Monday, August 22, 2016
Last we left off in my saga I was swearing and abandoning my sensible account of my first real trip to Rome in order to discuss theology. But we are talking about Rome, so what could be more important than theology?
Well, art maybe, and food. Possibly history, gelato of course, wine, and time. Parks? The sweet life? The river, the streets, the light? But other than art, food, history, gelato, wine, and time, parks, the sweet life, the river, the streets, and the light, theology is easily in the top, um, ten of the most important things in Rome. So you should be warned that I might break out in theology again at any moment.
So there we were, randomly going to Rome because it was the cheapest place to get to in Europe at that moment. And I was nervous, and excited. I knew that it was full of art and food I loved, and as I researched I was only reminded more and more of this, but I also pictured a city of wide boulevards thronged with traffic. I dreaded crossing endless streets. Yes there might be 2,000 year old buildings, and even better 500 year old ones, but they were isolated in a traffic choked mire of vast, freeway like lanes full of unrelenting, excitable Italian drivers.
I was merely confused by a childhood in Los Angeles. It turned out when I went that Rome was a dense cobblestoned city in cold drizzle with black, illuminated ancient streets, full of people and a mysterious glow and narrow lanes, with dead and live ruins weaving through the city like a compliment of veins and arteries. Every bit of history was contiguous and swirling into each other and into simple daily life. It was the city of dreams that the breadth of my creativity had been too small to imagine on its own.
I am one dark misanthrope. But then too there is Rome. And if there is Rome we can not have entirely screwed up everything. Sometimes, while trying to destroy everything, we accrete miracles.
And so it all comes back to theology again. Rome proves people. We are not a myth. And if we can believe in people, god is just an anecdote.