Now that I'm on the edge of time, I can talk about some things without fear of regret. And the first thing I want to tell you is about a good literary book. Seek the beauty of your solitude with a good book in hand. And travel while dreaming. This is the most creative loneliness. And it's the only way to experience yourself. The only way to feel free. And that, above all, will help you to know yourself and the world.
But you will also initiate your spirit into beauty. To discover it in the minimum that is given to you.
Exercise your observation, so that you can discern the beauty even in all the ugliness. I have always given great importance to the exercise of observation. It makes you think fast. Your perception becomes sharp. It makes judgment straightforward and correct. And then, become yourself the poet so that you can produce beauty. Poet is not the only one who writes poems.
Poet is the one who creates beauty in his life. He who cultivated his soul and spirit in such a way that, in the sense of beauty, he sees justice and reconciliation, purity.
"I'm clean from end to end - and in the hands of Death a useless vessel", says Elytis.
Beauty is the purity of your soul.
And know that all this will forever be a source of light in your age of maturity.
Rilke says that the places where we experienced our first sense of loneliness, the places where we dreamed as children, are strongly tied to the time of maturity. And that's how it is.
Now that I'm at this point in time, I know how true Rilke's words is. Nothing is brighter in my life than those distant moments I dreamed of while reading a book. It is the most fertile, the most creative loneliness, as I told you, that you experience in your own personal freedom.
Because, beyond the aesthetics, the spiritual value of a good book, beyond the "protypa" it can create, I personally give more importance to the fact that the child, the teenager, you, reading a good book, you will dream.
This is where the freedom of one's spirit springs from, a freedom that will lead you to a happy maturity. And certainly, in order to be enchanted by knowledge, it is necessary for knowledge to have beauty in it. To create emotion. Only the things that move us are preserved by time in our soul.
And don't be afraid to daydream, as Gaston Bachelard would say.
To daydream means to relive my past life. To relive the happy moments. And childhood, as well as adolescence, is a happy place, even if it carries traumatic experiences.
Because this age is like poetry. Poetry has happiness in it, even when it speaks about painful things. It has transcendence. Only poetry has the strength to overcome traumas.
But how can someone define what a happy place is?
When you reach the age of maturity, you may forget the literary book you read. But that happy place will remain inside you, meaning the happy moment that you traveled to with your imagination. The feeling of fascination that the book gave you will remain, beyond the adventure of the written word, like a personal conquest.
Because imagination is often stronger than reality.
And if we go further, only imagination has the absolute essence and extent of the eternal, as Carl Jung described it: "Only childhood can contain eternity", he said. And so, when you grow up, you will think of your childhood, your adolescence, as a luminous memory. And that's because you have dreamed through it.
"I don't understand means I am alone", you might think. It is the anxiety of innocence. The anxiety of ignorance. Kierkegaard says: "This is the deep secret of innocence: that it is also anxiety".
So choosing a good literary book is not only a need for freedom but also for expression. For self-expression. To define your truths and values. To realize your personal sense of justice. And most importantly: To reconcile with life and with yourself.
Well, I have half a chest of letters from children your age because they had read a book of mine, which was also a radio show, "Letter to my son and a star." A book I wrote for my son when he was a child. In most letters or almost all of them, the children asked the same anxious question: How will they reconcile with the people around them, and with themselves.
Reconciliation is a fundamental principle for peace of mind that leads to a content maturity.
In conclusion, I would like to add that I consider it equally important that, reading a good literary book, will help you reflect. You will contemplate about things. Thinking is different from daydreaming. Thinking is the beginning of avant-garde.
And in every generation, in every age, the adolescent's tendency to reject has the meaning of avant-garde within it. The concept of reconstructing values through your own intuition for the world. Regardless of the fact that they almost always remain the same, since the values of life are eternal and unchangeable. And any anarchist ideology only shifts them, it does not abolish them.
Today the world that dawned is enigmatic and not at all prophetic. And no one can contain the rush of this new globalized life that has spilled over with the new millennium with new technology and new idols. It makes me want to say this: keep justice and truth in your heart. Keep sacred the love for those who founded the values in our country and nurtured the struggles and sacrifices to keep this land free to this day.
Well, the world that dawned is hiding an unable global threat. And we have to defend ourselves. Our only defense is the knowledge of our history and our culture.
The deeper the roots one has in his own land, the more ecumenical he can become, without fear of any razing storm. And this power is given to us by the knowledge of our history, but also by the knowledge of the great culture that this small tormented place gave birth to.
This is my message to you.
Because today we are citizens of the world. From the moment the world news came into our room, we are involved in the historical events of the world stage. And that makes us responsible for our sanctuaries.
We are, therefore, citizens of the world in the sense of globalization that tends to strip away, more and more painfully, the ethics and moral values, the physiognomy of small countries.
But first and foremost, we are citizens of our geographically small country. To love your country means to be free through your love for it. It means that what hurts your land hurts you. Only when I learned this did I realize that what the soul carries on its ephemeral path is not the most luxurious, as experiences, nor the fanciest, but the humblest, and therefore the most essential.
Well, my dear students of Lemnos Schools, whatever you become when you grow up, wherever your life leads you, always have in your heart this small place that is called home. And as much as you can, wherever you are, in high positions or in solitary creativity, do not let any foreign globalization tear down the values of our culture and our traditions.
As I said, this is my message. And it is a message of love for our country.
And do remember: "The house is not always smaller than the mountain / man is not always bigger than a flower", as a beautiful verse of Elytis speaks. Meaning that all sizes and proportions are determined by our soul. From what we loved. What we called sacred. Elytis' poetry is the purest expression of what defines Greece.
In another verse he says: "The most Greek of letters: A hydria"
And another: "I am not a painter maiden Tereze. But I will speak of you with lime and sea".
You see, how the Greek elements become a poetic alphabet of beauty. I wish that your life is an alphabet of beauty.
For all the students