead of blood relatives and poisoned-against-you social circles in colonies like Greece.
We do not know how much we will manage to upload and with how many of you we will have the time to connect before we get thrown out of our only home. We have a one-digit bank account and no cash in our pillows. It is scary and disheartening. But we are fighters. We do not mean to give up, we do not encourage anyone to give up, especially when there appears to be no hope. As we create this place, our Internet home for you to feel welcome in and find some solace in the middle of this collective hell the world is going through, we feel we are already amid a rebirth process; there is definitely something crackling in the air, something like the Tarot Fool’s unlimited potential shining through at the beginning of his journey. Every thought we shape, every word we put down, is a prayer for strength and balance in your lives, dear fellow travelers, truth seekers, feelers and healers. So let us join forces. Dehumanization will not have free reign in this fellowship as we travel from Hades to Light.
Eternity On Our Side was created in response to Plutonia’s amazing post How Did It Come to This?
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