The weather has changed overnight
Abruptly, this last protracted summer was over
its jubilant sound still travelling through the wind and rain
suspended yet hushed
a vibrating pianissimo carried on as if by an unseen pedal
Frail memory of light extinguished barely a day ago
and our common tasks seem suddenly exalted
in the murmurs of this subdued glow
our moments impregnated with a meditative seed
How marvelous the finality of shift
that makes the present appear to have always been the present
that stretches the fabric of the passing over and beyond the timeless
I can hardly recall the sun today.
Once there, take your time
Listen closely, you know the answers you are looking for
Don’t fret, nothing you ever do matters other than
Happiness, by Sarah Wilkins
Loving, or not loving
Do not always be right
Do not strike that out from your list
Create yourself, daily
This past weekend we travelled to Rion, a seaside town near Patras where our friend G. lives with her family. It was a much needed break from our life in Athens. After lunch on Sunday I sat outside in their new backyard, which comes complete with a small and deliciously refreshing orchard, for the few brief moments of afternoon sunshine on an otherwise dark and rainy day. The lemon trees were resplendent in the sunlight that seemed to bounce off the festive yellow skin of their fruit. I was reminded of my time in London when I had had an epiphany regarding the citrus tree: I realized one day that I had actually missed the merry sight of them, their fragrant mark upon my routes around my native city of Athens-
And as that precious midday light blazed on, my mind eventually turned to Lawrence Durrell and his magnificent description of Greek light in his Greek Islands. He writes: “[...] in the depths of the light there is blackness, but it is a blackness which throbs with violet – a magnetic unwearying ultra-violet. This confers a sort of brilliant skin of white light on material objects, linking near and far, and bathing simple objects in a sort of celestial glow-worm hue. It is the naked eyeball of God, so to speak, and it blinds one.” What a relief it is these days to go back to those poets and writers who fell in love once with Greece, Durrell, and Miller – who loved the country for her present, however shabby and inglorious this must have seemed compared to her classical past.
I also got to thinking of Byron and his prophetic image of Greece as a corpse her modern champions attempted to bring back to life.
She was one, I thought to myself, and is now perhaps the ultimate cadavre exquis!
There is nothing like the young child
to show you how time passes, to attest
the haste by which it changes us
make you realize how helpless
the human eye is before its furtive
infinitesimal brushstrokes that endlessly rework
who we are and love-
and how memory is that strange erratic thing,
that elastic space in which alone
humans are allowed to exist
basically unchanged throughout their life’s history.
Our age of innocence is over
sealed out of our reach
as if in a box that contains
another self with different gestures
and different thoughts
mostly, a different light
to illuminate the eyes
-never knew so much thought and emotion could have gone into a single colored surface (learned a thing or two about Mark Rothko today-)
-my work takes me places, but I rarely let it show me around. There’s some wealth to be had and enjoyed there. It’s time I indulged myself a bit in that respect. Otherwise I am just reducing myself to the status of the word-spitting machine.
-I can hear my baby boy calling out ma-ma-ma-m as he tries to go to sleep- his little arms around me fill me with a warmth that has no parallel in experience or language
-lifestifling lifestyle – well, only if you let it-
-thinking of so many posts I’ve seen lately about fashion and interior design –the right cocktail ring and the ultimate kitchen towel: none of the two are among my strikingly lackluster possessions it seems – I came up with this splendid idea: how about taking pictures of the things you cannot, will not ever, afford? A pair of shoes immediately comes to mind, not to mention all the rings and coats, and, sadly, books, I can only dream about…
-and yet, my baby boy is calling out ma-ma-a-ma-m…
I should be editing my about page-
It wasn’t that long a while after those lines had been written that my little boy came rushing into the world, a preterm baby of 32 weeks, as small as, perhaps even smaller than, a kitten.
For 47 days we visited him twice a day in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. He is now at home with us-
Holding him in my arms yesterday a strange thought came to me, which was not so much a thought as it was an image, not words, definitely not words, but a visualized sense of him walking away toward some unknown fate that excluded me. The pang was like nothing I’ve felt before- or perhaps I have, for his dad in those first years when being in love was a majestic drama-