Captain Corelli’s Goats

We nestled Bedouin into a little anchorage off the Island of Ithaca for a couple of days where we hung out and relaxed. After the storms and wind from the week before, we decided to catch up on some sleep and set about on a serious R&R campaign of reading, swimming, and playing cards.


One late afternoon, I was out on the trampoline enjoying a calm breeze and a good book—Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (which I highly recommend). The book is set on nearby island of Cephallonia, but Ithica, where we were presently anchored, seemed to do her best and attempt to accommodate my literary endeavors. The island seemed more than happy to act as a proxy setting by compelling a small herd of goats on the nearby shore to suddenly trample through the olive orchard. The bells, strung about their necks, rung out in a harmonious symphony as if on cue, just as I turned the page and read about goat bells clattering in the distance.


Reading a book near its actual setting is like breathing air into its nostrils—it comes alive and you feel its pulse.


Today was a slice of heaven; relaxing and reading, and a dozen or so swims. And while I may not have heard Captain Corelli’s Mandolin today, hearing goat bells in the distance while simultaneously reading about them, seemed just as thrilling.


If you love to read, I highly recommend Louis de Bernière”s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Here’s his spectacular description of Cephallonia to win you over and giving this book a read:


“Strangers who land here are blinded for two days. It is a light that seems unmediated either by the air or by the stratosphere. It is completely virgin, it produces overwhelming clarity of focus, it has heroic strength and brilliance. It exposes colours in their original prelapsarian state, as though straight from the imagination of God in His youngest days, when He still believed that all was good. The dark green of the pines is unfathomably and retreatingly deep, the ocean viewed from the top of a cliff is platonic in its presentation of azure and turquoise, emerald, viridian, and lapis lazuli. The eye of a goat is a living semi-precious stone half way between amber and arylide, and the crickets are the fluorescent green of the youngest shoots of grass in the original Eden. Once the eyes have adjusted to the extreme vestal chastity of this light, the light of any other place is miserable and dank by comparison; it is nothing more than something to see by, a disappointment, a blemish.”



Yeah…it’s that good.

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