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Author: Lonesome Traveler
Date of Trip: June 2003

The flight back seemed to take at least a month longer than the one out, but I’m home. Here are a few impressions: The whole trip was a joy, but two things stand out in particular—I’m sure you’ve guessed both. The Pieta, of course: its evocation of sorrow, divine and human, is unsurpassed. Then there is the Pantheon, almost ugly, certainly undistinguished, on the outside, but with an interior possessing a serenity that no other man made structure ever has—at least for me. It borders on the mystical. I can’t analyze it; it started out as a pagan temple and is now a Catholic church. But, once inside, even with the crowds, peace pervades.

So, there you have it. What more could any trip, symbolic or otherwise, hope to provide than some sort of balance between serenity, joy, and sorrow? And to those two places I would add a third: Pompeii. On any kind of journey, it never hurts (too much) to be reminded of our mortality.

The Lonesome Traveler

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