I meant to post this yesterday right at the moment of the Autumnal Equinox…oh well…
The summer has ended, autumn has arrived. Outside it is a brisk 27C (80F) at 22:00 (10PM) and the aroma of wet burning leaves fills my nose…well, no, not really. But the temperature is correct. Let’s face it, I do not miss the chilly, damp autumn from whence I came.
I was on the Saronic island of Aegina last week for a get-together with like-minded individuals, many of whom are close friends. It was a nice 4 days of conversations, coffee and pistachios. Aegina (Egg-in-a) is famous for the little nuts and, since my friends and I are all a little nuts, a good time was had by most. It was also the weekend for the annual Pistachio Festival and the paraleia (seafront) was lined with booths and sellers of every permutation of pistachio of which one could imagine. Skip the obvious food section and go right to body scrub, candles and even, I kid you not, interpretive modern dance. I brought back a few kilos. Of nuts, not interpretive modern flammable body scrubs.
Aegina also boasts (and rightly so) the Temple of Aphea. I lingered for an extra day so I could go see it and it was worth the wait, despite the crushing heat and humidity. Today’s header image is from that ancient place.
The world is going to hell in a hand basket but you don’t need me to tell you that. Read the news. Or not, that is your choice. Burying one’s head in the sand sometimes seems to be as effective as almost anything else these days.
Here’s a simple hypothesis. We (the species) have come to another tipping point and like all junctures of import, the voices always seem loudest and the urgency always most dire. Not that these aspects don’t apply–they do. The paradigm is turning and the shift is most fearfully felt by those who would seek to stop the wheels. The conservative, sectarian, reptilian-brained dinosaurs will always cry the most as they are sucked into the tar pits. They will fight back and struggle in the most violent of ways while the more clever, more evolved beasts watch on with a sense of…I don’t know, a sense of something. Not satisfaction, but understanding perhaps. “We are lucky. It could be us in the mucky mire,” they say to themselves. It could still bite us in the ass, by the way, so keep the wheels turning, push the shift and blossom. And stay away from the edge of the tar pit and don’t take this chance for granted! Grab hold of a spoke and give it a heave-ho!
I have joined a photography group here on Paros. It is group of “amateur” photographers from the local community who get together and talk about their work, have coffee…I like these folks for a few reasons, the most important being that they have few preconceived notions about themselves as “artistes.” They work, play, take pictures, take their time, practice. They support each other and have fun. I like that. I will always remember something my father said about writing…”Once you are known as a literary writer, your career is finished.” He was right. I try to avoid the folks who traipse about with high-priced gear and have little or no sense of the machine, it wide functionality and tell people “I’m a photographer” when really they are just playing at it. The paradox is that to be an artist, one must have artistic sense. I am not sure this can be taught, but one can be guided. Perhaps “artist” is the wrong word. I would rather be an illustrator of moments, a tracker of time, a collator of instances. Then nothing else matters. I can do what I want. I am free.