Remembrance of you
They say you were born when the earth & mountains
turned green and bright yellow,
& bees swarmed the hills to gather flowers
for their Queen,
& goats with singing throats
roamed the rocks.
The blue morning sea and sky
in the moment of your awakening.
You saw the oneness of life,
& you saw the oneness
before your eyes
into so many streams,
& the streams into an unwavering light
I stopped, not knowing how to end the poem. I was sitting alone at Johan's big table, using his old manual typewriter with the Danish alphabet. It was late April and the hills on the road between Sparta and Monemvasia had turned bright yellow with tall flowering shrubs. These fragrant, bright yellow flowers reminded Angelina and me of the Scotch broom growing along the freeways in Oregon. The signing goats came from that incredible evening as the sun was going down and a goat herder with his dog was herding more than a hundred goats into a canyon corral for the night. The sound of the goats in the wind at dusk in the shadows quickly darkening into night, and a starry sky with a crescent moon, held us motionless, enchanted. In the near distance the lights of Yephra twinkled and we could hear the sea lapping the land with soft, dark, unending waves.
One morning, late in February, I had looked out over the old fortress walls of Monemvasia and gazed into the bluest sea and sky that I had ever seen. For a moment I stood still and quiet, becoming a part of the blue oneness that I gazed upon. I decided that this sparkling azure sea could, indeed, have been the birthplace of Venus. Like the Venus that I had seen in a painting by Alexander Cabanel. The Goddess, in all her soft and sensuous beauty, lies sleeping (or perhaps she dreams?) on the ocean froth. Frolicking above her in the air little winged cherubs are blowing conch shells. I could well imagine that she must have been the most gorgeous woman Alexander Cabanel had ever painted. Probably he fell in love with her and that was the death of the artist as a normal man. For a moment I amused myself with this thought. Then it dawned on me how much this blue Aegean sea and sky reminded me of the gem stone that we had found in a shop in Athens. It was a small shop on one of the winding streets that eventually leads one up to the Acropis. Angelina and I walked into the small shop by chance or so we thought. We were looking for a fire opal to have set in silver as a wedding ring for Angelina. Angelina had combed the little jewelry shops in the Flea Market area of London but she had found none that she really liked. Here in this little shop in the Plaka she found what she wanted: a lovely and brilliant Australian fire opal in a simple silver setting. It was a beautiful ring, and, no doubt, symbolic in some way of our marriage. As for myself, I seldom wore jewelry. Not even a watch. I didn’t care for metal things on my hands. So I was just curiously looking at the rings inside the glass case when a blue sky stone, set in a man's silver ring, caught my eye. I had never seen a stone like this before. The blue was as blue as the Aegean Sea but with a hint of white clouds. Like the earth seen from outer space. I asked to see the ring and it was a perfect fit. As perfect as my large knuckles allowed. The proprietor of the store—a man who looked more Turkish or Middle Eastern than he did Greek—motioned for his daughter, who spoke good English, to answer our questions about the ring. She called the stone Larimar and said that it came from only one place in the world. She said it came from a mine that had recently been discovered on an island in the Dominican Republic.
She looked at me curiously, or so I imagined.