This is not exactly a sparrow, but to me it is […] It reminds me, I mean, of the idea of the sparrow and what it is to me.
Christiane tells us about the times in her life when sparrows saved her. She talks to us about her suicide attempts and about the day that, even though she had decided to end her life, a sparrow made her change her mind.
[It was] a Sunday in ’80-’81 and while I was at Dexameni Square, in Kolonaki, suddenly a sparrow arrived and it was so beautiful. It gave me a message of hope, that life goes on no matter how small I am. [Like sparrows,] I also fight with pigeons. And I tell myself “Christiane, don’t give up”.
Ever since then, she explains, always, even today, whenever she feels she’s reached a dead end, a sparrow appears in front of her, on her windowsill or on the street she is walking on. For her, it is a message that she’s not alone.
This is my message for the sparrow and I always have this sparrow with me and I look at it. But I also have it alive, in my everyday life.
She narrates that she used to have another sparrow, which broke during the earthquake of ’99, when she was still living in Chalandri, as well as another one, from cloth and wire, that her dog ate. She tells us that this one, which she’s had since 2004, is broken at the nose, because whenever she is very sad she holds it to fill her with positive energy. She adds that it probably broke because of moving inside her bag too much, because when she is going through tough periods she puts it in her bag.
But even if I don’t have it, sparrows come to me like angels, messages, I don’t know what you can call it. This is my story and it is a real one.
Christiane was born in Paris, France and lived there for 20 years. Since 1979 she has lived in Greece. Before she leaves, she tells us that this plaster bird is probably a great tit (“mésange”) and that the word “sparrow” in French is “moineau”, or, in slang, “piaf”. She explains that that’s where Édith Piaf’s name comes from – because she’s small like a sparrow.