"I closed my eyes. Things and people moved around me, taking positions in obscure hierarchies, participating in systems I didn't know about and never would. A complex network of objects and concepts. You live through certain things before you understand them. You can't always take the analytical position." Conversations with Friends, Sally Rooney
From our hotel balcony I watch two women take photographs of the street, of things that interest no one else. A small jacaranda tree frothing with indigo blossoms. The pine tree, massive and serpentine, emerging through the gap in a wall that a little white cat leaps over in its nightly inspection of the neighbourhood. An Orthodox church, smooth grey and red stone all over, concealing its sacred mysteries.
One woman shelters from the ferocious heat under the pine. Through sunglasses she observes the street while smoking, like me. Each of us in a complete if fleeting solitude, shut in with our observations and cares.
On fb, Di posts photos of her family foraging for mushrooms. The autumnal landscape is rich with pigment, overseen by a Northern sun. Home. A parallel world, digitally close, but faraway in feeling.
This morning I woke up in a small town on the southern coast of the island. Last night we walked along the beach, stopping to listen to musicians playing by candlelight beneath a trio of tamarisks, warbling like captive birds while Jupiter glittered above the Libyan Sea. As we rose to leave, the cafe owner approached the musicians, komboloi clicking, swaying gently, as if on the verge of dancing.
On the balcony of our studio flat, a small ginger tomcat joined us on the balcony. It settled onto a bed and stayed for an hour, until Daragh invited it to leave. I felt very close to my husband at that moment.