Spring has sprung, and with it, my wanderlust has returned. Not satisfied with the budding beauty of the Cambridge spring, I have begun to look abroad for inspiration. Itching for summer, I wonder what the air feels like in Greece, Turkey, or Morocco. I realize I’m impatient, but all the subtle greenery makes me crave is the heat of summer and the rush of hot air.
There is something about natural beauty that seems to always ask for more – more heat, more greatness, more overpowering beauty. The Romantics wrote of the sublime – the overwhelming appreciation of a natural phenomenon, tinged with awe and fear. This is the experience many of us seek through travel, although we do not always find something so humbling.
Our newest feature article, by freelance writer Vanessa H. Larson, takes us to Cirali, a small town in Mediterranean Turkey. Larson is seeking the Chimera, a self-replenishing burning rock that has spawned many myths and inspired countless writers. However, Larson is interested in one novelist in particular: Nazli Eray. In 1983, Eray published Orpheus, a surrealistic retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Larson walks through the August night to rock formation, searching for a place to locate Eray, and in the process, she rediscovers her own sense of awe and wonderment.
I, too, have recently found myself staring at rocks, looking for answers. Just last weekend I visited Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, Massachusetts, for the first time. Reading about the Chimera, I am reminded of this incredible natural formation – the violent, rocky gash that opens out of the earth. While I can’t offer forth any great epiphany, I can say this: whether you are able to travel far, or only have the time for a local jaunt, there is always the opportunity to be wowed by nature.
Join us this week in celebrating the intersections between mythology and landscape (and wishing for summer’s heat) by reading The Chimera, A Mystical Journey of Nazli Eray’s Orpheus.