The Ongoing Blog

Nikos Kazantzakis died October 26, 1957 at seventy-four.  His wife Eleni (in English, “Helen”) lived to be a hundred-and-one. She first wrote me in 1977 in response to what I’d written about Nikos. Prompted by him, she had written a book about Gandhi, a number of feature travel articles, several primarily literary pieces,  and after Nikos’ death, the definitive biography on him. But with her living in Geneva and my living in the U.S., it seemed unlikely we would ever meet. But eleven years later, in 1988, when I was in Europe on sabbatical for the entire summer of what became the second sunrise of my soul, we finally met. Greeting me at the door, she took the flowers I’d brought in her right hand, while entwining her left arm in my right one, and said, “Come to my kitchen table, I treat you like family!”  And there, over the lemon cake she had made and the hot tea she’d prepared, we exchanged personal tales and  pivotal life-moments  for the next five hours. Later, when I again emerged from her apartment building,  I hailed a taxi on the street to hurry back to the station and catch the train to Italy, I felt like the fountain in the photo above. The day stands as a glistening sun-basked summit in my life, and it is the fitting post with which to launch this different kind of blog.

2 Responses to The Ongoing Blog

  1. zenovia says:

    I am so glad you got to meet her, for I had over a twenty five year correspondence with her, and she had become my mentor when I was in my early twenties, I have written Penelope and Ulysses it was published last year, and I have dedicated one of the triologies of “”The laughter and despair of my three muses” to Eleni, even when I was young I did not seek to follow anyone, or to copy their path , but I have in my life shown deep gratitude to those that have offered me support, safety and intellectual and spiritual inspiration, and Eleni was such a person, I wrote to you as I thought you might want to read it, thank you, I am not clever with technology and have just discovered your site, thank you, in friendship

    • plainsmann says:

      Hello ~

      And thank you very much for writing. I would be very interested in reading the publication you mentioned. I will be contacting you at the address you’ve included, and will also include the addresses to use in reaching me. I look forward to continuing our contact.

      With gratitude and sincere best wishes,


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