Page 19

TRAVEL

exchanged gossip, the houses where kids danced and meals were shared, and temples where prayers were whispered. This is Pompeii. Acres and acres of preserved ruins from 700 B.C. And yet a different kind of life walks here today. And flowers bloom between broken walls. Red and yellow wildflowers bursting with color against the muted tones of fallen walls. Grass as green as ever, choosing to grow on the grounds of so many last breaths. People - from near and far - transporting themselves into another dimension. Nike sneakers and designer bags swaying in between that which is ancient. Phone cameras clicking a million miles an hour. Tour guides desperate for authentic interest, leading groups of all ethnicities around this maze of a city. You can find a daring attempt at harmony between what was, what could have been, and reality. It’s burdensome, but remarkable. Perhaps this is the most confusing depiction of beauty from the ashes to date. So, dear reader, my point is that one can choose to view the identity of this city as the biggest tragedy of all time - a prospering community who didn’t know what was coming. Or, one can choose to identify it as the greatest discovery nearly 1500 years after its extinction, one that has opened up more about ancient civilization than hardly anything else has in history. Or, you can do what I have done. The preferred route. You can identify Pompeii as both of these existing simultaneously. Perhaps this is one of the only times where tragedy and beauty can collectively rest at the edge of humankind without getting too close to the cliff. I fear if we do not choose to acknowledge one without the other then we are missing the bigger picture that is life. We can’t go back and change the past. But we can be thankful for preservation, and archeologists blessed with a careful hand. We can be thankful for what we know that we didn’t before. Then, we can choose for a second to take on the weight of the past. We can choose to acknowledge the echoes of lives lost. And we can choose to take time to marvel at the flowers that bloom in the wake of destruction. Beauty is not beauty without tragedy. Ruins are not ruins without once being complete. A writer’s dream, Pompeii is. A beautiful metaphor for the chaos of life itself. Perhaps it has way more to teach us than we think.

2019 SPRING SUMMER | 19

BLENDING Magazine Spring 2019  

The latest Blending Magazine has been released. The Spring 2019 issue was inspired by the FUA spring conference theme Caterina De' Medici: 5...

BLENDING Magazine Spring 2019  

The latest Blending Magazine has been released. The Spring 2019 issue was inspired by the FUA spring conference theme Caterina De' Medici: 5...

Advertisement