May 26, 2014

And They All Went Off To The Beach

Painting The Hora and the surrounding mountains

Go with the flow wherever you are.  It’s wisdom.  When I went down to the bakery this morning for the wonderful fresh bread that comes out of the Greek ovens, Olympias called to me as I was headed back home.  She was on her own at the school yard making strides on the last part of the mural—the Hora.   “Won’t you come and paint with me?” she said, so I went home and changed and returned to the schoolyard.  Now I am getting my first taste of Greek summer heat.  I couldn’t keep up the painting for too long as the heat radiated off the concrete basketball court and the concrete wall and the fluid loss was just too great.  So I had to finish for today.  Off to the beach.  Olympias remembered the film, “Never On Sunday” which ends with Melina Mercouri saying, “And they all went off to the beach.”  So that’s what we did.

A natural face in the rock
Mythic face
The weather is now warm enough for swimming although if you stay in the water for too long you do get chilled.  Five minutes on the sand and you are recovered.  It’s an amazing sea; the water is magical and like silk.  I’m thinking of renting a kayak if I feel motivated enough to put down my book, get off my beach chair, and sweat a little out on the bay.  These next and last days are quite leisurely.  I watch the Aegean Speedlines ferry come in and out of the port and feel some reticence about leaving.  I can stand on the upper deck as the boat pulls out and look back at the bays I’ve visited.  The boat will stop at Milos and Sifnos before continuing to Pireaus where I’ll taxi on to Athens. 

Profile of a man
A natural foot and hand sculpture
Yesterday I spent some time photographing the rocks that form a barrier between the port of Livadi where I live and the Livadakia Bay and beach where I frequent.  I’m taken by the natural sculptures of the stone and the carvings made by the sea and wind.  The stones are like mythic faces of gods and characters from the Odyssey.  Also in antiquity, Serifos was known as the Island of Mute Frogs.  No one can tell me anything about this and I cannot find a record of mute frogs (there is such a species) outside of North America.  But as I photographed and examined the rocks, they seemed like multiple frog sculptures as the wind causes the rocks to be rounded and sometimes form a froglike face.  I wonder if this was the story from antiquity and this is how it got its name.  It may not be, but I like the idea.  The rocks inspired the thought of paintings and certainly sculptures and I’ll be glad to be in a place where I can execute something if the mood touches me.