Monday, September 15, 2008

Then & now

I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds around me: the screams, the laughs and the cries of the spectators, the grunts and the moans of the wounded, and the roar of the wild animals. I heard loud cheers as well as terrified sobs. I smelled the scent in the air: a mixture of blood, sweat and dirt. I could smell death and agony along with the perfume of the privileged. I saw myself standing in the middle of a very large crowd, wearing a long brown corset dress with lace up boots.
When I opened my eyes I saw a different picture than what I had painted in my head. It was a hot day but there was no particular scent in the air. I was not wearing a long dress, but I had on leggings and a pink shirt. None of the sounds that I had imagined were present as I was surrounded by civilized tourists taking pictures of what used to be the Roman Colosseum.
As I stood there inside of that very powerful monument which has proudly survived thousands of years, I felt a deep connection between myself and the history that took place in that very spot decades ago. It felt surreal to stand on the same grounds where famous Gladiators fought each other and wild animals. A place where royalty and the commoners gathered to be entertained by barbaric acts decades ago.
I felt united (or possibly re-united) to the past as I put my hand up and touched the stones which had been touched by men and women from not only a time so far away, yet a world much far away.
I could not help but to wonder if in my past life I was royalty, sitting in one of the balcony seats cheering on the wild animal to shed the blood of the Gladiator (smelling of Jasmine and eating grapes), or a peasant sitting in one of the least desirable seats screaming at the Gladiator to fight (secretly and pathetically in love with him). As I closed my eyes I imagined both scenarios.

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