We are as thrilled to be home from Italy as the "kitties" are to have us here.
I feel myself stretching back into shape, changed by all I've seen and absorbed. Maybe now I better understand why people claim territory, need space. I unwind like a spring, open like a fan and turn like a peacock to spread and view my now more colorfully feathered and fascinating tail.
The trip home went as easily as traveling today does, and yet it was 22 hours portal to portal. It still feels astonishing to fly out of Leonardo da Vinci airport. What would he think of all our creations today?
It was lovely to land and enjoy the drive home and see the bay and cross the bridge and get out of the car and be welcomed back by the trees and plants. We went financially together with three of our neighbors to asphalt our non-county maintained road and it was done while we were gone. We kept putting it off, and last year it was a river of water and mud. We'll see if we planned the drainage well so the water is directed a little more carefully where it is helpful for it to go. Rain is predicted tomorrow so it may have its big test.
On the plane going I read, but on the way back I slipped into movie mode but before that and between movies, I read.
I began reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, a book I picked up in the last museum I visited. He ruled or led rather over a Golden Age in Rome.
Matthew Arnold wrote that Marcus Aurelius was "perhaps the most beautiful figure in history. He is one of those consoling and hope-inspiring marks, which for ever to remind our weak and easily discouraged race how high human goodness and perseverance have once been carried and may be carried again."
Remind you of anyone?
There was an era of more than eighty years which Edward Gibbon called a "golden age for humankind." "If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus." Commodus was the natural son of Marcus Aurelius who became emperor in 180 A.D. So, the Golden Age for humankind ended with Aurelius. And now it begins again.
I read this book and could not believe the resemblance to Barack Obama. Marcus had a challenging childhood, but he learned from his mentors and had incredible tutors. He was trained in the way of the Stoics, and yet, balanced the four philosophical groups in Rome at the time, uniting them and never showing preferance for one over the other.
Read this book and feel the hope that Barack Obama truly can bring the world. It is a Penguin Classic, translated with notes by Mark Hammond and with an introduction by Diskin Clay.
I see it as a must-buy, to be read over and over again. Marcus wrote it as a journal, a guide for himself, and now it guides our times.
Barack Obama is a sleek, modern train, who understands the value of living a good and ethical life in all ways and how that applies to all that is or is not consumed. Barack Obama is Marcus Aurelius returned.
Barack Obama, yes!!!