Sunday, March 22, 2009


A Spell of Peace

Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese (1958; rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984), chapter 9:
A spell of peace lives in the ruins of ancient Greek temples. As the traveler leans back among the fallen capitals and allows hours to pass, it empties the mind of troubling thoughts and anxieties and slowly refills it, like a vessel that has been drained and scoured, with a quiet ecstasy. Nearly all that has happened fades to a limbo of shadows and insignificance and is painlessly replaced by an intimation of radiance, simplicity and calm which unties all knots and solves all riddles and seems to murmur a benevolent and unimperious suggestion that the whole of life, if it were allowed to unfold without hindrance or compulsion or search for alien solutions, might be limitlessly happy.

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