Friday, April 14, 2017

Time passes: excerpts form my diary in Greece

a view from my home

The island came alive today. Last night the wind began to blow. It blew away the humidity, which was getting to be unbearable. And it brought a cool breeze. And now everything is shaking with life. The kids have started school today and are running around the island. The umbrellas tremble in the wind. Before this day everything was standing still, as if paralyzed by the sun. As if in varying stages of melting. Skin melting right off the bones of old people. The atmosphere was digesting and regurgitating us all, encasing us all in sweat. The chlorine sky was too bright to look at. I kept my head low underneath a sun hat. Now the wind blows fiercely and we have to watch our belongings. My partner is in a better mood today because of the wind. He says it makes the island feel fresh, even though the wind blew dirt and sand into the house through our window screens.

For the past two nights I’ve observed the moon casting a spotlight on the ocean. I had no idea how the light of the moon looked on the surface of the sea. It is something I cannot recall ever seeing before. And the stars the past two nights were also spectacular. I awoke last night at 4:30am and looked out the window. Through the screen, even without my glasses I could see Orion upside down. The sky was dark and we couldn’t find the moon. It was perfect for star gazing.

the moon's reflection in the Aegean sea

Last night at dinner with my uncles and aunts, and I caught a wifi signal and made the mistake of checking my email and getting sucked right out of the present and into the life I was missing. I also made the mistake of checking my work email, which was a source of even more stress. But I am glad this experience helped me realize that no one around me is on an iPhone. I’ve grown so accustomed to seeing people stare into their phone screens all day, that I almost missed the beauty of being present. 
Of sitting at a table with people where no phones are present. 
Of someone asking a question and instead of looking it up on my phone, I just say, “I don’t know.” 
Of someone just staring into the distance, zoning out over some thousand-yard bird-stare, instead of zoning out into the deep space of their cellphone. 
I’ve been without internet for days and I don’t miss it. Time just passes here. 

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