I have long been drawn to the Tang dynasty poet Li Po’s way of describing our predicament and pointing towards its remedy:

Since water still flows, though we cut it with swords, and sorrow returns, though we drown it with wine; since the world can in no way answer to our craving, I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishing boat.

I follow Li Po’s example in my fashion: after getting through another dreary English winter, and another round of coping with the too-muchness of things in my working life, I have come once again to the Greek islands in order to restore myself. ...


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