On October 1st, we left the relatively peaceful and relaxing Greek islands and spent a week in Athens…and then moved on to Rome…hence the title of this blog, Crowds, Museums and Ruins. And we often said to one another, “Oh my!” to the crowds, to the largess of these two incredible cities (Athens and Rome), to the crowds, to the rush and crush, to the museums, the crowds, the ruins, the crowds and, yes, all the people. In these cities we sometimes felt over-run, in the way and sometimes like we had to fight for a chance to see. And again I was reminded of a thought from Cousineau’s book, The Art of Pilgrimage when he wrote, “I don’t believe that the problem is in the sites as it is in the sighting, the way we see. …imagining is required of us.” And indeed, as excellent as most of the museums and ruin sites we visited are, the use of our imagination was extremely important in order to get beyond ourselves and the sun, the crowds and our fatigue and imagine a more complete society of people who lived, loved, worshipped, argued, and learned in the communities we were now seeing as ruins.
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