Sacred Water, The Mineral Springs of Lesvos
Photographic album. Texts: G. Maniotis, G. Doukakis, Tz. Hadjidimitriou. Hard cover, 144 pages. 1st edition 1996. Price 25 euro
A book with poetic images from the old “Baths” of Lesvos that hosted generations of the local community, the old Turkish hamam of the town of Mytilene before it’s renovation and Sarlitza, the old, glorious hotel of the beginning of last century before it got destroyed by time.
Light within old buildings slips in waves through small windows, and sprawls upon eroded walls, is born again by them, murking the eyes of uninvited guests. For years, light was the sole observer of all that went on behind fractured shutters. Guard and lover of the unique beauty, which dripped slowly, like the drops on greening walls. In these closed bath chambers breath merged with vapour. And thought would be lost, would spread, as the light did on perspiring
bodies. Without knowing what awaited me, one morning, out of curiosity I asked to see the «baths». Many years have passed since that first time, when the wet scent of water enveloped me, together with the light that came in generously through small windows by the sea. I followed the ritual. Washed in the niche from which the water rushed, and sank into the green, warm, indistinct liquid, cupped in the stine basin. Words often times are insufficient in expressing sensations. Thereafter, I sought all
hidden springs abundant on the island, and again and again I abandoned myself to that sensation of deliverance within their waters, under the slight light, which slipped through the apertures in the dome, or at times gushed in catalytically through the windows of the sea.
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