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When I went to Thrace in 1989 with my wife and 10-week-old daughter I employed my trusty technique for unearthing the local folk culture, which is to walk into the nearest likely place and ask. He played in the Greek manner, with the drone balanced on the crook of his elbow and the chanter held forward. The following year my wife found out about an island in the Cyclades that a girl friend of hers was a regular visitor to, and where there were two traditional tsabounaides a€“ players of the island bagpipe. The whole holiday was, in fact, a catalogue of near-disasters (most of which I will not mention) but I relished each one because of the effort it required to renew my faith in providence and the Greek people, and the rewards I gained.
The islands of the Cyclades each have two main villages, one on the sea edge and one on the top. Three more days passed while we explored the island, absorbing the warm spring sunshine and breathing the herb-scented air.
With only one day to go before we had to leave for Piraeus I discovered that the ferry schedule we had been given was wrong; there was no ferry the next day. When I speak highly of Greek music I need hardly say I'm not referring to modern bouzouki music, which is a rather empty style of playing derived from a more interesting but now largely defunct style of bar-room music called rembetika.
I thought her statement was rather profound, then realized that in many ways it also applied to me. As the son of a Methodist preacher in northwest Texas, we moved from parsonage to parsonage every two or three years.
I still didna€™t realize how different it must be not to move on a regular basis until later in my school career when I started making friends with people who had a€?gone to school together all their lives.a€? Ita€™s great to have a friend, but how do you compete with relationships that are as old as you are?
Mom recovered, arrangements were made, and I was able to finish my high school career in the same school I started it. No matter how long I live in a place now, there will always be references to people and events that preceded my existence in the memories of the locals. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to watch some kids grow up, and even more grateful that Facebook has allowed me to continue to follow some of them.
I thought her statement was rather profound, then realized that in many ways it also applied to me.A  I have lived most of my life in an a€?outside doga€? type of existence. From there you will be directed to someone who will know someone who will know someone, and with uncanny serendipity you are soon in the midst of a very satisfying experience.
With this posture he could release the chanter altogether during improvisations and bounce it rapidly on his thumb, executing a back-note trill which drew gasps of appreciation from the now-assembled audience. Amazingly, both Mehmet's instrument and mine were exactly in tune a€“ B flat a€“ and as I knew some Thracian tunes we were able to play together, though his louder conical bore chanter swamped mine.
Not least was the experience of sailing through the Cyclades, with islands appearing to left and right, gracefully recumbent, dozing in their translucent shroud of magic like jewels in the lustrous sea. That was all she could tell me, as she herself never went 'up' any more; she had a grievance against the 'up' villagers involving a stolen purse (the detailed story need not concern us here) and would not speak to them.
I had been warned not to expect too much; it would be difficult to get him to play, the weather had to be right, he had to feel right, it had to be a special occasion. Aristidis kept time resolutely in a monotonous marching rhythm while Yiannoukos played a few notes with inaccurate tempo, stuck on one note for a bit and then played a few more. We breakfasted on fresh bread from the village bakery; Adrienne and I dined on local fish washed down with retsina. I could either hire another fishing boat to Ios ( if I could find anyone to take us) or get the next ferry to Santorini and fly to Athens from there. I waited outside the taverna as dusk fell and the last rays of the sun lit up the leaves of the vines growing above over the street.
It was a modern one, with fruit machines and televisions in the comfortable lounge showing a Greek soap opera.
There is an enormous variety of good folk music in Greece, some very sophisticated, demanding an acquired taste, and some quite simple. One day when you are older and your children have started their own families and have moved to another city or state, or when your friends become elderly and pass away, your wife is the one who will still be right at your side.
My family and I have known more good people than the locals will ever have the opportunity to meet.
In Xanthi, the provincial capital, things started happening when I spotted a small urchin standing on a street corner holding what looked suspiciously like part of a gaida drone. He also had the trick of walking up to a seated listener whom he judged to be sympathetic and playing directly into his ear, more as an acknowledgement of the listener's interest than a direct appeal for money, though I'm not ashamed to say I responded to this gesture fairly liberally.
All the boys were careless and funloving, attaching more importance to horseplay than they did to the business of earning a living.
We alighted on Ios without knowing whether or not we would be able to get to our destination, Sikinos, which was visible close by, as there was no ferry.
I got him to understand that I had come all the way from England to hear him play, and he agreed to oblige me that evening.
His reeds were not well tuned and the two pipes of his double chanter were in audible disagreement. In the midst of all these negotiations and the constant effort of keeping my family occupied and relatively comfortable, I knew I still had to track down the other piper, the elder brother. The primitive traditional music of Sikinos was already a world away, as insubstantial now as the island itself, just a faint violet smudge on the horizon. Adonis had gone to a nearby hut where he kept his tsabouna.A  He arrived, bringing the bagpipe and a toubi.
It's the weather, the sea, the islands, the food, the extraordinary light, the variety of experiences, the folk culture (especially the music) and most of all the people.
Many of these traditions are very ancient indeed, having probably remained unchanged since early Byzantine or even Classical times.
