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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Farewell, Rome ~

It was my fifth visit. I leave you now, Rome, attached to you in a new and different way. I have your geography in my mind, your streets in my feet. And beauty of your jewels, seen with older hankering eyes, sparkle in my memory.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fontana di Trevi ~

We threw the coins with the right hand over the left shoulder into the fountain hoping for something. . .

Roman Ruins ~

I am fascinated more with the thought of ruins than with the ruins themselves. I keep repeating to myself the words: See what wonders can blossom on ruins!

Roman Remains ~

We passed up going into the Colosseum, instead went to the Baths of Caracalla on a beautiful Saturday morning, sat on a bench silently looking out at the colossal ruins and the umbrella pines and our imagination ran wild in the ancient past.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scenery in Rome ~

From the embankment near Castel Sant’Angelo I looked down and saw a man in a boat with a long pole in the middle of the Tiber, fishing.

Roman Street Café ~

It was the most expensive piece of cake I ever had, dainty and cut thin. But delicious. It was my birthday and I was ready to splurge. $8.82 apiece.

Dining in Rome ~

The savor of the food was heightened by the suave manner of male waiters who always seemed to be letting us know that we were someone special.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Via Appia ~

We saw Vespas scooting along the Via Appia, and just when I stopped to take a picture of them, an elderly couple walked past us, holding hands.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Forum Romanum ~

While looking out over the Roman Forum it was as if a tidal wave of history was looming out behind the columns and about to flood over me before I could comprehend what I saw.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Inside St. Peter's Basilica ~

Martin Luther stood here amidst the opulent grandeur mulling over that fact that to pay for it indulgences were being marketed feverishly all over Europe.

Piazza del Popolo ~

It was in a small church. Two young girls with knapsacks walked up the aisle, genuflected, entered the pew. Bowing their heads they knelt before the Sacramant in motionless prayer. Seeing them doing that made me feel closer to You there than anywhere else in all of Rome.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica ~ Pietà

Her head bent, looking at her misery she holds on her lap. She is composed. She accepts, she consents. It seems as if she has breathed out, her heartbeat diastolic. She is all inward, she is weightless. Michaelangelo has focused all her sorrow in her face. In capturing her suffering he has made a universal image of the noble beauty that only suffering can bring about.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Inside St. Peter's Basilica ~ Papal Monuments

It was a lavish sculpture, four persons depicted: Jesus Christ at the back, St. Peter and St. Paul in front of Him, then the Pope whose monument it was out in front, kneeling, facing me. I stood there for a long while pondering what that monument was trying to say.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica ~

. . . and the three old nuns wearing wimples, bent over with age, tilting their heads to the side, painfully, trying to look up.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica ~

Entering in on this space literally took my breath away. Utterly amazed at the magnitude of the proportions, the lavish extravagance of this church. It is the work of men's hands: a Michelangelo, a Raphael, a Bernini, a Bramante. The overwhelming power of their art shook me as I stood there, just another spectator, on a small square of marble.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Trip to Rome ~ The Eternal City

As we were approaching the airport I looked off the my left and saw a miniature Rome lying there in the distance, stretched out in the evening sunlight like pebbles on the beach.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prolonging Christmas ~

And still, in my memory Christmas lingers on. The lights, the fire, the smiles, the glistening eyes, candlelight, the letter. I hold on still.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Exercise in Dying ~

Lying down at night and falling off to sleep is my exercise for my own death. . . I mean — the letting go that is involved . . . and the trust.