See you in September!
Friday, June 8, 2018
Poems describing the night sky...
Look up at the night sky
Count the stars
Make a wish
Watch the stars travel
Across the sky
All at once
Point out constellations
That hide away
Count the stars
Across the sky
That hide away
Can you see the stars tonight?
Deep in the night sky
There are splotches of light
I watch them tonight
This unit the girls were asked to write a story in the style of a Greek myth.
Did you ever wonder why the waves come and go? Well,if you did, here is the story of why they do.
There was boy. He was born on Ávgoustos IX, the child of Agóri and Korítsi. His name was Tsounkái. His parents were rich and powerful, and they rarely had to lift a finger to get money from anyone. They were selfish and greedy, the only thing they cared about was money. But Tsounkái was different.
Tsounkái had a kind heart and he loved everyone in his polis. He would go out to the shore and bring home shells for the citizens to trade at the markets. But the one problem was that the ocean was still, so there was no way to bring the shells onto the beach, so Tsounkái had to walk all the way out to the ocean to get them.
But one day, when Tsounkái walked into the ocean, he soon found that he had gone to far! He didn’t know where he had gone, but soon he saw it.
It was tzakoúzi efiáltis, Nightmare whirlpool. Tsounkái was terrified yet amazed. He had never seen a whirlpool before. Nightmare whirlpool was deadly, and Tsounkái was only a boy. Tsounkái was sure he would die, but wait. If he could say a prayer to the gods in time for them to answer, then maybe…
“Voíthisé me! Chreiázomai voítheia, me párte makryá apó to tzámi efiáltis pou écho skontápsei! Prospathoúsa na voithíso tous anthrópous mou, allá épeita katélixa edó! Parakaló me sósei!” cried Tsounkái. It was a prayer for help. He waited. And nothing happened. But then he saw a beautiful sight. Rising out of the whirlpool was a ball of light. The ball started to take the shape of a man holding some sort of spear.
‘Poseidon?’ was all Tsounkái could say. He had just seen a god. “Hello child. I am Poseidon, god of the seas. I am here to save you.” said Poseidon, and with that Poseidon picked up Tsounkái and took him to his underwater home.
“Welcome child. This is my home. You are safe here. For now, at least.” Poseidon said. “But I must get you home safely.”.
“What do you mean? For now?”
“Well, since you cannot breathe under water, I must get you back to shore.”
“Oh. Alright.” said Tsounkái. He knew that they would have to go back out through nightmare whirlpool to return to his home. Tsounkái trusted poseidon very much, seemingly as he was a god.
“Ok. Let's get you out of here.” Poseidon said. He grabbed his trident and Tsounkái and swam back up to the nightmare whirlpool. They reached the surface and Tsounkái took deep breaths, filling his lungs with oxygen. Tsounkái felt something grab his leg. It was underwater, and it felt slimy and smooth.
Tsounkái screamed as he was dragged under water by a creature. It was a sea serpent, and Poseidon had not known it was there. Poseidon waited, knowing there was nothing he could do but wait. And after a long while of waiting, his worst fear had been confirmed. There was Tsounkái’s body, lifelessly floating on the still ocean. Tsounkái managed to whisper to Poseidon “Take my body back home.” And then he was gone.
So Poseidon brought Tsounkái’s body back home, but then realized that as a god, he could not set foot on this land. So he thought for a while, trying to think of how to get Tsounkái’s body back to shore. After a long time of thinking, he had and idea. He himself could not go on the land, but the water could.
Poseidon spent all night making the water move. And finally, his hard work paid off. There were little movements in the water. Poseidon called them waves.
He laid Tsounkái’s body on the waves, and sent him back home on a wave. A day later, his body arrived home. When Agóri and Korítsi found Tsounkái’s body, they wept for for hours, mourning the loss of their son. They held a grand burial on the shore for him. They dug a hole for him, filled with his favorite things, and all the members of the polis laid the seashells he had brought them on his body. They noticed a calm noise, and they now saw the waves for the first time. The waves brought shells from the depths of the sea onto the shore. They members of the polis cheered for their good luck. They would trade more shells with neighbouring polis’, and never run out.
