Progress Report #42: Back from the Past

In Greece in 1969

Me in my Cretan boots with a Greek pal in 1969

I got back from my trip a few days ago. My jet lag has nearly passed, and I hope to get back to my writing desk tomorrow. The trip turned out to be highly successful. The writing I did in Greece fulfilled the plan, albeit in ways that I didn’t foresee exactly. Of course.

The photo above was taken during the period that I went over to write about. A Cretan bootmaker in the village of Pitsidia made those boots specifically for my feet. During this most recent trip I met a man who knew that bootmaker and filled in a couple of blank spots in my memory. The bootmaker was a musician who sat in front of his shop and played the Cretan lyra (yes, I remember now). He also spoke some German. I did, too, so that’s how he and I must have communicated. These are the endless, small details that create the universe within the pages of a book.

I think some people might object to this statement (I’m sure some will, actually), but looking at this photo and looking at the shots I took on this return trip reaffirm my view that the world was more real then. People were more real, places were more real. (More real because more sincere.) I’ll probably get into this in a later post, but I saw again that globalization is relentlessly trashing every culture on the planet. It’s hard for me to think of any place on earth that I’d like to travel to. Every place is the same now or in the process of becoming the same. Some people find this exciting. I think it’s lunacy.

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8 Responses to “Progress Report #42: Back from the Past”

  1. Deborah Garner Says:

    I probably agree w/you. Thanks for sharing your past and welcome home.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Copy that, Mark. I think that, on an international scale, corporations have taken over people’s lives (in too many ways for me to outline here) and homogenized the physical landscape …

  3. Sarah Says:

    P.S. Welcome home! Hope your trip was grand. 🙂

  4. Donald Kinney Says:

    Agree 100% with you that things were more real in the past — the ’60’s is always a good reference point. But it seems like our dreams evaporated, but you probably would agree that San Francisco, at least, has retained a bit of the old spirit.

    • markbittner Says:

      San Francisco has retained enough spirit that it’s the only city I can currently imagine living in. But the people who want to make it just another circuit in the “global culture” are working relentlessly to change that.

  5. Milo Says:

    I hear you brother!
    How many McDonalds does the world really need!

    Remember when all communities had specialized little shops that specialized in this and that?
    Now it seems everywhere on the planet one walks they will find a shopping mall full of same old name corporation sellers.

  6. Kelly Says:

    I nearly cried when I saw a Mickey D’s in the same square as Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

  7. Kathy Says:

    The only thing I could think of to do in my various travels was to take pictures of the McD blight in all the beautiful towns and monument areas; think Tower of London, and yes, Vienna, and Innsbruck and Salzburg and and….Stockholm, as well, and….

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