Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A brush with Life, and Rome

I began to walk with a solemn countenance, understandable for a man wracked by past terrors and present torment. I hit an emotional trigger this afternoon and it all got pretty gruelling for a while. The past few weeks, in fact this whole trip so far has been wonderful, I've been happy. This afternoon it hurt a bit.

With a splash of water to the face, a pair of trusted and comforting companions on my feet and a fresh piece of fruit in hand I embarked.

The brilliance of life in our world assailed my mood and I almost ruefully smiled and shook my head, 'right you are existence, you are joyful'. I passed many sights on my walk east across the Tiber and into the old city. The vision that shook me to light was a family of four desperately manning their defences against an attack of gelato.

Each person was tested their full measure by the heaping cone of delicious Italian ice cream that was occupying their resources. The distribution of gelato to cone surface area was bold to say the least, one could almost describe the exuberant portion as reckless. Once combined with the presence of the warm afternoon sun the ice Cream pressed its advantage and this content family of tourists found themselves in the most serious of afternoon treat situations.

Licking was combined with leaning, biting with bending and as cameras, maps and day packs treacherously wriggled in their already heavily occupied grasp the only option was to surge forward with bold heart and broad lick.

This snap shot of a wonderful family scene pierced my mildly melancholic mood as I continued to move through the city and my own emotional complexity. I was grateful for the irrepressible magnificence of life that has repeatedly presented itself to me recently.    

I walked onward to one of my new favourite locations. On the back of a small hill, looking down at a long ago drained swampland. I sat and thought, thought and looked.

I am forced, thankfully forced to accept that to live here, in our world, is something that will be a source of joy and pleasure as well as occasional distress and disorder. I can expect the full variety, and importantly I suspect that if I'm open to it, the ice cream episodes will resolutely continue to follow the melancholic moments.


  1. It's good to see your face even when the pain is evident. You show honesty Mike. And the sky is magnificent in its sensitivity.

  2. How does one respond to such pain. As you put it, perhaps it's your lot right now to fully experience the pain and the loss, and maybe it's my lot to watch helplessly and weep some.