June 21st, 2012
I like vacations where you lose track of time. I wear my swimsuit and when I get back to the casita maybe a shirt. I’ve lost track of my watch, my underclothes, my shoes but not my wine glass, not my laptop where I am cranking through chapters and poems, not my book and not my journal.
I like getting my swimming in the morning, we’re drifting back here in the afternoon and writing. I like riding on the motorbike and definitely like eating olives while writing. I’m probably getting enough sun for a decade. In spite of 55 sunblock, I’m getting fairly toasted. It’s hard to avoid. There’s a long tradition of sporty activities in Greece in spite of the heat. The ancient Greeks were all about athletics though unfortunately, mostly for men. They were a very male sort of culture with lots of male on male activities. Now it seems that gay activity is frowned on in Greece although you see very cute boy lovers at the beach.
Haruki Murakami writes four hours a day and then does his run. I like that schedule. Here I am writing about 4 hours/day and it feels great. Not that much time at home.
Here’s what Haruki Murakami had to say about his first marathon which was in Greece and resulted in an insane sunburn. He ran it backwards, starting in Athens and running toward the town of Marathon so he wouldn’t arrive at Athens during rush hour
Murakami: It was July; it was hot. So hot, even in the early morning. I had never been to Greece before; I was surprised. After half an hour I took off my shirt. Later I dreamt of an ice-cold beer and counted the dead dogs and cats lying along the roadside. I was furious with the sun; it burnt down on me so angrily, small blisters formed on my skin. It took me 3:51 hours, a passable time. When I arrived at the finish I hosed myself down at a petrol station and drank the beer I had dreamt of. When the petrol pump attendant heard what I had done, he presented me with a bunch of flowers.
I keep getting into scrapes here and knowing I have to get myself out. I swam to an island yesterday and I thought I wouldn’t make it around the windward side because it was blowing so hard. I figured if I got stranded on the island Mark would find a boat and come get me by nightfall but if I managed to swim my little heart out and get to shore I could be drinking a beer and eating Greek salad and calamari in less than an hour. That’s why I got to shore. It’s great to be way out in the water and know that no one is around to rescue you and you do not have a cell phone. I think we need more moments that we are completely relying on ourselves. I have finished two writing projects and I have three more I want to finish and just a week to do it. But maybe I’ll shift gears here, develop the discipline to write at home even when life wants to intrude. That’s the idea anyhow.