Thursday, 11 May 2006

Freya Stark - The Lycian Shore

As I came down from the causeway through the theatre, a black snake like a shy god slid into the laurel thicket; I stepped over the stones rattled by earthquakes on their foundations, and climbed from terrace to terrace of corn where peasants built shallow walls round the pockets of ancient houses. The full ears, ready for harvest, beat their slight weight against my passing hand, as if they to would spend their weak resistance for the headland's warm and living peace. So remote, so undisturbed was the great hollow, that its own particular divinity seemed to fill it - complete in being as a cup is filled to the brim. There was no judgement here but only the consequence of actions; the good corn filled itself out in deeper places and the bad dwindled among stones, and all things were a part of each other in a soil that someone's building two thousand or more years ago had flattened or spoiled. A fair-haired woman, still beautiful, with green eyes, was reaping. I asked if I might photograph, and she called her husband, who came climbing up and stood beside her, and glanced at her and smiled when I said that she was like the English to look at: they were both pleased by her fairness, and there was a happy friendliness between them. He had the oval face of the Mediterranean, and she the straight northern brows: and the history of the world had washed over Cnidus to produce them both, from the days when their ancestors, in the oldest city of the peninsular, joined in building the Hellenium in Egypt, or sent the first caryatid to Delphi".
Freya Stark-- The Lycian Shore

No comments:

Post a Comment