A look into the blue
Text: Sotiris Skourtis
Around this time every year, the hands of Time creak. Like cogs, they snag on the withered flowers that slow down their circular upward course. The soul breathlessly roams across the steepest paths and the vastest horizons, in an endless dialogue with the great charmer Sun that slowly, leisurely, almost in stillness, carries the day down to the sea. Sifneikos, Livadia, Akonitos, Monasteries, Trahilas, Despotiko.
Once again, perched on the rocks. How does one gaze at one’s past from the comfort of the Aegean armchair? Memories resurrected by the light reflecting stone. Sounds and colours embraced in a merry fete. You will wait for the night. Like a sizeable photocell, you take in the sun. The season sets in gently, weaving a web of light with the most mellifluous sunbeams, fluttering in the dark corners of your body, warming your winter solstices. You break out. A hero and a runaway; a hero and a saint; a saint and a runaway. A sinner and a hero. A sinner…
A seagull rests his weightless body on the superstructure of a fishing boat. The breeze blows deep into the soul. The Athenian dust is blown off the hold, and the asphalt yarns that you have stretched out across the city, as if to measure your traces and stature, recede. One needs nothing more than a decent place in the sun and a dash of blue in the eye. The more you treat the lucky rocks to time and feelings, the more the sea reveals its hidden gifts. The eternal Aegean river, a long vein flowing out of the depths of memory, getting nowhere, ripples by before hungry eyes. It just flows away, just like life. Deep inside the soul’s threshing floor, a metallic clicking sound can be heard as, in a rare circumstance, the vector, the mission, the time and the mood clasp together. You close your eyes. You open them again: the sight in front of you unfolds as if from the beginning, as if it was new… No matter what we’ve lived, we will always die with the same insatiable look we used to have when we were born. And Antiparos will always have a way to invite you like a Siren, making you wonder for all these years what makes her so attractive.
It’s the time when the summer’s curtain is raised high. The ladies unlatch the windows into the wide-open day, the boys and the girls give each other unambiguous looks, the fishermen crank up their freshly-painted boats. The first lights in the streets and squares come on, while the first raki tang envelops the surrendered winter defense. It’s time to get rid of closed chests, thick dusty memory coats, promises of a fresh beginning, of many new beginnings, countless new beginnings, all of them along the same vector, and with the same ending. It’s time to put on the shadow of good and load our raft with meaningless go-abouts, last-psychominute decisions. Summer is here stark naked, stark-lit, a body swirling in the waves. Wherever you look, shadows, splashes, melodies, bodies. You will repose.
Last night, a proud red moon sank. It didn’t drown. You didn’t drown. Does lightheartedness drown? Today, the sea, in return for the full-moon gifts, offers its most wonderful ripple, an open meander unfolding ad infinitum. It reaches up here, then slides down to your feet, to the eternal rocks of a distant land. You wind up the rope, then unwind it. You unfurl the sails, then you let yourself go with the tide.
We’ve experienced that much. The rest is scattered away by time’s compass rose beyond where we will ever be. We’ve lived so far. Every ending is a small happiness that’s just been born. We’ve experienced that much. The rest, what there was no time for us to do, comes uninvited at night like wingless flights, like diving without oxygen, like killers, lovers, hikers. And next to them, heroes who are unlike our friends, enemies we don’t deserve, love stories that shook off their ashes, worlds we’ll never travel to. So what we’re left with are these alcoholic nights, the sunlit days, the unfiltered moons, the sweaty mornings, all of them keeping time as a sensation. Like an exhalation after a deep breath you’ve been holding in for centuries.
We know these values. We belong in this world, we feel it, but we fail to admit it. Then again, the attire of your return has already started to be woven with the delicate thread of necessity. That’s what you think makes you feel full, until the real hunger begins to triumph over most of your desires. And, the next year, you will know that a look into the blue and a place in the sun is something that no one can ever forbid you to have.