And that is how waves were formed.
After all these years, I have finally been forgotten. Erased from the minds of the people who once loved me. I’m not surprised. I was never very important to you mortals. I never did anything important. Or at least, anything that was important to you. Who am I, you ask? I am Pnevma, Goddess of Spirits.
Of course you have never heard of me. Your ancestors forgot about me long ago. But I was the one who took care of your soul after you died. I was the one who helped you through the journey to the underworld. And I was the one who made it possible for you to get there.
Long ago, in ancient Greece, there was no way for your spirit to reach the underworld once your body died. You spirits were trapped in the mortal world, to wander around, lonely and unwanted. You had no afterlife, no place to go. It was horrible to watch my poor spirits suffer like this. But there was nothing I could do. Or so I thought.
Everyday I would sadly watch you. You would sometimes come to me, begging me to bring you back to life or to send you off to the after life. I always refused. Not because I don’t care about you, because I love each and every one of you with all my heart. But I couldn’t do anything about ir.
Until one day a girl came to me. She was small, but despite her height she looked to be around sixteen-years-old. My heart nearly broke at the sight of such a young girl who had lost her life. This wasn’t anything unusual though. She asked to go to the afterlife. I said no. She left. That was how it always went.
But then she came back.
You see, it is very hard for you to find me. I stay hidden on a small island surrounded by fog. The fact that you can find me at all is a mystery itself. But nobody ever comes back.
Until this girl did.
I let her back in and asked what she wanted.
“Nothing.” The girl said. “But I found the most beautiful flowers growing by the shore and I wanted to give them to you as thanks.”
Thanks for what? I had done nothing to help this poor girl, yet she still wanted to thank me. I asked her why.
“Because you are letting me stay here.” She smiled and held out the flowers.
I had done nothing of the sorts. The magic of the island must have confused the poor girl.
“If you hadn’t let me in, I might have died.” She said.
But she was already dead. This girl was so mixed up that I had to let her stay and believe these things. I couldn’t break her heart.
I asked what her name was.
“Mikro. Mikro Efthrafsto.” She said. “What is your name?”
I told her my name.
Mikro yawned and laid down by the small fire in my hut. Even though she was dead, she could still get tired. And I knew that. I told her to get some sleep.
I had no idea this girl would change my life.
Two years later Mikro was still with me. I kept trying to send her away, but she insisted it was her home here. And then I would let it go.
Even though she never felt hunger, Mikro still ate. In fact, she ate a lot. Every morning she would take my small boat out to go fishing. Every morning, I hoped she wouldn’t return. But every morning, she came back with a basket full of fish.
One morning, I went out to work on my garden and saw Mikro sitting by the water’s edge, staring at her reflection. I went over and sat down next to her.
“Pnevma,” She said. “Why don’t I age?”
That was a hard question to answer. So I lied.
“You have aged. You just can’t tell.” I explained.
“Why must you lie to me?” Mikro asked.
I stayed silent.
“Why must you lie to me?” Mikro repeated. “What is it that you are trying to keep from me?”
And in that moment I knew. Even though the magic of the island had messed with her head, Mikro knew deep down inside the truth.
So I lifted the magic. All at once I saw the memories rush back to her.
“Why didn’t you tell me Pnevma?!” Mikro shouted. “Why did you lie to me?!”
“Because I didn’t want to hurt you!” I shouted back.
“Well that worked out perfectly! Why can’t I go to the afterlife?!” She said, letting the tears stream out of her eyes.
I nearly told her the truth. But I had an even better idea.
“It is not time for you to go yet. I will take you when it comes time.” I lied.
And with that I put the spell back over her.
By the time the sun had set I had packed up everything I had owned into that small little boat. Including Mikro.
I had her wrapped up in an old blanket and a scarf. I knew she wouldn’t get cold, but I still wanted to treat her like I would a living person.
