…This rock was/is/will always be breathtaking, life-altering; doubtlessly ensnarling new victims evermore just as it did me. It beguiles while nourishing tender seeds of art/writing/music/creativity/Eros that peak from between its dry rocks. The island is/was sophisticated, proud, has left its fingerprints in many pies and was/is sexy, addled, dissolute, rife with intrigue, concentrated to the point that it’s intense beauty and resulting emotional peaks can sometimes push one toward the edge of oblivion. So it was for me.
When I first set foot on it’s stony surface, I was dissolute, adrift, often drunk, irreverent on principal, had not forged an identity of my own, doubted I ever would, nor thought it mattered if I did or didn’t. I was not alone. Those haphazard days, when exhumed, are bittersweet. It was the end of the 60s (Vietnam War raging, recently divorced, an unquenchable thirst for alcohol). I was a restless 24-year-old, my son was 4. We sailed from New York on the Greek ocean liner Queen Anna Maria that landed in Piraeus 10 days later under a full moon–June 21, 1970. I planned on spending a month on a Greek island, that accidently turned out to be Hydra. We staying 2 years, left and I have been returning usually twice a year since for never less than a month sometimes 3 or 4.
I had one cassette tape in my little portable player and played Melanie’s Look What They’ve Done to my Song about a thousand times.
–Look What they’ve done to my brain, Ma — Look what they’ve done to my brain –Well they picked it like a chicken bone–And I think I’m half insane, ma–Look what they’ve done to my song–
I don’t know why I had this music or what (if anything) it was saying about life/my life/the world, but I truly played it again and again and again.
My friend Johanne called my attention to the attached YouTube clip of Miley and Melanie. It touched me seeing a millennial in concert with a baby boomer, past with present, young you, old me. Thanks Johanne. Now that I know who Miley Cyrus is, perhaps my nieces will stop rolling their eyes when her name is mentioned and I look blank.