Accompanied by an English-speaking student who had befriended us, I approached the young ragamuffin, examined the object and, after ascertaining that it was indeed what I had first thought, was conducted to the town square, where there was a small gang of travelling orphans living on the busking proceeds of their leader, a 14-year-old Turkish gypsy called Mehmet who came from Oresteia near the Turkish border. The bag of Mehmet's instrument was a large goatskin, very dilapidated and plugged with a saucer-sized wooden disk where it had been torn. When anyone got some money it was immediately spent and the purchase shared among the gang without preference.
But I had drunk enough retsina by that time to be generously disposed towards the musicians and applauded fulsomely when, after about fifteen minutes, the ragged improvisation came to a halt.


I made one last effort and got directions to the house of Anna Manala, the lady who spoke English. Adonis Kaboulas and his brother Yiannoukos are the last, definitely the last, exponents of an unbroken line of music stretching back into antiquity. I find in them a lively spirituality, a true pride of self, that I only occasionally find elsewhere. The peculiar wailing music of Epirus and southern Albania is an example of one of those untouched traditions.
With one of the smaller boys playing expertly on the toubeleki drum, he proceeded to regale my ears with fine gaida music.
The chanter also was the worse for wear, with a piece of wood replacing a broken section between two of the finger holes. Mehmet possessed the quality which all people from that part of the world have, of rewarding sincerity with warmer sincerity.
The Rough Guide to Greece says that the word malaka (wanker) is an affectionate term of abuse in Athens.
He chatted and laughed with his young son as we dived into the billows, drenched with every bowspray; an ideal father-son relationship, relaxed and trusting. A middle-class, English-speaking Greek woman who lived on the island told me about the bagpipers. They have faults too, of course; they can be over-emotional, lazy, arrogant, but underlying it all is a richness of experiencing exemplified by Katsimbalis in Henry Miller's book The Colossus of Maroussi a€“ the attitude that 'life is interesting because I am living it'. Bagpipe music also, because of its inability to adapt to the demands of more recent musical trends, including ensemble playing, has retained a character that clarinet, violin, sandouri (hammered dulcimer) etc. Mehmet spent a good deal of time mucking around with his chanter reed, scorching the tongue with a cigarette lighter and so on, but couldn't get it working to his satisfaction and eventually broke it with a resigned shrug. I quickly developed a strong affection for him and his scruffy entourage, and was sorry to leave Xanthi. Outside the airport I used the word on a taxi driver who refused to take me, me wife, our daughter and my three daughters from a previous marriage together in his ample-sized vehicle. A young man sat down with them and began to sing along, at which point I realised that the apparently random sequences of notes that Yiannoukos was playing were actually tunes a€“ local traditional melodies.
She had heard that by good fortune Adonis was herding his goats in a nearby field and she would take me to see him, if he was still there. But I particularly remember the innocent, untroubled expression on Adonis' face as he sang the simple old songs. But yes, at 8.30 he walked into the taverna carrying his tsambouna, accompaied by an old man in his 80s called Aristidis, who was going to play the toubi, a small snare drum. We struggled up the hillside on foot, over rocks and thorny scrub, and eventually came upon a small hut, ouside which an elderly man stood, raggedly dressed, leaning on a stick. He was a natural musician, playing with sensitivity and a superior technique to that of his brother, and his chanter pipes were in tune. Greeks nowadays love to rattle up and down the scale with great virtuosity, whereas the simple six-note tunes of gaida, tsabouna and tulum offer no such opportunities. I was too cowardly to admit that I had been the cause of this inexplicable event until we were on the ferry and safely on our way. We played together for the rest of the evening while the relaxed group of listeners chatted and joined in the songs. But Greek pipers do play with their own particular brands of skill and panache even if you have to be there to see it. The older brother Adonis was generally acknowledged to be the better piper, but in any case the islanders thought tsabouna music old-fashioned, preferring to listen to modern music on the radio. Anna hailed him cheerfully and launched into a long speech, while I stood smiling and nodding.
Anna told me that she had persuaded him to play for me that evening up in the village, and that he would meet me later at the port kafeneion. The three brothers and two sisters were distributed among the families of the island as was the custom. When the adoptive parents of Adonis died he inherited their land as they had no children of their own, but he did nothing with it, preferring to pasture his small flock of goats around the island, moving from place to place. This word means to assign, to designate, to allocate, orA to intentionally give something to someone. It refers to a calculated decision to show attention, awareness,or consideration to someone else.
In this case, it refers to a man purposefully showing attention to and consideration for his wife. Because Peter uses the Greek wordA aponemo (a€?givinga€?), this strongly suggests that the husbanda€™s attention, awareness, and consideration dona€™t occur accidentally.
He tells husbands that they are to give honor unto the wife as unto the a€?weaker vessel.a€?A The word a€?weakera€? does not mean inferior or substandard.
This is the Greek word asthenes, which actually carries the idea ofA something that is fragile and of great value, like a priceless, beautiful, hand-painted porcelain vase that must be treated with supreme care. She is to be given a place of high honor in his life, as if she were a fragile and priceless vessel. When you and your wife approach a door, open the door for her and let her goA through the door first.