I myself got into the boat and used one of the oars to push us away from land. And then we were off. I rowed without stopping. I didn’t need sleep and I didn’t get tired. I rowed for five days and five nights before reaching our destination. Mikro slept most of the time. Sometimes, when she was awake she would play with the fish that swam alongside our boat. Sometimes she would make crafts out of things she found. And other times I would lift the spell from her and we would talk. Sometimes she was angry. I let her rant to me. Sometimes she was sad. I would tell her stories. Sometimes she was curious. I lied and put the spell back over her.
By the time we had gotten there, I had learned to ignore Mikro. I no longer let her speak freely. She only slept, played, and slept some more.
Where was there? We were at the islands of the fates. You sometimes come to the three fates, begging for them to change your fate. Just like I do, they will turn you down. We cannot alter your lives. No matter how much we love you. But would they turn a goddess down?
I entered their small hut, Mikro following behind me, and I saw them all lined up and doing their work. Klóstis was the youngest. She sat at her spinning wheel and spun the threads that would shape people’s fate. Metrísei was the middle sister, she measured how long a life would be. Psalídi was the oldest. She was the one who would cut the threads. She was the one who ended lives.
Pnevma. They said. Why have you brought one of your lost souls here?
I explained to them how Mikro had come to me and how I had kept her.
Does she know anything?
I told them no.
Why have you come to us?
I told them I needed their help.
You know we cannot help you. You are a goddess. You can do more than we can.
I shook my head. I told them I needed their help to find the river Styx.
We cannot change your fate. And yours does not involve us.
We can not interfere with fate’s planes.
I wasn’t going to hear any of it. They would help me.
“Stay the night, dear cousin.” Klostis said. “We can speak in the morning?”
“Thank you Klostis.” I said.
“Make sure your soul is comfortable Pnevma.” Metrisei said.
“What is her name?” Klostis asked.
“Mikro. Her name is Mikro.”
“You may stay the night.” Psalidi said. “But that does not mean will we change our minds.”
“You will. Just wait and see.” Mikro smiled.
All four of us turned to look at Mikro. The girl hadn’t said a word since we had gotten here.
“Yes, we will have to wait and see.” Psalidi said.
And then the three fates went back to work.
Unfortunately Mikro was wrong.
“No Pnevma.” Psalidi said
“But you are the only ones who can allow the souls to get to the underworld.” I protested.
They are your souls Pnevma.
And in that moment, the three women were no longer my cousins. They were once again the three fates. I told them I couldn’t do this without them.
Your fate does not involve ours.
I said it must.
Go now Goddess of Spirits. There is no help for you here.
I looked over at Mikro. She deserved so much more than what her fate allowed. But the fates were right. I would find no help here. I thanked them for what they had done and left. And they went back to work.
I helped Mikro back into the boat. Her normally happy face was clouded with sadness.
“What’s wrong Mikro?” I asked
“I am happy Pnevma.” Mikro said.
I lifted the spell from her.
“What is wrong Mikro?” I repeated.
“I will never see the afterlife.” She said.
“You will Mikro. You will. Now go to sleep. We have a long journey.” I said
And with that Mikro went to sleep. But she was no longer under my spell.
I never put her back under my control.
I rowed our little boat for five more days and five more nights. By the time reached the mainland, I was exhausted.
I pulled my thick cloak on and pulled the hood over my face, hoping nobody would recognize me. As I stepped out of the boat, I turned around and beckoned Mikro to follow me.
“Stay close Mikro.” I said as the small girl ran up beside me. “And remember, nobody can see you.”
Mikro nodded and took my hand.
We walked through the streets of Delphi together, hand in hand. We were on our way to see the oracle, an old friend of mine. She would know how to help me.
When we had finally reached her, the oracle was already waiting for us.
“Hello Pnevma.” She said.
“Oracle.” I said as I lifted off my hood. “I need your help.”
“I can not help you Pnevma.” The oracle said. “But I know someone who can.”
“Thank you.” I said.
“Go down the hall behind me. When you reach the end, you must say ‘anoíxte tis pýles tou thanátou’ three times. Then walk down the staircase until you reach the end. That is where you shall find help.” She said.
