by cheri block
I’m in Paris now and have just returned from touring. My feet are screaming at me from within my little shoes, so we are resting in our small boutique hotel on the Left Bank ( in honor of Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald, and Dos Passos). Here is a short piece I wrote the day we left Athens while gazing at the Acropolis during my breakfast.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
The Acropolis emerges now, from a collar of greenery and a checkered shirt of small red-roofed homes and apartments. Like an old man’s neck–part lumpish, part shaven–the parapet of rock, brick and marble chunk forms a sturdy but aged support for its crown jewels–the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike.
In the distance the blue Mediterranean provides buoyancy for freighters heading south to Egypt. The motorcycles buzz,well fed but stray dogs lounge and the unemployed, homeless, and young gather in the park below to consider whether to stay or leave Athens.
For a modern girl with her full body tattoo of graffiti, Athens is no Greek myth, but as the Orthodox church bells signal a Sunday service and the clouds lift a bit off the sea, I see 25 Athenian triremes manned by three sets of rowers each, coming into the Port of Pireaus.
A bowl of cereal appears mysteriously in front of me, so I eat.
The noisy main thoroughfare governed by the whirr of buses and the honk of taxis becomes the seven mile walk along the long walls of Ancient Athens in 440 BCE.
The Parthenon’s sculptures and mantels, friezes and Doric columns are restored to their historic splendor.
Citizens in the park stop to talk about Eros.
By a bench sits a middle-aged man with worn leather sandals. At his feet, a mangy shepherd mix stretches his legs in full extension and then relaxes in the Athenian sun.