10/13  Marina Piccola, Capri Italy

13 Oct 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

10/13 Marina Piccola, Capri Italy

I awoke the next morning, took an early walk and just couldn’t believe how beautiful everything was.  Every so often I claimed a bench with a view and sketch out some thoughts.  I headed down toward the harbor to catch a bus to the other side of the island.  I planned on seeing the blue grotto.  I couldn’t figure out where to pick up a bus and nobody would give me a straight answer so I decided to walk.  Once I got up the first hill the road kind of leveled off but I had to keep an eye on the traffic heading up that hill because there wasn’t much space for me to walk.  One car pulled alongside and asked if I wanted a ride.  I almost said yes since I had no idea how far I needed to walk, but I on the other hand I wanted to take a few pictures along the way, so I continued on my own.  I passed by one small farm and then another.  Each farm had a barking dog who greeted me at their fence.  When I finally reached the grotto I was disappointed to discover that due to abnormally high tides there wouldn’t be any tours.  I sat down with my disappointment alongside a beer at a bar on the opposite cliff.  There were also two Americans officers on leave who joined me in my grief.  About halfway through the first beer the bartender mentioned that they had towels available.  I understood him to mean I could swim into the grotto if I wanted, so I questioned to get some validation.  Hell yea!  The officers followed me down to the cliff that led to the grotto.  When I reached the cliff there were also four other Americans, two couples, enjoying their vacation in Italy.

Nobody thought that I’d actually do it.  We couldn’t even see the entrance to the grotto from where we stood on the cliff.  It was under water somewhere.  I came there to see the grotto and this was my opportunity, so out of my way.  The group stood waiting to take my picture so I knew it had to be a somewhat of a good dive and not a belly flop or something embarrassing like that.  I held my breath, swam into the grotto and surfaced inside for air.  A marvelous color of blue illuminated below my paddling feet.  While I was treading water inside, my mind entertained images of sea monsters.  I guess that was only natural with numerous images that television had planted into my head.  I found a ledge inside the cave where I could almost sit down and take in the view but I think I placed more importance on keeping those watching up on the cliff in suspense.  I’ve always been someone who enjoyed swimming.  Back home it wasn’t uncommon for me to put on a driver’s mask and fins.  I’d tape a florescent tube to my snorkel, smoke a joint and swim a few miles out into the ocean.  A couple of years prior I had visited a friend in Seal Beach California.  I swam about six times the distance of the pier and while I was swimming something large hit my legs from below.  My heart sank and again images filled my head.  I discovered that it was an automobile tire which had bobbed to the surface.  Even though I knew it was just a tire, I never swam back to shore as fast as I did that time.

I learned that the two couples waiting up top didn’t live far from my home in California.  One of the husbands was kind enough to offer potential employment when I returned home and if I gave him my phone number upon his return to California he would contract my parents to let them know that I was doing O.K.  The two officers had hesitated and I suppose my prolonged underwater venture reinforced any fears they were entertaining.

The two officers were sporting driving equipment and planned on exploring the other side of the island closer to where my room was, so the three of us trekked across to the other side of the island.  While we were walking back toward the harbor something caught my eye that made me look twice.  My mind wasn’t playing tricks on me.  It really was a Tiger.  There was a young lady who had a Bengal Tiger on a leash and was attempting to drag him in a direction it didn’t agree with.  I inquired if I could pet him.  His tongue was like sandpaper and when he licked me it, actual took a couple of layers of skin off my arm.  I was just fascinated with how large he was.  His head was so big he’d have no problem swallowing my head.  She explained a few time that she needed to get going and play time was over.  The thought of actually having played with a tiger lingered in my mind for hours.  I had come to the realization that I had gotten very lucky to find that place and combined with the fact my young lady friend hadn’t returned I decided to kick around that island for few more days.  There was a pair of topless swimmers whose egos needed attention.  I don’t think those officers ever stopped smiling and peaking over the rocks like young school boys.  They eventually packed up and managed to just make the last ferry back to the mainland.  Traveling sometimes can almost be a job and every once and while I needed to sit back, relax, take a holiday and recharge.  So when you locate a place like this, relax and take a breath.  I did a lot of swimming and a bit of just laying under the sun.  I ordered a bottle of wine but that night it was just going to be me and my pen.  It was quiet and peaceful.  I drank into the night and had another excellent meal.  They were right.  That was the place to eat.

3.  Nature in its beauty is complete, simple, elegant and yet complex
I ponder in amazement at its detail and order, the conformity to law
It is the totality of rules, the seed from which it all comes
It encompasses my life and still I look upon it as a stranger, have I lost my way?

Nature embodies this external environment I interact with daily
I am conscious and so taught by nature
But these ideas are not entirely dependent upon my will; they are frequently presented to me against this will
“We are chosen to react and survive by nature’s own pressures”
For there is an interaction taking place, where the environment actually takes the initiative
An environment I shall never know, for I am not equipped to understand.

I must not imagine, that I understand this environment
That I understand the infinite by its true idea, but only by the negation of the finite
In the same way I comprehend repose and darkness by the negation of motion and light
How can it be possible to understand a single grain of sand with no knowledge of the beach, a piece from its puzzle?

I know nothing of this environment, only its appearance.
I can look at the tree and know its shape, dissect it into its parts
What I do not know, is what a tree is to a tree, or to itself
only its appearance.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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