I began walking down the hall as she told me, Mikro behind me.
“Oh, and Pnevma?” The oracle said.
I stopped and turned around.
“You must make this journey alone.” She said.
I looked down at Mikro. I couldn’t leave the poor girl here all alone. But Mikro nodded, letting me know that it was okay.
So I continued down the hall on my own. It wasn’t long before I reached the staircase. I stopped and repeated the words the oracle had told me to say.
“Anoíxte tis pýles tou thanátou. Anoíxte tis pýles tou thanátou. Anoíxte tis pýles tou thanátou.” I said.
I looked down the dark staircase, and saw one by one the torches lit themselves. The stairs seemed endless. But I continued on anyway.
It felt like I had been walking for days, maybe months, maybe even years. By the time I reached the bottom I was nearly ready to give up. But I didn’t.
At the bottom of the staircase stood Hades himself.
“Pnevma.” Hades said. “What brings you here?”
“I have come to ask for your help.” I said.
“There is nothing I can do.” Hades said. “This is your problem. You must fix it.”
“But I don’t know where to start!” I said
“You must help your souls find the river Styx.” Hades said. “But I can not tell you how.”
“Thank you.” I said, before turning and heading back up the stairs.
When I saw Mikro I rand over and pulled her into a tight hug.
“Mikro, where is your body?” I asked. “It’s time for you to go.”
Mikro smiled and took my hand.
“My family has it.” Mikro said.
I pulled my cloak over my head and the two of us left.
We walked for days and days until Mikro stopped in front of a house.
“Home.” She whispered.
I stepped inside the house and called out to see if anyone was there. A woman, Mikro’s mother, came out and screamed when she saw me.
“What are you doing in my house?!” She said.
I laughed and pulled back my hood.
“I am Pnevma, goddess of spirits.” I said. “I am here to help you.”
“Oh my.” Mikro’s mother said. “I am so sorry.”
“No need to apologize.” I said. “What is your name?”
“Koritsáki Efthrafsto.” She said.
“Well, Koritsaki, I am here to take your daughter’s body.” I said. “I can help her reach the afterlife.”
“You know of my daughter?” She asked.
“Yes, I do.” I said. “In fact, she’s with me right now. I wish you could see her.”
I saw Koritsaki’s eyes fill with tears.
“Follow me.” She said, leading me into a back room of her house.
And there, laying on a table, was Mikro’s body. I saw Mikro crying at the sight of her own body laying there like that.
I picked up Mikro’s body and carried it outside. And then I began didgging a hole.
By the end of the day I had a hole big enough for Mikro’s body. I placed her body in and then turned towards Mikro.
“Mikro.” I said. “I need you to lay down in the hole. Can you do that for me?”
She nodded and layed down on top of her body. And then I began filling the hole up. I saw Koritsaki watching me from a doorway. I was crying just as much as she was.
Once I was finished I pulled my hood over my face and turned to Koritsaki.
“Your daughter will find her way to the Underworld now.” I said.
Koritsaki nodded and went back inside. As soon as she did, Hades appeared next to me.
“You miss her, don’t you?” Hades asked.
“Come with me. I will let you say goodbye.” He said, holding out his hand.
I took his hand and the next thing I knew we were standing at the edge of the river Styx.
I saw Mikro about to get in the boat to carry her away from me.
“Mikro!” I shouted, running towards her. “Mikro wait!”
Mikro turned at the sound of her name and smiled when she saw me. I pulled her into a hug and let the tears flow.
“Thank you Pnevma.” She whispered.
“No.” I said. “Thank you.”
We stood there for a moment before Mikro backed away.
“I have to go now Pnevma.” She said.
“I know.” I said.
And with that Mikro hopped into the boat and was taken from me.
“Mikro!” I shouted after her. But the girl no longer knew who she was.
She no longer knew who I was.
The tradition of burying your dead was passed on by Mikro’s family. I never really got proper credit for it, but I never minded. You may have forgotten me, but I have not forgotten you.
You mortals changed me. And that changed your endings.