In praise of lazy mornings

In praise of lazy mornings

Something magical about moments of morning idleness in idyllic spots.  Surely they allow some quiet clean up of over-burdened minds, or just some simple reprieve from restless strivings?  But still, leisure has its rewards here as well: idle mornings of meditation in...
Without going soft

Without going soft

I recently read Thucydides on the beach and was struck by how contemporary, or perhaps just timeless, he is.  Here is a thoughtful reflection in one of his reported speeches; you can love beauty of things and of the mind without going soft.  Our love of what is...
This blue and golden world

This blue and golden world

A lyrical commitment to his own odyssey, self-promised the first time the author sailed past Ithaca.  He made it, a mere three or four decades and a war later.  How could he not, a ‘blue and golden world’ would exercise a strong hold on the soul (mine,...
Of mathematical timelessness

Of mathematical timelessness

Yes, I have a lifelong attraction to the ‘timeless’, namely, things which retain our admiration or affection over centuries or millennia, due to an ineffable quality of not becoming dated, even if firmly rooted in a given time.Zbigniew Herbert has...
The timelessness of Troy

The timelessness of Troy

Golding took thirty years to complete his own odyssey from Troy to Ithaka, with war and other events intervening between his first attempt, in which he passed a few miles shy of Ithaka, and the second successful venture in the early 1950s.  Here he captures the...
What are decades to dreams?

What are decades to dreams?

Golding, sailing past the island of Ithaka, thought he would return and land within a few months.  Then war and life intervened, and it took him more than a quarter of a century.  Which goes to show, hang on to your dreams long enough and they can come true.  Or, more...
Simple pleasures for ever

Simple pleasures for ever

It is unbelievable how good bread and cheese can taste, washed down with some form of liquid amber, when you are on a terrace over a blue chasm, or sitting on a rock or a bench during a hike or a bike ride. I love such moments captured and committed to memory so we...
Sunrise at Chios

Sunrise at Chios

What a dazzling description of watching a sunrise from a ship, contrasted perfectly with a preceding sunset.  The miracle of both, eternal and always new.  But there was no getting back into the berth again, in Chios harbour, and the sun just rising. And exquisite...
A perfect moment

A perfect moment

Golding describes a moment, a scene, on the island of Corfu, experienced during his own odyssey in search of Ithaka.  I like that he wants us to share that moment, as elsewhere he sends a note to the future.  And if you were to describe a moment that you wish others...
Oh you later travellers

Oh you later travellers

I’m always touched by people connecting to us from the past, throwing their light into an unknown future in addressing, in a human and friendly way, people not even born.  George Eliot and Charlotte Bronte do this by addressing readers directly, and you, reading...
In love with an island

In love with an island

After about three decades and three months, Golding finally realized his war-postponed dream of visiting Ithaca.  With such a level of high expectation and anticipation, you might expect the reality of the place to disappoint.  Anything but, it transported him and was...
Intoxicating Ithaca

Intoxicating Ithaca

Golding took several decades to realize his dream of visiting Ithaca, and a few months to make his own odyssean journey there by way of Troy.  Many of his descriptions of this and other Greek islands are intoxicating in their brightness and warmth, particularly as one...
The high Greek sky

The high Greek sky

Not the first time I have seen or read of the soaring ‘limitless Greek sky’.  It has something vaultingly, deeply, coolingly hyacinthine blue about it, making things seem clean, clear and uncluttered. You can stretch your spirit and limbs lying somewhere...
To rejoice the heart

To rejoice the heart

A pretty good list of joy-triggers: clear laughter, kind words and tasty dishes. What else? Tell me three more, or one, or two. And what a comment on Zorba, that his return meant the return of all the things that rejoice the heart. There can hardly be a greater...
A spell of peace

A spell of peace

An intricate description of the effect an ancient temple can work on the spirit – a falling away of complication and anxiety and a spilling over of clarity and hope.  I had such a feeling when a handful of us were allowed to roam untrammelled through ruins and...
Vault into the blue

Vault into the blue

Henry Miller’s Colossus of Maroussi is in some ways a record of a nuannaarpoq-fostering landscape and people, and I see the book as emitting the blindingly clean light of the Greek hyacinth blue sky. And I loved that ‘running leap and vault into the...

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