The Daily Minutiae

March 8, 2006

It is stormy and wild on the island tonight. Everyone just left my flat, after we stuffed ourselves on revithia and xorta and Pook’s magnificent eggplant pilaf. And cheap red wine. It’s been a cozy-up kind of day, I woke up early and headed to the computer lab for some early phone calls and then spent a few hours in figure drawing.

Drawing a live model is really an amazing experience, especially when you’re lucky enough to have had the same model for months. It’s amazing how much the human body changes in the two hours I spend contemplating it while I draw; or amazing how much my perspective changes. Afterward I am always exhausted and groggy, but my hands are loose and confident and drawing seems natural for awhile.

After class, Seamus and I braved the windy seafront to go see the Cretan woman and buy provisions. He lives on the other side of the bay, so I invited him to use my kitchen to make his lunch while I fussed with my cameras, trying to load film into the Mamiya I’ll be shooting with this semester. It was impossible. So I waited until after the history of photography lecture was over, and asked my professor to load it for me. Then I went downstairs and taught a photography class. If I were not a walking mass of contradictions, I would not be able to call myself human.

I wasn’t really teaching the class, I was just introducing everyone to the equipment while John is in Athens – but it’s fun to illustrate the dichotomy. I am so confident digitally, and so woefully perplexed by the machinery of traditional photography – yet utterly absorbed by it, fetishizing my camera collection to the point of distraction, making a mysticism out of what is really a very simple process. At any rate, the damned thing is loaded now, maybe I can take some pictures with it. And the digital photography students are nice and thoroughly perplexed, so I’m satisfied with a job well done.

After my introduction, a chipped bust of Socrates and I spent some quality time together while I painted him. I rather gleefully announced after my studio time yesterday that I was painting Socrates, to which no less than three people replied “Oh? How does he like it?” It was rather a futile effort though – I spent fifteen minutes in my painting studio, and five people walked in to say hi or ask for computer help, which was very funny. Sometimes it’s like that. Other times, I wander around for days feeling lonely and wondering where everyone is. Feast or famine.

Brittany texted me asking if I wanted to have a rainy afternoon watching DVDs, so we did that, wrapped in wool blankets and drinking tea while I got up every five minutes to stir the revithia I was making for dinner. Then the kids slowly found their way to my place one by one, and Seamus read us the first two books of the Odyssey, and I sent text messages to Josh while I listened to the rain, and after dinner was over and most of the wine was gone I looked outside and noticed the storm clouds glowing white from the reflection of the moon on the marble. After that, how I could I resist going outside into the night for a bit?

  • CATEGORY: Greece

One thought on “The Daily Minutiae”

  1. Oh! You’re shooting 120?! I’m assuming, since you said Mamiya. Those are the generic version of the old Zeiss’ right? K. used to only shoot on 120 film when I met him (it was a generic version of the Rolloflex). This beautiful old twin-lens reflex that I adored – and he for having one. He was the only person I’d ever met that wasn’t shooting in 35mm. It’s gone now. Lost in the time between when we first met and the fateful trip through S.F., but not forgotten.

    How is it, shooting on one? I never actually got to try it, myself…

    It stormed here all day yesterday, too. An downpour of slushy rain that turned into a sheen of beautiful ice-crystals by morning. Not very fun to drive in, but beautiful nonetheless.

    Miss you. Dates are looking more and more like 5/23 (or 24) through 6-7 (or 8). Travel of tickets dramatically increase after 5/25 because of Memorial Day, but we’ll see what happens. Love you!

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