The blue wind in Greece has been busy all night.
Unable to sleep from its breathing, I sat through
black hours on the terrace, watching the wind’s
shadow and dance through moving objects—
the sway of dark branches and the vacant bodies
of left-out clothing billowed on an unseen line.
At dawn, the wind turned pale and finally
white all morning, dervish over the cliff face,
Mediterranean air bleaching the stones
in their left-alone, upturned eternity.
The extent of my days became this:
——–hours of Aeolian wind and atmosphere to breathe in,
their permutations of color and transparency.
What is longed for, in our time now, but escape?
Imagine a century in which we have come to crave
loneliness. We are still looking inward, to find
a livable space. How emptiness has now become a positive.
We need sparseness when our daily lives are too full,
pining to sit in any stark white room on a mountain’s isolation,
with no Wi-Fi, no television, to tune into
only the sea and the wind
and write this down with an old pen on real paper.
The world goes on somewhere else—terrorist bombings,
police shootings—news that affects our living
doesn’t touch here. We haven’t heard it. We delay it.
Instead, we live in a vacationed exile on a cold-water mountain
with the wind in Greece to heal us.
We get over the hump of silence to enter silence,
to make silence a friend.
How even the world now wants retreat from the world—
in which we crave kenosis, the one emptying
to God—or at least a break from the world—
a glassine, transparent wind, an atmosphere
moving through our emptying and filling us.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.