Although many of my books are set in Mexico, and I write frequently about current events there, the years I spent in Greece also live in my heart. So I can’t help worrying about how the Greek economic crisis will impact the friends who still live there.

The crisis grows

CNN and Fortune and the Wall Street Journal can explain what is going on in Greece better than a mystery author, of course. But I know that Europe is tired of bailing out Greece’s years of poor economic decisions. As a result, Greece is likely to default on the billions it owes.

Deadlines are looming. Greek banks have closed, the Greek stockmarket is in a death spiral, and tourists are being advised that their credit cards might not be welcome because people need cash now. Watch CNN’s coverage here. Fortune magazine predicted the current trouble back in April.

Greece’s new government was elected on a “no knuckling under” to Europe platform, which was popular and patriotic. But the consequences of not building a bailout partnership with the rest of Europe were possibly not sufficiently understood.

Related post: One heart, three tragedies

The art flows

One friend who is in Greece is Amalia Melis, a writer and artist whose Aegean Arts Circle writing workshops are held annually on the Greek island of Andros. She has channeled her energies into sculptures made of found items that symbolize what is going on in the country. I keep promising to help her set up a website to showcase her absorbing works, which have been shown in juried shows in both the US and Europe, as well as her writing and photography.

She recently gifted me with one of her sculptures, an assemblage she called “Carmen’s Mystery.”

sculpture by Amalia Melis

The curved pieces of iron are old bedsprings. The disk in the center is perforated metal and I wonder where it came from; what curious bit of European machinery it once enabled. I love the contrast between the flash of the shiny strip of steel and the old darkened disk. The bead looks to be tiger eye; a nod to Detective Emilia Cruz’s fighting spirit, perhaps. The overall circle is not wholly complete, smaller circles branch off and create more motion and intrigue.

No matter how crazy the Greek economic crisis gets, when I look at this piece of imagination, I have to believe that the talent and spirit of the Greeks will carry them through.

Related post: 10 Ways to Think About Greece

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