David Ross (dyvyd) wrote,
David Ross

Greece 22: Eye of Aeolus

My wife stopped at the top of the dune leading down to a beach where sand was blowing-- much less red, but still similar to--  the sands seen lifted by the winds of Mars.  She knew that if she struggled down the side of the dune where the sand was deep and bothersome, she would have even more trouble walking back up again, possibly by then wet with sea spray, possibly itchy with wind-blown sand that had found its way past the unreliable barrier of her clothes.  She sat on an outcropping of rock and sensibly waited. 

"Someone must notify the authorities when you are swept into the bay." she noted. I understood that she meant: "Be careful!"

So I started down with the measured pace of a mountaineer, leaning into the wind, carrying my camera and a sketch book. Soon I realized that the sketchbook was awkward in the blow, so I stowed it away under my jacket. A hundred yards of deliberate trudging later I stood on the glistening bare marble of the isthmus, a marble-cake of swirling colors, a slippery surface whipped with wind and spray.  It was hardly a place to sit down for a picnic.  I took pictures. I experienced moments of near weightlessness, and dropped to my knees when I felt that I might soar off on a sudden blast of wind.

On mild days it was said that one could cross the isthmus to the island of Planitus. But today the waves surged over the rocky path continuously.  Ten minutes on the isthmus seemed like a long time, but I spent a few minutes meditating on the placid relief carving of the God of Wind himself, which occupied the side of a large rock face. Just in front of the carving stood a wee bit of a quiet pool of water, somehow sheltered from the wind and surge, though it seemed unlikely that it should be.  Aeolus was depicted in profile, old style, though probably not carved in the distant past. He appeared Argonaut-like, and somewhat bemused by his power.

Then I noticed myself standing on a swirl of marble coloration that resembled an angry eye and wondered if the true Aeolus was there below and not carved above in the milder work of some sculptor?  It was an eye worthy of Moby Dick.  Then it struck me how often I found myself overlaying my cultural biases on these strange places. Aeolus knows nothing of Moby Dick.  I should let Aeolus be what he is even if I have no means to understand the true Greek-ness of him. I must let him blow and ponder him obliquely, kinetically, wordlessly.

Tags: greece

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