Sunday, April 20, 2008

fortuitous circumstances in ostia

On my second to last day in Rome, Alex and I took a train out to what is now ostensibly the suburbs to what was then an ancient port town, Ostia Antica. We ambled around this poor-man's pompeii, exploring through the ruins like the lost boys in their treehouses and forts. After the capital fell, the arms of roman power began to wither away. This port town slowly crumbled with time and elements, leaving outlines of walls and grass for floors. We found what was the equivalent of the pantheon in this town, a circular and domed temple, and sat there to rest. This place of once grand importance, sitting directly across the via from the senate house and the forum baths, now had long grasses and spring flowers growing untended at its altar. We laid on the soft earth, under the clear and bright italian sky, and closed our eyes. The sun warmed our skin and the lightest breeze kept us from getting too warm. I couldn't help but think that all of the sacrifices done on this spot had motivated the gods to give us such fortuitous circumstances.

It was an entirely new way to understand Rome, and in a way allowed me to be at peace with trying to recreate my experience studying abroad here.

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