THE EARTH MOVED... AND THEN, THERE WAS SILENCE

Pre earthquake Kefalonia
Vlahata, Kefalonia
Pre earthquake Kefalonia
Erissos, Kefalonia
It seems inappropriate for someone born after August of 1953 to write about the most devastating time for Kefalonia - not to mention the risk of sounding superficial. I have carefully avoided writing about the massive earthquakes that literally destroyed the island, as I was not around at the time. Not that there haven't been first hand accounts - on the contrary, I've had plenty. My parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, they all have relayed detailed accounts of their own encounter with the force that made the earth roar and heave, again and again, until everything was reduced to piles of ruins, clouds of dust, heaps of pain, and unending streams of tears.
Every account of the horror begins the same way: "... I remember exactly where I was when the earth started to shake..." And they all end their narrative with a list of names of  loved ones or neighbors who were buried in the rubble, or were rescued from under it as if by miracle. No family was spared, although some suffered losses far greater than the destruction of property. The hundreds of lives lost remain a perpetually open wound for the survivors, long after the homes and buildings, and towns were reconstructed.

>>> 60 YEARS LATER <<<

Today, on the anniversary of the huge earthquake, that caused more than ceilings to collapse and walls to crumble, I feel compelled to write about it - for the first time. I cannot write about the people who were lost, as my immediate family did not lose any members in the destruction. But I can share with you some representative remnants of the beauty that was wiped out in a few seconds. Remnants of another time and another world, which, to this day, emerge here and there - defying gravity and the relentless passage of time - as reminders of resistance to hardships, and triumph in the face of ultimate adversity. And, of course, as non designated but genuine memorials to all those souls who perished. 

Pre earthquake Kefalonia
St. Spyridon at Kastro, Kefalonia
Pre earthquake Kefalonia
Pessada, Kefalonia
Pre earthquake Kefalonia
Sissia Monastery, Kefalonia
Pre earthquake Kefalonia
Pylaros, Kefalonia
Pre earthquake Kefalonia
The Archangels Church at Old Valsamata Village, Kefalonia
Pre earthquake Kefalonia
Pessada, Kefalonia
Pre earthquake Kefalonia
Ruins of the Dimitratos family cluster of homes at Xenopoulo, Kefalonia
Nowadays, our own DAISY FACTORY

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, Eleni. Thanks for sharing these photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Paul. The difficulty was in choosing what to include.
    Unfortunately, some of these monuments will eventually be gone too due to neglect and lack of appreciation of their significance. :(

    ReplyDelete