Years ago, I can remember being totally mesmerized when I heard the story of molten volcanic ash enveloping an entire city and its inhabitants. Approximately 2000 people living life were now preserved in their final moments for the ages. Mothers and fathers sitting at a table, little ones sleeping…these acts became their last on August 24, 79 A.D. EyeWitness To History.com relates an ancient voice from the past that reaches through time to relate these horrific events. The ash grew to be 16 feet and a once flourishing resort for the rich and famous of Rome with marketplaces, brothels, taverns, bathhouses and a 20,000 seat arena was totally silenced until 1748. The archaeologists found buildings intact, skeletons frozen in time, art and artifacts of every day life. Today, Pompeii draws thousands of tourists. One must past through about 15-20 vendors lining the entrance selling bottles of lemoncello, cameos carved from shells which may or may not be authentic and of course row after row of the famous winged penis which was the city symbol (who knew)! There was no McDonald’s in site though!! Despite all of the tourist trappings, every time I walk through Pompeii, it is truly one of those “pinch me now” moments. I wander through the homes, seeing mosaics and frescoes which are erotic and beautiful still visible after thousands of years. It is a bit surreal to come upon the few frozen remains still on display… the people who were so compelling to me years before. Many of the artifacts have been moved to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples and is so deserving of a visit. It is said that a third of the city still remains covered. In just a span of 4 years, I saw graves carved into stone that had just been unearthed. It continually gives me a reason to return so the story I heard sitting in a classroom may take on new layers of richness and intrigue.
If you ever visit Niagara Falls on the Ontario side and take it in – really take it in, “The Maid of the Mist” is a “must do”. This ride provides the most incredible views, up close and personal! I can’t even begin to describe the beauty, power and the energy…for me it truly went beyond words.
This was also a virgin voyage in a sense…armed with just a Go Pro and IPhone, life was so sweet and easy!
2012 copyright Frances Schwabenland
Water is fluid, soft and yielding.
But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield.
As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard.
This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.
Water, the hub of life.
Water is the master and matrix, mother and medium.
We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.
Copyright 2012 Frances Schwabenland. Images may not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission of Frances Schwabenland.