Greece Is The Word
I am in Greece.
I don't really know what I want to write about Greece yet, and that has prevented me, largely, from writing. I keep thinking, "I don't have a crux. I don't have point. There's no purpose to this writing. I will end up just listing."
You can see all the fish, all different sizes, at the bottom of the sea and the top when you go to the islands. The sizes are: teensy, small, medium, large, gigantic.
Feta cheese here is totally unlike feta cheese in America. So is yogurt, so is bread, so is olive oil. Forget pretending that any of these things even have the possibility of having any resemblance.
My parents try to speak Greek to everyone, even though everyone speaks perfect English. I wonder if I will grow up and do that too.
See how that's just a list?
I love it here; it's beautiful. Everything is ancient and falling apart, and nothing is in English, which makes you feel like you're in a dream, or your on drugs, or both, and you just have to let go and give in. But I find it difficult to Be Here. My mind keeps drifting to other things, other places, other times entirely.
Where I will be in ten years, and whether I will be married, and if I will be married, how I can keep my wedding from being dumb and lame. (Arcade? Live chickens?)
Who I would like to be traveling with, and whether they would be good travel companions, and since I can't travel with everyone I want to be traveling with, whether I should buy them presents, or if that is a bit much.
How I want to be having sex.
Explaining it to a friend in America (over the Internet, in GChat, because it's night here, but he's just starting a day at work) I said that I wanted to be here, but I didn't; that there was always something missing; it wasn't ever perfect. He said, "Do you know about Archimedes' Impossible Shapes?" And I said no.
I couldn't find "Impossible Shapes" when I Googled it, which makes sense, because then he said, "Well, I don't think they were called 'impossible shapes' exactly."
Then he said (and I am stealing this, shamelessly):
but he found a bunch of shapes that had a center of mass that wasn't on the object itself
so equilibrium for those objects was really only theoretical
or only existed abstractly in math
actually, a horseshoe might be one of those shapes now that i think about it
since i learned about them, i've thought it made a good analogy for life
and feeling balanced
because it's not something i've ever been able to apprehend in practice
only in theory
like balance is somewhere out there, and i can define it, but i can't hold it
anyway... that's what you made me think of
And I liked that. Balance is somewhere out there, and I can define it, but I can't hold it. Greece is an impossible shape. It's archipelagoes and islands and isthmuses and little coastal teeth -- like in the mouths of the thousands of feral cats around here, all twisted this way and that. And it's an impossible shape because it's perfect here, but it's not, because perfect isn't a real thing. It's only perfect if you catch yourself drifting for a minute, and you look out the window, and you see the water is blue, and you know your feet are the right temperature, and you hear a crackle on the boat speakers, and you live inside that, just for a split second.
But most of the time, it's all impossible: everything in life is so beautiful, but it's all so far away from itself.
Math obviously exists to make moments like these smaller and less terrifying.