Psarantonis and a little boy
Here in Crete people are really as hospitable as we heard. One invitation lead to another, we found ourselves in the village of Gegeri for their event in commemoration of 25 local men who died for protecting their people during the war in 1944 and we got to enjoy a traditional concert featuring a local legend called Psarantonis.
The concert was held at the village school yard. A temporary stage was set up as well as rows of chairs and some tables for the locals who wanted to eat or drink. From time to time our friends would disappear to chat to their friends or relatives. Their friends and relatives also stopped by our table to greet us. It was a very friendly atmosphere like one big extended family.
Psarantonis is 78 years old and is actively performing. He is a composer, singer and performer of a bowed string instrument called lyra which is a bit like violin but with a round shape and is played while the musician holds it on their laps. He also sings and my husband called him the Greek Tom Waits as Psarantonis also has a hoarse voice and he sort of does whatever he feels like while being very entertaining and producing great sound. I urge you to look him up on youtube to get to know this traditional Cretan sound, which sometimes can be melodic and mesmerizing, other times extremely moving and heart-pumping.
When we first saw posters of Psarantonis’ concerts, my husband gave him a joke name ‘Fish Tony’. In Greek, ‘psari’ means fish and to form a word that includes ‘fish’, it changes to ‘psaro’. E.g. Psarosoupa means fish soup. I asked my local friend if Psarantonis was a fisherman. She was puzzled but laughed when she realized why I thought that. She said ‘psara’ didn’t mean fish (I thought it was a plural form), it meant ‘white hair’. I pointed out to her that even at 78, Psarantonis’s hair wasn’t white! She explained that someone in his family (she couldn’t remember clearly but thought it was the grandfather) had white hair and got this nickname. She said in Crete (she wasn’t sure if this was true for all of Greece), it was common for the whole family to get the same nick name so Psarantonis (White Hair Tony) got this nick name since he was a young man. So you can see from this little trivia, how important the family ties are for Greek people.
Psarantonis started playing about an hour into the concert. Our local friends told us that he was only making a guest appearance as a favour. He wasn’t feeling well that day so he was going to play only a few songs.
When Psarantonis finished his set and was walking off the stage, he encountered 2 little boys sitting on some steps. One of the boys was holding an instrument that looked like a mini guitar. After some negotiation, Psarantonis returned to the stage with the instrument and started to join in with the rest of the band playing the mini guitar. He also joined in with the singing and at times the rest of the musicians looked as if they didn’t know what to do but looked glad for this surprise.
I was marveling at how many years it took for Psarantonis to develop his carefree confidence. He was totally at ease with himself and I wish to be able to be more like him, knowing his worth, ready to do what he enjoyed anytime even when there is a large audience. Do I wait till I am 78 years old? How much more experiences and practices do I need to achieve that?
The answer came in the most unexpected way. Without warning the little boy ran to the stage and demanded his instrument back! Everyone including Psarantonis started laughing and gave a big round of applause for the little boy’s bravery when he rescued his treasure.
Perhaps instead of developing our confidence, what we need is to remember what it was like when we were children before all those noises inside our heads started appearing. The noises such as ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘what would people think?’.
Can you think of some other phrases inside your head that stops you from doing what you really want to do? Can you imagine what it is like to be free of all these noises?
When you have enough of these noises but find it hard to let them go, one of my colleagues or myself would be able to assist you. Hey! The noise might stop you from doing this too! Let me tell you honestly – I procrastinated big time before booking my first ever healing session. Turned out to be one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever done and there is absolutely nothing to be nervous about.
Some practitioners are happy to have a chat on the phone. Most of us are happy to answer emails. Have a look in the directory, see which practitioner you feel drawn to. Start a conversation by introducing yourself and what you think you need. Ask some questions like how does this work. Make a connection with your potential practitioner. It’s all very simple! With many practitioners now offering distant healing and online service, you can even get to hide behind the screen!
All images by Constantinos Anastaskia . Thank you!