I am naming the blog for our retreat after a little-known Greek Goddess, Aphaia, Αφαίας, who was known as the “goddess who got away…” she jumped into the sea rather than marry Minos, who Zeus had arranged for her. She was rescued in the nets of fishermen, then brought to the island of Aegina in Greece. There is a temple there I visited in 2015, and never forgot it. I am a documentary filmmaker and activist by profession but a nomad at heart, having spent most of my life living out of a backpack or suitcase, never really landing anywhere or with anyone for longer than a few years. Aphaia’s story resonates with mine, this life on your own terms, strong, self-sufficient, but somehow sequestered, an outlier, ever searching, never returning.
Little did I know I would meet a Greek man, Kosta, in 2017 in a yoga class in Oakland, California, fall in love and found my way back to a different Greek island, this time Zakynthos, where I intend to live part-time as I explore the meaning of this obscure goddess, as well as a few other things (!).
I invite you to follow me and Kosta on our journey as we build our dream house and retreat, navigating a new life and love together, opening up to new experiences, visitors, adventures.
This blog will mostly be my own musings, with a few things thrown in from Kosta. I am the writer in our partnership, he is the actor/farmer/builder/doer!
We welcome you to our land and our beloved Wild Fig, named after the tree his grandfather planted here, decades before us. Although parts of the island Zakynthos are quite touristic, there are still many areas that are untouched, wild, waiting to be explored. Our place is in the northern, more remote and forested region, where limestone cliffs drop dramatically into blinding blue waters, where abundant goat paths lead to mythic stone structures, thousands of years old. The land and its fantastically ornate olive trees almost sting you with mystery and intrigue, releasing a powerful, hypnotic venom that keeps you coming back.
The people of the region have always lived off this land, and many of them still do. Our dream is to open the space up for retreats focused on holistic health, healing, yoga, mindfulness, creativity, writing, screenwriting, filmmaking, painting, etc. Feel free to contact us if you are a practitioner, interested in leading a retreat, or just have an idea you think we should hear. Wild Fig is a truly unique and sacred place, and we can’t wait to share it with you!
I watched the documentary on Joan Didion last night, The Center Will Not Hold, partly to think about the women artists and writers who have influenced me. How reading her book in college, Slouching Towards Bethlehem so blew me away in college. Re-reading her article, written in 1970 (!) in Vogue on self-respect, I think about how this idea of self-realization, self-knowledge and deep self-acceptance are so key to unlocking our potential as individuals, as women, as sojourners, as actors in this space and span we call life.
Didion writes about herself as “A woman who is radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest other people…a woman who misplaced whatever slight faith she had in the social contract…” and this profound self-searching I think is what of many of us are doing, fatigued with the way the world has gone, its politics, leaders, economies and conflicts have worn us thin. Maybe, like me, you are searching for a new paradigm or at least just a place to figure it all out.
At Wild Fig we want you to come and search with us. Come, stay a while, drink our wine, eat our olive oil or a fig off our tree. Come and uncover what matters.