October 27, 2008
It has been another full day. We rose early to get to the Vatican before the lines and succeeded. We whisked through security and were soon inside St. Peters. I was starting to feel sick on approach and it worsened within. I could not, will not appreciate what manifests here. The abuse of power is palatable. I went outside rather than throw up.
That freed up the day. We enjoyed the Castel Sant’Angelo as we walked, and a beautiful archeological site which once housed four temples, and is now a place for stray cats who have been neutered and spayed. We hung over the wall, enjoying the cats, and the different places they found to rest and display, knowing what it is to be homesick. We are ready to come home.
We then did something silly, the Time Elevator. Oh, my! It might have been well done, but wasn’t. Enough said. Thumbs down.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch and stumbled on visual treats and experiences, in our wandering and then, oh, my greatest joy. I went to the museum for Keats and Shelley that is next to the Spanish Steps. It was closed yesterday when we passed by, but open today. I was in the teeny-tiny room where Keats died. Tears. He was only 25. The place has views of the Steps and it is tiny, and filled with books. Heaven, as the one difficulty for me here is the lack of book stores. When we finally find one, the only books in English tend to be guide books. This was not true in Parma, but so far, in Rome that has been our experience. Of course, yesterday in our wandering we learned that an incredible cappucino can be had for 1/6 the price we have been paying, and that is with just a few curved blocks away. On the other hand, it is fun to watch the tourists. We saw the Trevi Fountain yesterday and it is truly magnificent, and it is swamped with tourists as are the Spanish steps and yet just a few streets away, all can be quiet. It is great to stroll beween worlds and people and find solitude and crowds. Also, again, here, too, I am entranced with the clouds.
I have been continuing to read and enjoy Oliver Sacks Musicophilia.
Here is a fascinating bit of information.
“We have become accustomed, in the last twenty years or so, to dramatic revelations of cortical plasticity. Auditory cortex, it has been shown, can be reallocated for visual processing in congenitally deaf people, and the visual cortex in blind people may be recruited for auditory and tactile functions. But perhaps even more remarkable is the notion that the right hemisphere, which in normal circumstances has only the most rudimentary linguistic capacities, can be turned into a reasonably efficient linguistic organ with less than three months of training – and that music is the key to this transformation.”
This book is about the power of music. If you know someone with Alzheimer’s, it sounds worthwhile to give them CD’s or an IPod with their favorite music. It may be an anchor for them to hold on a little longer than they might without it.
It is very important that we ask our legislators to respond to the threat of the Republicans again stealing an election. If you haven’t yet watched this, please do, and send letters saying we want something done now. We have one week.