What started as a trip to see an ancient Acropolis, one fine evening on a Greek island last summer, turned out to be so much more. We went away for a few days for my birthday, and the four of us spent a magical evening chasing goats and light among ancient ruins. My daughter Tate and I (both carrying film cameras) had been trying to get photos of the local goats. We eventually found some and chased them up the mountain, finally reaching the Acropolis at sunset. Miles enjoys doing landscape drawings, and likes to take pictures of inspiring scenes with his phone. And Tom took pictures of all of us taking pictures. This week I asked everyone what they remembered about it. Their answers were… quite varied. So here are four individual perspectives, in everyone’s own words and images, of that evening. Here’s my diptych, and then it’s over to Miles.
Miles: The sun grasped the water, light flooding the sea, the golden rays taking their place between the swaying, dreamy branches.
Tom: It was our last night and we decided to go to the Acropolis to watch the sunset. It’s a ruined city on top of a mountain, and as we drove up to it Kirstin and Tate jumped out a couple of times to take pictures of the goats wandering by the roadside. We saw more of them as we headed up the path on foot to the ruins, and aside from a couple of passing hikers, it was just us and the goats when we reached the top. The view over the sea, the tumbled stones, the braying goats with their bells and, most of all, the golden light filtering through the trees gave the sunset a really mythical, timeless quality. We were all speechless. We crept around taking lots of pictures, and it’s interesting to see how we focused on different things, even though we were all in the same place. It was a magical experience. Then we drove down the hill for a huge fish dinner!
Tate: GOAT FACTS
- goats, like sheep and octopodes, have rectangular pupils.
- in the poem Goat by Jo Shapcott the speaker transforms into a goat and declares “I wanted / to eat everything. I could have eaten the world.”
- the rectangular pupils of goats make it strange to take photos of their faces. the round lens of a camera has no caprine counterpart. the black, rectangular body of an iPhone, however, does.
- Is Photography Not Just Another Way In Which One Can Eat The World?
- Shapcott’s goat has also eaten “an office block [containing] / […] an empty corridor which has / at the far end, I know, a tiny human figure.” if you look into the rectangle of a goat’s eye can you make out the rectangular building with its rectangular corridors? is the tiny human figure still there, or is it just your reflection in the goat’s glossy pupil?