Everything seems the same but nothing is

Everything seems the same but nothing is

How do you make sense of an unseen ‘crown-shaped’ threat? In our series of Insider Stories, sequestered Athenians share their feelings of confusion, boredom, reflection, joy, hope and solidarity. Artist Claire Tsalouchidis confesses to feeling like a bystander, a shadow script writer inadvertently drawn into a Hotel California-like bizarre movie set where ‘you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.’

 “Everything looks the same, but nothing is”. I feel like an actor in a movie of a shadow script writer, a movie that I did not choose to participate in with an ending that is totally beyond anyone’s guess. It is not easy to absorb what is happening. Yet we have to remain calm and positive and be careful.

No panic. Staying at home for me has been a blessing in a way. So much time spent in outdoor activities, not always for a serious reason, just a few days ago. A day at home. More days at home. I am one of the lucky ones. I’m not alone at home. I really don’t know how it would be if I was to be completely alone. Anyway, now I’ve started doing all the things I never had time to do! I study for my piano lessons. Last September, I started learning Italian. Now I have more time for everything. To appreciate the company of my aunt who stays with me this time, my son Marco, my online friends! So important those friends! My 20-year old son, George, is safe and sound at his Dad’s home after returning from Chicago a few days ago. What a spring break!

I am grateful that I can still take long walks with my two dogs around the blessed area where I live in Thisseio. The hill of Pnyx is a dream place and THE place to walk. Nobody around. Awkward. Still friendly.

Athens is a friendly city even at its emptiest.


Every Thursday, alongwith a group of ladies I used to visit exhibitions and talk about art. Iris Kritikou is out mastermind and our teacher. She decided to keep us busy. We worked with so much fervour it was unbelievable. Spring, famous works of art and artists was the theme. I worked on Hokusai, the Japanese artist. It was a revelation for me, his work I mean His famous work, THE WAVE OF KANAGAWA surprised me so much as something very pertinent! Marco my son studies a lot but also plays a lot. Gaming! Mother not happy about it but, it is a miracle those kids manage to stay in without complaining! I am so proud of him!! The news on television has become unbearable to watch. It is too much for children of all ages. We’re trying to do the right thing and for me it is not difficult. For so many people it is unbearable. Very hard to follow, very hard to accept. I am trying to keep myself busy, in positive spirits, and smiling, if not laughing. We laugh a lot with my best friends. It is the best antidote for every virus “crowned”or not!!! I wish there was something I could do to help. I wish my son could find a way to help without taking risks. We are staying at HOME. We appreciate the fact that we do have a home that is still a safe place for us and for our loved ones.

Being an artist, I am still looking forward to the time I will be able to concentrate and start painting. I pray for the best and I hope this horror will end soon and we learn the lessons to be learned because it would be a pity if it doesn’t happen and we just go back to normal as was…

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