Syros Island Sunset | On the top of the hill

Northbound or Southbound? Travelling towards beauty.

Comparing the magnificent has never been a choice.

Alpine is a landscape bathing in frigid beauty. An icy, emerald-colored lake in front of us, reflecting mountaintops of the most paradoxical formations and a few dark pines. The water is silent and so is the wind; the movements of scarcely falling leaves sound like whispers coming from the heart of the forest. Cold it is. The sky is like a crystal; clear, the sun burns our cold skin. Light and warmth are not one and the same; an ancient one but always so new a realization. Tiny violet crocuses with orange sparks in their center, appear scattered among the weeds. Two sprouts and two buds for each root, each one of them tenderly embracing the solitude of the other.

Amidst Ballkan Mountains

Beauty in the Aegean lands is salty, harsh and windy. Dry soil, sharp stones, thorn bushes and reddish grey sand; reminiscent of the rage of the earth when bursting into flames. “This place could have been an alpine forest…” Humidity is penetrating the pores of our skin and its salt is burning. The sea elements evaporated out in open air, decisively permeating our tissues. We are being roasted in nature; steadily, slowly and carefully baked from the outside to the core of our being. White shiny walls in Aegean houses try to exorcise this painful communion with fire, to reflect back the light, to hold on to privacy, to avoid dissolution. Fortunately, they do not succeed. The sea is already inside us and any other human construction. She has infused herself in wood already, in iron, in stone; roofs, windows and walls. Corrosion is evident in every small detail that our eyes ignored at first sight.

A bride is hidden back there | Santorini | On the top of the hill

Deep, cobalt blue water in Santorini washes away the steps of tourist crowds, heavily weighing on her body. Volcanic ashes and cinders now turned into sandy beaches. “How could you ever be born again if you dare deny the fire?” Pure white houses rising above black and profound red stones, old droplets of magma. Obscure remain the reasons why people settle on the top of a fire.

Syros Courthouse | Justice as a Game of Chess

Immense mansions lie in the center of Syros-island, made from an accurate mixture of majesty and marble; reminders us of an old, forgotten nobility of spirit. The grace of the forms and colors appearing glorious, through symmetry and simplicity. No need for marvels.

The full moon evening finds us at the top of the island in the middle of the Aegean. Rising and setting, antidiametrically but in symmetry, the sun and the moon appear in a strong confrontation, yet the bands of colors of light only complement each other harmoniously.

Syros

East and West, silver and gold, from orange to pink and from pink to purple, day and night. Between two options, the third has always been the most valuable. The third, which is only the essence of the confrontation. To choose has never been the aim. The dilemma is but a safe illusion to escape change, metamorphosis, to escape the terror of the process.

An alpine landscape does not compare to an Aegean island. Just like a rose does not compare to a lilac. Beauty is not comparable, just like truth is not comparable. The weigh of understanding falls always on the hand of the one who looks. The meaning of the phenomena exists because of the position of the viewer; where fire meets light and change exists for itself, in eternal movement.

September 2018, Travel Notes

“Nowhere, beloved, can world be but within us. Our life passes in transformation. And the external dwindles away.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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