Acrocorinth. One sees the world open out to the horizon, from the span of Attica to the slopes of Parnassus, across the tenuous isthmus, the Peloponnese now broken to an island by the works of man. On the isle of Pelops, taciturn rocks lie uneven as a rumpled blanket, jagged as a broken shield. From this height all sound has been absorbed by history; the shouting of one’s compatriots sinks into the silence, drowned by wind and sun.
It’s deeply complex: it’s not what you see. There’s a tension between what you are and what you know. One must read behind the phenomena, the surfaces; one could take hours, days, months to comprehend one column capital, working over the surfaces with a magnifying glass in search of scratches. This is scientific. Then there’s the romantic view: maintain the established ruins, the picturesque. Sitting on the stylobate of the Parthenon, next to the second column from the southeast corner (on the west side); looking out over the city, the Piraeus barely visible in the haze. Isolation. Balance and the beauty of design. Deception.
The ‘taking’ of pictures.
Delphi – up and about just before six to watch the Pythian sunrise, the bunched mountains and outcrops of rock losing their dusky shadow to the warm necessity of the sun. The trees in the valley seem almost lush, but dwindle to scrub along the harsh and rugged walls. A stillness through everything – even the air scarce dares to move. Then a low breeze, the flags pulse and flutter helpless against their poles, the movement of the fabric like the uneven footfall of an unshod horse upon the dust. And I do not know where to look, to the hills losing their cool shadows, or to the east, where I know the light will be. Slanting, the dull ratcheting of the sun into position, fine distinctions sharpening the angle, and a long line of shadow cast by stone. Then, at last, the smooth curve of the plain blushes under the sun’s caress.
One muddles oneself with thinking, succumbing too easily to the temptation to compare what is with what might be – learn to be insensate, let things, let people, be as they are, and do not expect what cannot be given.