After we landed in London, the world turned upside down or I turned inside out. After 30 hours, like Lazarus, I crawled out of my cave and emerged into the wet rain of a London afternoon. I walked to the train station with Mark. At Heathrow, I ate eggs and felt sorted by the time we boarded the plane to Athens.
A bus ride to Syntagma where the Congressional Palace crouches over the square and beggars and pigeons sleep in the dark passageways. In every city now, the homeless wait. When we wake, we have yogurt and honey on the terrace looking out at the Acropolis and I sneak Mark’s bread to sparrows. We walk the city, go to the Acropolis, but don’t pay 40 EU to go in. Athens has many shops, some with wonderful cotton clothes and jewelry, others with kitsch; it’s a thicket of shopping. We walked through the Athens Gardens, the long lavender walk of jacaranda shedding onto the sidewalk, the ponds of turtles.
At the Acropolis Museum, Joan Breton Connelly discussed her book The Parthenon Enigma, and afterward we found Greek food with Adrianne Kalfapolou and Natalie Bakopoulos who wrote The Green Shore.
At the harbor thousands of Syrians live in a tent city. The women and children wait and the young Syrian men churn with the waiting. I run through the camp to the window to pick up our tickets. The boat to Patmos was full of moon and watched Athens disappear and across the dark sea we wicket and flit and then at 3 am we’re in Patmos the island crowding up close to the ferry.
We can’t sleep; we sit up on the wall where the lemon tree is full of fruit and the jasmine is just blooming in the cool morning air. Tucked under the wall the cat waits for someone with food and we comply. We walk to the bakery for bread and I eat apricots. We sleep after we’ve made sure the sun is rising.