When we returned from Cyprus we got out the old tablecloth my grandmother had bought there ninety years ago and admired its intricate lacework. It had new depth and meaning now that we had discovered the history and craft of the lacework made in Lefkara — the Lefkaritiki.

In the past few weeks it has come to symbolize much of the loss of memory almost all families suffer because we don’t ask enough questions as children, don’t tell enough as adults.

We live in an age distorted by traumatic memory and consumed by triviality because the memory of craft, awe, and beauty has been forgotten.

We didn’t ask

my grandmother

about the tablecloth,

its lacework

filigreed upon the table.

We couldn’t hear…

4 thoughts on “Lefkaritiki”

  1. Bill, your travel notes were excellent, showing all the trademarks of carefully researched preparation, respect for the traditions of the people, openness to the chance encounter, and perseverance in what you were looking for. It may well be the family trip of a lifetime for you. Now about that position as ambassador to resolve the differences between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, although that task may be somewhat eschatological . . .

    My sister and her husband just spent a couple weeks in Greece, just because they thought it would be an interesting place. While it was expensive, it did not solve Greece’s financial problems.


  2. Big thanks, Bill. I feel like I’ve been a bird on your shoulder, going back in time and learning history I knew nothing about. You have an amazing gift to help us see the past and to ask the right questions. I have a collection of old tablecloths so I especially appreciated the poem.
    Why is it that we “wake up” too late and our ancestors who knew the answers are gone?
    Welcome home, Penny

  3. Thanks, Bill, for your wonderful accounts of your visit and the concluding poem. Glad to know you are home safe and sound.

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