Walking along a courtyard located on the ridge of the caldera in Fira, I find several brightly colored, free-standing doors that have a surreal presence. At first glance, they look like gateways opening up to the sea far below. Each door is uniquely designed and painted. I enter through one and see steps descending to a terraced restaurant below. A menu listing mouth-watering entrees catches my eye, but the prices make me step back.
After Finding a place to sit on the edge of the caldera overlooking the sea, I watch the setting sun display deep oranges, reds, violets—a rainbow of color. Surprisingly, few people are here to take in this magnificent sight. Not far behind me, a jazz saxophonist sets up and begins playing old standards in a slow tempo, perfectly fitting my mood.
I wonder at the improbability of my presence here. It’s the one place I’ve always wanted to be. This moment, as fleeting as it is, is real. As real as the sea breeze. But somehow it feels more like a memory, rather than an event happening now. It’s similar to the feeling I experience looking through some of my old paintings. They are a window to my past, a record of what I saw, what I felt, and who I was at that time. Someday, I’ll rediscover the paintings I’ve created here in Greece buried in my studio, relics of my own life long past.