Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Art—the meaning of the pattern of our common
    actions in reality. The cloth-of-gold that hides
    behind the sackcloth of reality, forced out by the
    pain of human memory.

    ― Lawrence Durrell,

    (Note: A variation on Natalie Goldberg's "I remember..." exercise is to focus on just one person, place, or event. This is my Memoir adventure for today, focusing on a summer I spent in Greece, on the island of Rhodes. Ten minutes! GO!)

    I remember the sandstone-walled Templar Fortress, rising out of the island like a memory of the Crusades – a rather hostile structure, which has stood the tides of time and history.

    I remember the small harbor that smelled of seaweed and dried fish, where the great Colossus of Rhodes once stood, long considered the Seventh Wonder of the World.

    I remember the pebbly beaches, glistening with multicolored stones, and the clear turquoise Aegean sparkling in the sun, advancing, receding, advancing with low, hushed waves.

    I remember walking through the marketplace in the hot humid island mornings, watching sun bronzed farmers unload their zucchinis, tomatoes, basil, celery, and carrots, along with large bunches of succulent ripe green, red and black grapes.

    I remember the seductive aroma of Turkish coffee, freshly baked French bread, croissants, sugar cookies, and huge pans of freshly made baklava drowning in amber honey.

    I remember the small orchestra that played by the hotel pool during the sweltering afternoons, and how they would play the same pop songs over and over again, (they loved the themes from the James Bond movies) but no-one seemed to mind, and the Russian lead singer, who took me on a bicycle ride around the island.

    I remember the darkly handsome jewelry vendors, who hawked their glittering yellow-gold chains and bangle bracelets, shouting and waving their arms at anyone who slowed down to look at their wares.

    I remember studying German with Frau Jacobsberg, and taking long walks with her on the waterfront, she in long pale chiffon lavender dresses – she only wore lavender it seemed – and me in cut off jeans and a huge straw hat to protect from the oppressive sun, while we discussed Rilke, Goethe and the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

    I remember a long, lazy afternoon at a small white sand beach on the other side of the island, where we swam, drank fresh lemonade and ate ripe peaches, apricots and plums. The air smelled of roasting lamb laced with garlic, fried fish and the beach was aflame with umbrellas in all shapes, sizes and colors, screaming children, and exhausted parents who slept.

    I remember walking along the waterfront after sunset, when the whole island still glowed soft orange pink, and the tavernas came to life with music, laughter and enticing smells, and there was a timeless sense to it all, a feeling of being suspended in history, adrift in history, while the kerosene torches along the shore flickered awake, announcing another long summer night.

    (Photograph by Alex on Santorini, in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.