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, violetsâ€”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. Itâ€™s the one place Iâ€™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. Itâ€™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, Iâ€™ll rediscover the paintings Iâ€™ve created here in Greece buried in my studio, relics of my own life long past.