Breakfast with Saphho

A couple of weeks ago Ward and Dee came to Sunday dinner at the Barn. Dee brought me a small part of her succulent garden in a fine, tiny oriental box. The plant is a white succulent, very rare, and Dee had placed it in a small rock planter and surrounded the rock with what I though were basil leaves. An extraordinary gift!

As the days have gone by the sweet plant has remained on my table at the Barn. The leaves are NOT basil, but beautifully arranged paper. Had it been basil leaves they would have faded and wilted and dried. Instead this brave and beautiful succulent remains. Itis with me for breakfast every day.

I decided I needed to find a name for her. It has taken many days, but yesterday I decided on Saphho, the Greek poet. Many of the other candidates seemed too trivial. Saphho the gifted woman from the island of Lesvos is not only gifted, but mysterious. When we had a house on that island many years ago, we searched for the site of her academy on the other sided of our island with the little bit of information we had. It turns out that noone knows its exact location, so we brought a lunch to place designated by a local librarian and proclaimed our pinic site near the sea to be our memorial to the poet.

IMG_0230.jpg Since I have no idea how to care for Saphho, I will need to be advised by Dee. In the past I have allowed a lot of junk to collect on the table, now I keep it quite clean and reverential. It is good for Saphho and good for me.

The following quatrain is from a poem to Aphrodite by Sappho, not complete, none of her poems are – they are all fragments. The poems were all sung to the accompaniment of a lyre. Most her poetry is lost, but the fragments that remain are strong statements in praiseof eros.

Some say an army of horsemen,

some of footsoldiers, some of ships,

 is the fairest thing on the black earth,

  but I say it is what one loves.


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On the planet in California

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