If you step through the door first and then let the door slamA in your wifea€™s face as she follows behind you, you give her the impression that sheA is of little value to you. When your wife walks up or down the stairs or when she gets in or out of the car,A show enough consideration for her to reach out and take her by the hand and helpA her. Instead of spending all the extra money on yourself, on your fishing trip, or on yourA personal pleasures, why not sacrifice a few of your own desires and give her thatA extra money to go do something for herself? When you give her a check or cashA and tell her to go buy something for herself, it will probably shock her!
But as sheA realizes that you are making a sacrifice of your own desires to bless her, it will sendA a gigantic signal that you love her and want to bless her.A 4.
SheA works hard to be beautiful for you, and it is only right that you acknowledge itA when she looks pretty.


If you have sons, you are also providingA a good example to them of the way they should honor their own future wives.A 6. When you give her time that is completelyA undistracted, it lets her know that you want to be with her. When you are at work, remember to pick up the telephone to call her during the day,A just to let her know you are thinking about her. It doesna€™t take long for you to makeA a quick phone call, but that moment of consideration means a lot to your wifebecause it communicates to her how much you value her.
If you always have time to be with everyone else butA never have time with her, you are sending her the message that she is the lowest priorityA in your life. So take a few minutesA every so often to write a little note or card and leave it for your wife to find. HowA much time and effort does it take for you to pick up an ink pen and a piece of paperA and write two or three sentences of appreciation to your wife? Ita€™s a small investmentA of time and creativity that speaks volumes to your wife about your love for her.A 10. Always remember special dates, such as your wifea€™s birthday or your weddingA anniversary.
Men tend to forget these things, but these are special memories to aA wife and it means so much to her when these times are celebrated with her husband.A Also, dona€™t forget to buy her a gift for these occasions. If you do any of theseA eleven things, you are sending a wrong signal to your wife, for none of theseA actions will make her feel cherished and treasured by you.
Even if she smiles and laughs, trying to shrug off your verbal jabs,A this kind of behavior on your part is deeply hurtful to your wife.
If there is a conflict between you, wait until you get homeA where you can talk about it privately, but never make fun of her or put her downA in front of others. And I must ask you again, do you want her to point outA all your flaws in front of other people? You would prefer that she speak to you privatelyA about such matters, so show her the same courtesy.A A 3.
Never tell your wife there isna€™t enough money in the budget for her to buy a new outfitA a€” and then turn right around and spend a lot of money on yourself, your fishingA trip, your hobbies, grills, tv's etc. When she sees you do this, it communicates to her that youA love yourself more than you love her.
When you consistently make time for everyone in your life except yourA wife, you are making a very big mistake.
If needed, cancel something in your scheduleA so you can give attention to this most important relationship in your life.A A 5. Too often men act as if they are racing when they walk,A usually leaving their wives to walk five to fifteen feet behind them.
Now, I understandA that you may think your wife walks too slowly, but what is the use of racing in frontA of her if you must then stop, turn around, and wait for her to catch up with you? ItA takes the same amount of time to get to your destination, whether you walk alongsideA your wife or you walk ahead and then wait for her. She wants to be the one and onlyA woman in your life, so comparing her to other women is not wise and shows greatA disrespect. Your sexual relationship is a time ofA intimacy that is to be shared only between the two of you. Therefore, when youA make jokes about it or talk about it in front of others, you are humiliating your wifeA and making her feel cheap. This is certainly not a way to cherish her or to treat herA like a treasure!A 8.Never lie to your wife or tell a half-truth to cover your tracks.
If you violate her trust by lying to her and she discovers it,A your act of deception will affect her ability to trust you in the future. It may be difficult for her to hear what you have to say, but at least she will know you are being honest with her.
If she discovers you have been lying to her, this will result in a far greater hurt than if you honestly admit to her what you have done wrong.A 9. Men who consistently forget these twoimportant dates and yet expect their marriage relationship to stay healthy are either ignorant or stupid. As noted earlier, the word a€?givea€? describesA a calculated decision to show attention, awareness, or consideration to someone else. This pictures a purposeful and premeditated action by a husband to intentionally showattention and demonstrate consideration for his wife.A If these kinds of thoughtful acts dona€™t come naturally to you, ita€™s time for you to learn how to doA them.
The truth is that you showA kindness and consideration to other people, so youA can do the same for your wife as well. After you talk to the Lord,A it is also important that you humble yourself and ask your wife to forgive you as well.
Let the Holy Spirit teach you, correct you, and show you how to becomeA more sensitive to the woman you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. I accept responsibilityA for the role I have played in wounding her and making her feel unimportant. As I follow Your leading in this area, please heal my wifea€™s heart andA bring tenderness back into our relationship once more. I accept Your challenge to purposefullyA show the honor, attention, respect, and tenderness she deserves. My wife feels loved, respected, esteemed, andA special because I do the things that communicate value to her.
When is the last time you did something really extra special for your wife toA show her how much you love and care for her?A 2.
Have you been guilty of jesting about your wife in front of others or of puttingA her down in front of the children?



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