Writing sunset

Nafplio, Greece

It’s almost sunset and this is almost an island. I stare across crystal clear glass-topped turquoise at drop-scene peaks draped in cumulus fog. Catamarans – no sail – drift by and minnows dart underneath. I am outside – below- the protection of the fortified battlements off the end of pier (long walk). Birds skate effortlessly overhead and I remember a time on a dock with a 6-pack of Geary’s summer and weighty take-out containers from Whole Foods.

I enter where it is forbidden to pedestrians and find and abandoned? stairway curving down to the water and a solar-powered lighthouse. And two power-walkers out for their evening stroll.

There is nothing but jagged edges and rippled contours as far as I can see, as long as Eye don’t look back.

The atelier of the gods falls away into the realm of the underworld, and ante-sunset breeze brings with it a particular magic and calm. Almost. Again. The water is tears in my eye. From salt to salt, vibrations from a world away. I forgot I stuck this flower in my hear, hippie child that I am. Or, rather, that I want to be. Hoping I can pull off the careless effortlessly. Mountains are half of me, salt the other. Here they are one but here I am alone and far far far away. I want a part of it – find it, somehow. All over the world and the phantasy of the enigmatic idyllic mountain-farming-seaside-fishing remains. Just that.

The clouds turn titanium and platinum as Helios sinks behind, mountains line up from dark to grey to light to land ho, barely visible on that horizon.

I have two friends now, hard-shelled eight-legged creatures munching snacks off the rocks. I want to share this, lie on our stomachs, our chins in our hands, fascinated by the slow and methodical process of crab-eats-rock. Side scuttle, side scuttle, mother may I? to higher ground and greener pastures. We would watch them get bullied by the tide, scramble to recover but eight legs never fails. We’d debate whether or not to pick them up, chase them back into hiding, but in the end humanitarianism (crabitarianism?) lets us let them be, remarking on their oddities and their funny mannerisms, as they finish their meal and head back into the sea, maybe we watch the minnows or maybe we just be. The sun still sinking slowly leaves a trail of fire across the glass. Look, burn, look away.

(Another crab crawls up right next to me, just inches from my bright blue laces. Nature fascination interrupts my elaborate daydream, and the cool evening breeze interrupts my warm reverie.) The sun – by some witchcraft of atmospheric meteorologic karma – aligns perfectly behind a small cloud pillar (divine manifestation). Its rays jet upwards and wind turbines dot the crest of the farthest mountain, silhouetted. Sky, sun, cloud, mountains falling down into the sea. Taking on shades of blue and gray, 90° away a half moon waxing peeks o’er the ramparts ready to play. Divinity, divinity. Water laps my toes. And in but a moment, the day is gone.

And still the turbines spin against these last warm rays of night. Light.

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One thought on “Writing sunset

  1. Peace of mind, in which one lets be what is, is very hard work. That is because what is actually meant there is peace of imagination and this is the most refractory muscle. Or it is the soul which is refractory, and the imagination is so craven it stoops to every whim of the soul. Which is . . . freedom. I’d agree that looking away is the discipline to be fostered. Jettisoning wishful thinking, by which term is meant staring at something you don’t want until you begin to convince yourself you want it. Starting to not see it. So you must look away, in order to abandon your incantation, so that, in the future, if you have reason to look at the thing again, it will appear as it is.
    I also find solace in the etymology of “obvious”–blocking your way, so you trip over it. It takes great peace of imagination to trip over what is blocking your way.

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