Cycladic villages – how is it that they never get dirty? In Athens, age drips rustily down the walls; on a Cycladic island, the white of village houses is brighter than white, beyond pigment, beyond age. They are like sugar cubes divided by a wet knife. Some islands are ringed by fire but not on fire; they are both dazzling and cooling. White doves tiptoe on the ledge of a white houses. Villages wind mazelike with steep stairs and plastered passages, bursts of bougainvillea and jasmine.
Then there is the blue. If Homer were to describe it now, he might still say that wine-dark sea is agitated, full of shifting, intertwined patterns. Underwater you can see the chain of sailors’ shaped phrases, one hooked to the next. Blue that dissolves as if in a dream and blue as solid as heaven. If Homer were writing now, he might be sending postcards or texts about Ulysses’ long travels. Saw the blue – unfenced. Full of monsters and simmering grudges. Blue – to die for.