Gazing north from a Cretan shore
Having just returned from the beautiful Cretan idyll, and now here, back in the northern lands of the Deira, i find myself slowly readjusting.
Greek food, wine and hospitality; A daily pre-breakfast swim in the sea and plenty of reading!
As ‘idyll’ implies; Ideal but sadly unsustainable.
‘Kafka on the shore’, as audiobook, was a backdrop to this. Then i opened Solnit’s musings on being lost. Sitting on the sand, gazing into the blue of the distance across the turquoise sea, reading about her time in the desert, abundant with lizards bearing azure stripes; and my mind wandered to Miss Saeki’s lizards in that far off room, the ones that became the two haunting chords in her song when brought back to this world.
A man on the beach gave me his book after finishing it; ‘Origin’, a blockbuster by Dan Brown and in it i read about Yves Klein’s paintings of blue, as the protagonists romp through the Bilbao Guggenheim. Then Solnit expands on this and i read of Yves’ love of the grail legend; a story of disappearance, since those knights who are pure enough to enter its presence do not return. Only the incompletely transformed come back bearing tales.
She tells of the great influence Heindal’s ‘Cosmogonie’ had on his life, having discovered it at the age of nineteen. He read this book again and again over the next decade; and I was reminded of Ouspensky’s ‘A new model of the universe’, which i discovered at around the same age and also read from cover to cover many times.
Such focus and preoccupation seems more difficult in our current time of information abundance though. The creative often appears to come through most strongly where there is a paucity of resource; Where things have to be used in unfamiliar ways and ‘gaps’ improvised. The Creative impulse readily appears when dealing with workarounds and limitations.
I gazed from the shore, lulled by the blue of distance, thinking how Kafka’s descent into the labyrinth echoes Crete’s most powerful myth. Such themes; dark nights to be traversed by the soul and tales of ‘there and back again’ are often thought to be the sole remit of questers and seekers, but I suspect we have already descended!
Strange birds, long ago, have eaten the breadcrumbs we carefully laid out and now, not remembering, we have set up home.