Page 55 - SMCK Magazine #4
P. 55

Greece is the summer of my heart, and I was born a rose.
Triantaphyllo-τριαντάφυλλο is the Greek word for rose, so Triantaphyllou-τριαντάφυλλο literally means Rose’s.
In the triangle of northern Greece formed by ‘Thessaloniki (my home city), Niaousta (my mother’s birthplace), and Blatsi (my father’s birthplace)’ my own Greek Macedonian history is written.
Born at Giannitsa, a city close to ancient Pella, and having almost reached the age of being young at 62, I am pretty sure that I have traveled the Pella–Niaousta (where Ale- xander the Great was taught by Aristotle) or Pella–Thes- saloniki routes far more times than Alexander himself.
Above all, I speak Greek, which is not only the language of Plato and Aristotle but of the New Testament as well, the very language that Saint Paul used to preach and write to the Thessalonians. I have 2021 reasons to celebrate life in Greece, especially this year with the bicentennial festivities of the Greek Revolution.
Nikos is the short form of Nicholas. Saint Nicholas hap- pens to be a very popular saint of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The only real elegance is in the heart; if you’ve got that, all else springs from it.
He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. (Saint Francis of Assisi).
Where Emily Dickinson suffered loneliness as a result of her confinement, she intellectualized it in her poetry, in her characteristically paradoxical way: “It might be lonelier without the loneliness.”
I often think of ‘Caput mortuum,’ also known as ‘Cardinal Purple’, and then I go for ‘a Blue, such a Blue as the Red of the Sea’: “A heartache, such a heartache as God’s love.”
The colourful universe of the kilims and other textiles, hand-woven by both my grandmothers, which have been surrounding and caressing me since my childhood, are the most touching and enduring art lessons I have ever ta-
Zili-kilim (detail) from Niaousta, late 19th century. Photo: N. Triantafyllou.
ken. All this warp and weft that concentrate the very es- sence of many generations’ weaving traditions have also constructed my personal artistic idiom; in fact, they are its heart.
Every time I step into any of Thessaloniki’s Paleo-Christian or Byzantine churches, the emerging feeling is that this is my home, this is my place of rest, how could I ever live anywhere else.
The leaven of the Greek Revolution is something intangible and universal; like a global prayer it goes on forever and ever, it includes the eternal whispers of the man’s heart that prepare, weave, sustain and bring to light an expan- ding web of the most important human values, the spirit of all goodness. After all, we are all Greeks!
Nothing is real but love.
facebook: nikos.triantaphyllou.9

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