My Bond... with the Eternal City of Rome

Rome - Rom... Roma...

The Eternal City...

The ancient city... the magnificent one...

After Paris - Rome has always been an obsession for me - having said "Paris is my love - Rome my soul".

Even visiting it as a young student...

I adored it.

But, I'm deviating here... That's not really the subject at hand...

Something amazing... happened while enjoying our cup of coffee on rue Charlot, in one of the many charming Parisian cafés in the "quartier...

My dear friend sitting opposite me in the café is a well-regarded Artist, who happens to be slightly psychic -

Now - I've never, ever visited, nor especially believed in "clairvoyancy"...

But, as my friend kept staring at me... I distinctly felt something unusual... was about to unfold.

Suddenly, my friend asked me "not to move"... her whole demeanour changed...  She seemed to be getting some kind of "vibration"...

It was surreal...

"I see a golden wreath of leaves, worn by the Ceasers of Rome, around your head", she said.

I panicked...

As a person who prides herself on being good at making strategic and usually accurate decisions - I never warmed to the idea of someone - sort of - telling me how my life is going to unfold.

"Non"...

I prefer doing the thinking and decision-making on my own merit - without someone predicting - the future for me.

I asked my friend not to continue.

To be honest...

I was terrified (I did not want to hear more..).

My request was ignored.

"I'm seeing deep burgundy robes - with gold trimming and ripples of gold-spun wedges on their vest.. women wearing their hair in the Roman style of that era"...

"Yes... Yes...", my friend continued - as if in a daze - "there is this golden goblet, embossed with amazing jewels of all colours, shapes, and sizes... filled with dark, deep, red wine".

"I see a Palazzo with Roman columns - opulent... splendour"...

"There are Roman urns filled to the brim with golden coins"...

"Yes, Yes, and a chariot with a magnificent looking Roman, driving fearlessly through a marble arch of victory"...

My friend went on as if in a trance...

My uncomfortable, squirming attempts at stopping the torrent of words and so called - "visions"...

Went unheeded...

She had a compulsion to continue...

But by now, the events unfolding were beginning to - grip and intrigue me...

However, our French waiter interrupted our incredible "reverie" by asking if we would like "encore deux cafés...?"

"Mais oui - s'il vous plait".

Another cup of coffee will bring us back to reality, after the longish session...

It did.

Well... what does one make of this...??

"C'est incroyable... Non...??

What...?

Was I a Roman?

Did I exist in ancient times - in Ancient Rome..?

If so...

It would not surprise me...

My good friend must have seen the past...

Why else would she - in broad daylight - see a golden wreath, gold coins in abundance, Roman robes, chariots, arches of victory, golden goblets - surrounding my being.

This is most intriguing, especially since I had never heard or experienced anything like that before.

My thoughts were wondering back to my first trip to Rome.

My wonderment and amazement at the ancient city's beauty - its monuments - its history.

It dazzled.

It intoxicated me... forever.

Pondering over what my friend had seen (unasked for and unwanted) around my aura, I marvelled at my thoughts...

Why else would I feel so potently bonded with the Eternal City, that is Rome.

Recalling how I gasped at the majestic beauty of the Sistine Chapel, and sighed with amazement at the symmetrical perfection of Bernini's St. Peter's Square - one of the greatest monuments of architecture...

The Imperial city of Rome's many splendoured achievements - their laws, the powerful and democratic justice of the Senate,...

Their building of a sophisticated road system...

They were a truly grand, eloquent, and omnipotent species...

The Romans.

A great and masterful civilisation, albeit the Romans of the past.

Today's Rome is less so...

Its culture has grown old and depleted...

With its slight vulgarity, garish taste, in their love of Berlusconi's "bling" - commercial - common...

It was said recently: "most Italians are artistic illiterates"...

A sigh of great sadness and regret flickered through my thoughts...

A sadness for the glory that was Rome...

That is no more...

And yet, "Malgé tout", Rome will always be irresistible to me.

There is this bond between us...

It beckons.

Nothing will keep me from having our usual "espresso" at the lovely Roman café in the "Piazza Navona", or slurping a gelato while watching the world go by - on the Spanish Steps...

"Trastevere", champagne on the "Raphael" terrace, admiring the Roman skyline, the fabulous rooftops, while watching the sunset...

Breathtaking.

Rome - a city built by the Gods...

"A gift to you and to the rest of the world from a people who are dead - and yet - can never die".

The aura of Rome which my friend "saw", surrounding and enveloping me, suddenly made sense...

Incidentally, I have recently been avidly watching the documentary program on the French channel "ARTE", called "Le Destin de Rome", while also devouring the book by Robert Hughes entitled "Rome".

A coincidence...??

My continued addiction to the Romans in general, and my beloved city of Rome in particular...

Convinced me... that maybe... after all... I have once existed in the "Eternal City" of Rome...

And maybe... I was... after all, a...

Roman.

a.

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