I chose to introduce you to “my home”, using sounds because this is something I rarely do. That is because, while sounds play a significant role in my life, I seldom speak about them. Nevertheless, sounds offer me a sense of security while I move through space and time mentally or physically. The interpretation of those sounds can be quite different from one minute to another and as Barthes says much of it is related to the unconscious. So, I won’t tell you exactly what the sound of the wind or the sea means to me but I will only try to explain a little bit why I consider these sounds to be “my home”.
These sounds help me appropriate anything unfamiliar (“the appropriation of space is also a matter of sound”) as wherever I am I can feel the wind coming from familiar places and times and simultaneously the strange and weird sounds can be heard over those of the waves and I can finally internalize their rhythm. These sounds are a “territory, the space of security” for me and accompany, as a background, the movie of my life.
The sounds that you are going to hear were recorded in a small corner of the island where I have been living for the last almost nine years, in a corner of Syros. This is the place where on a windy day like this (the recording day) I met with a beloved person(you hear him reading a small fragment of Ursula LeGuien’s text) so as to say goodbye without knowing when or if we could be back together again. “To listen is to try to find out what is happening”, whispers Barthes in my ear and I remember quite distinctly that we barely managed to talk to each other due to the strong wind, we barely managed to listen to each other …but clearly we were able to listen to the sounds of Nature and search into them the meaning of the moment.
- “Listen to me, means touch me, know that I exist”, that was what the scenery shouted.
And indeed; managing to touch the sounds, we kept moving above and out of ourselves and let the sounds stay open to interpretations of the past and dreams of the future. As for the present, let’s quote the words of Bathes; “the meaning of the things one hears…is only recognizable later on”.
And how this goes; sounds travel through time and space and you are able to listen again and again consciously or not, willingly or not, to sounds that transfer you magically to spots you feel connected with through them. Wherever you are, you converse with the sounds and feel that you are “at home”. You feel that you can hear in your mind those beloved voices (as Kavafis says), that your memory may have erased but your feelings keep them alive forever.
That was the start of a very beautiful but hurtful story that changed my life once and for all. Each one of you is going to hear something different while attending to the sounds of this story. And “as listening speaks”, I look forward to listening to your narrations of the secrets and the prophecies “my” winds and “my” waves have told you.
So, my “home” is …sound of wind and waves, the voice of a beloved person reading my favorite writer and all these combined with a song related to the wind (singer:Giannis Aggelakas). The translation of what you hear:
Song: The wind that blow inside me/ don’t want to calm down/ it upsets my heart/ and it spreads my mind
The part of LeGuien’s text: it doesn’t last, a wave in the sea, would you like the sea to stop moving and the flow to stop so as you to be saved, to be saved only one wave, only you…would you sell off the art of your hands and the passion of your heart only for safety?
Dear Eleni, thank you for taking me back for a moment to Syros, an island I particularly love and in which I have beautiful memories.
I imagine that wind and sea are two important elements that make you feel at home or are part of your daily life. I too grew up close to the sea and I miss it terribly not being surrounded by the sound of the waves. And it is indeed one of those voices that I most call to mind, when I want to build a space I am familiar with that makes me feel good.
Annagrazia so nice you ‘ve visited “my home”! Yes, wind and waves are all around here…so it’s not possible not to consider them as Home. Maybe we meet in Syros too one day!
Thank you for this wonderful observation, Eleni. Today is my first day in this beautiful country (Greece), and although a new experience, there is something profoundly familiar. This (new) experience makes your text echo much stronger in my mind. Sounds of a landscape, of a season, a place or a person can embody a frequency of what we understand as a home. This is more and more common for those who understand and carry “home” within their memories rather than it being a physical phenomenon.