A Sunset in Greece

“Do you know what I like about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say nothing, I mean NOTHING, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate, sugar and milk, it will get thick. It is such a comfort” – Julie Powell from Julie and Julia.

When you find yourself alone in a new country, surrounded by strangers who don’t speak your language, amidst a culture you don’t know much about, with an unreliable network, you are pretty much standing at the precipice of a disaster. While travel teaches you to embrace the thrill of this uncertainty, and forces you to become fluid, sometimes the feeling of not having any control can be very unnerving. 

What do you crave for when nothing around you is certain or familiar?

What you do crave for when nothing around you is certain and everything is unfamiliar?

I long for a feeling of certitude, to know that there are some constants in life that are unwavering in their actions. Is it not ironic that we crave for ordinary moments in extra ordinary circumstances, while in the lull of our mundane lives we constantly pine for the exceptional? Like sometimes when I am away from home for a long time, I crave for the smell of fresh flowers from my garden or the pure delight of running my fingers through the soft fur of my dog, while his tummy gently rises and falls in a soft, predictable rhythm. But when I am at home, starring hours on end at the unkind, blue light from my computer's screen, my heart aches for places in the world I haven't seen and people I haven't met. "Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent." - Sir Arthur Conon Doyle.

One evening I happened to be in Zakynthos on a boat with a couple of strangers.

One evening I happened to be in Zakynthos on a boat with a couple of strangers.

They seemed nice, but they barely spoke any English. That week had not been particularly easy for me. A lot of things had gone wrong, plans had to be remade, accommodations had to be reorganized and I was not in a particularly great place. My mind was burdened with thousands of questions and impending decisions.

I stared blankly at the ocean as strange syllables fell on my ears in vain. It felt like my insides were twisting themselves in stubborn knots, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not shake off the weight of that feeling.

Suddenly a big wave shook the boat and jolted me to the present.

Suddenly a big wave shook the boat and jolted me to the present.

As my eyes focused on the sinking golden ball in the sky, a huge feeling of relief ballooned in my heart and a strange sense of comfort dawned upon me. The mere knowledge of what was going to happen in the next ten minutes and the undeniable certainty of it was enough for my heart to unclench.

There’s so much we don’t notice, right? Have you ever felt glad just to know for sure that the sun rises and sets every single day?

MATTER

“You may not believe in magic,

But don’t you think it strange,

The amount of matter in our universe,

Has never slightly changed?

That all which makes your body,

Was once part of something more,

And every breath you ever breathe,

Has seen it all before,

There are countless scores of beauty,

In all things that you despise,

It could once have been a shooting star,

That now makes up your thighs,

And atoms of forgotten life,

Who’ve long since seemed to roam,

May now have the great honor,

To call your crooked smile their home,

You may not believe in magic,

But I thought you should know

The makings of your heart were born,

Fourteen billion years ago,

So next time you feel lonely,

When this world makes you feel small,

Just remember that it’s a part of you,

And you’re a part of it all.

- e.h.

You are never truly alone.