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the thing about time and space...
A shot from a driving car of the sea off Kythera.
I have recently come back from one of the most amazing weeks I have had in my life.
I had the opportunity to spend that time with a friend at the private house of his friends on the island of Kythera, just south of the Peloponnese peninsular. It sat perched on a mountain top towards the north of the island and was reachable only by car, the last kilometres resembling a ralley stage more than a road.
I didn’t realise it so much while I was there but once I resubmerged myself in my normal reality upon my return to London, I noticed a marked warping in my perception of time and space during that week.
The time issue was not new to me. I had experienced periods of time before that were so intense that they appeared to be both over so quickly and on hindsight to have lasted forever – mainly because everything before them had moved so much further back in my memory than things that would have happened the same length of time in the past under normal circumstances, that the progress of time appeared to have bulged in a way and stopped being linear.
On this occasion, I additionally felt a similar – seemingly contradictory – change in my perception of space. Due to the isolated location of the place and its complete lack of TV, radio, wifi or at times even a decent mobile phone signal, space contracted. There was no contact with the outside world, no twitter, no emails, no news.
On the other hand, the sheer physicality of the surroundings – the stifling heat that hit you like slap in the face the moment you stepped outdoors; the sun that seemed to burn away anything nonessential from an intense blue sky, the landscape, and the human soul; the seemingly ever-present soundtrack of cicadas, except when they suddenly stopped (and the sudden quiet would seem stranger than the cacophony they would start again a while later); the fact you couldn't walk through the grass as in its place there were spiny and thorny shrubs that scratched your legs without mercy - all these things heightened the senses dulled by stimuli usually coming from screens and speakers or being filtered out by force of habit.
I was so much more aware of my surroundings because of all these that suddenly this contracted world I found myself in seemed to expand within itself, given all the new things to discover every minute of the day.
A very enriching experience, and highly recommended!
You can see more pictures from this trip to the beautiful Greek island of Kythera by clicking on the image or following this link.
Keywords: holidays, perception of space and time, philosophy, photography
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