A Year in Rome
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Last night I did yoga with some of the residents - in an area in the basement of the Academy, referred to as the "Crypto-Porticus." I like to call it the Crypto-Crapticus, just because it sounds so much better. Anyway at the end of class, I mentioned to someone that I get so mad after yoga when I don't win. (Obviously a joke...right?) I guess people I don't know don't always get my winning sense of humor....because this woman responded by telling me "oh no, that is not what yoga is about...when you get to be my age you understand that..." And then when I went on to say that I really think yoga should be a competitive sport at the olympics, like synchronized swimming, where people compete in teams of two...she still didn't get it. HELP. New people are scary. But I guess she is probably thinking that about me.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
OK there is so much other stuff to see at St. Peter's but this is what I was into today, right before some joker tried to take my bag. There were way too many people there, people snapping pictures, not even looking at what they were snapping at. It's a great way to avoid real experience, take a picture instead of looking at the thing and then never look at the picture. I think in November the tourists are supposed to be in smaller numbers so I'll go back then.
Monday, October 6, 2008
This peaceful looking sculpture of a decapitated Santa Cecilia (notice her perforated neck) was carved by Stefano Maderno in 1600. It sits at the altar of the church, which was built in her honor in the 5th century.
The story of Cecilia's death goes like this: officials attempted to kill her by locking her in her own overheated bathhouse. The attempt failed and she was then to be beheaded. The executioner attempted to decapitate her three times but it was no go. Cecilia survived another three days before succumbing and apparently she sang her way through the entire ordeal. Her body was found "incorrupt" in 1599, complete with deep axe cuts in her neck; the statue under the altar depicts the way it was found. Santa Cecilia is considered the patron saint of musicians, martyred sometime in the 2nd century.
The church has a crypt underneath it which may have been her home, including the bathhouse of ill-usage. The floors, walls and ceilings are covered with worn away mosaics and frescoes. The floors in particular blew me away with their illogical collisions of rubbed out and eroded patterns. I realized there may be a floor story in Rome - there are lots of under-church crypts due to its rising and sinking habits - allowing for many instances of bruised decoration.