The sky is brightest around the edge of antique columns. And no line is sharper than the one dividing a column from the sky that frames it. There is a simple, entirely irrational explanation for this: what separates the column from the sky has been worn down – has become thin and therefore sharp – over time. The sky is as close as can be while still remaining distinct. This absolute separation between the timeless man-made and eternal is never as pure as it is in the ruins of Greek or Roman antiquity. That is one way of looking at it. The other – a different way of looking at the same thing – is that the distant past is brought into sharp adjacency with the present.
The ruins were bathed in a perpetual present – a version of eternity – of which the golden light and stalled moon were the perfect expression. I moved from place to place, arranging the intersections of columns, sea, and sky in new ways, new angles. Perhaps the simplest lesson of antiquity is that, after a time, anything vertical – Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, whatever – commands admiration. Ultimately, though, the lure of the horizontal will always prove irresistible.
(From Geoff Dyer’s essay “Leptis Magna” in Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It)
A good feeling is when you’re reading something you’ve been looking forward to reading for awhile and then realize that so much of it coincides with things you’ve been thinking about or trying to write about.