My Love for Crete
The most beautiful, alive place I’ve ever visited
A beautiful, gorgeous, sunny day has set itself in the north of Greece. I am thinking of the bits of art I am adding to my blog lately. It’s a journey, accompanied by my spiritual one behind the screen. The paintings and the places I wish to go seem to summarize my manifestations. Only behind the green Earth of course. I hope I walk through half the forests of this world.
Art seems to translate the delicacy with which I wish to live. Not always easy for someone with mental illness but I still have my moments of peace. Appreciating beauty, separating with anxiety, and sitting under the sun until it stings on my high cheekbones. The artistic Greek components are scattered all over this country. In hidden moments, yes. But, in every place imaginable. Greece has deep traditional roots and distinguished beauty.
Crete. How can I not honor my little writing corner by talking about Crete? The most beautiful, alive place I’ve been to.
In the summer of 2018 after deciding to take a pause from my thesis, I found a job in Crete. It was a short-term job with very little responsibility, yet a decent amount of money. My apartment was behind the stadium and my view was the local beach. The vast, blue, dreamy sea. Of all the edited videos and sparkly waters I’ve seen, Crete is still the most alive, overwhelming sight in the world.
June was well settled on the island. The sun seemed to be resting right on top of us every day. The temperature was higher than I had been accustomed to. And I am Greek. I’ve lived in Athens’ areas where the sun licks the pavement until it’s boiling. Ha. Strange times, the first few weeks. I kept my blinds lowered for most of the day and consumed fish and yogurt. I am telling you, real bliss.
I began exploring Crete by going towards the place I knew best; the sea. The waters were clear. Natural clear warm waters. Sea urchins were covering the first few steps. Fish would playfully bite my ankles if I took too long to swim in. And then I’d dive in and experience the freshness. Children and tourists were giggling outside the sea, playing with the bees even. Which doesn’t surprise me, tourists love our beaches and we like to have them in the summer. But, in the water, it was a meditation. I kept swimming further ahead then left to right. My body was reenergized. And when I pulled my head out of the water, I saw a piece that God must have loved so much. Crete as she was. The little taverns were being spread all around the coast. Live music was sung and played by gentlemen that had true roots here. Pizza and fresh salad were served. I could make out the oiled tomatoes. One of my colleagues was drinking wine while giggling with a friend. Everything was alive.
In my night walks, I’d stroll around the stores and go towards the big port. With ice cream on one hand and a camera on the other. It was one of the best times of my life. I’d sit for hours in front of the gigantic yachts and try to draw the fish.
But, of all the parts, my favorite one was the people. Cretans are welcome and alive at all hours. As someone who saw nightmares and struggled with night anxiety, I could walk and enjoy the night around safe people. My nightmare was forgotten when I’d see them dancing all together. Every day in Crete was a feast. Every day you were experiencing joy and warmth.
I am dedicating this piece to myself so that I never forget life is worth it, that I’ve lived great times and they will come again.