AD 70 Roman Arena – France

 

I walked into the colosseum and here I was, in a labyrinth of foreboding origins drenched from millennia of laughter, fear, carnage, and visceral stories the monastery-like walls have vowed to keep secret. Arriving early, and well before throngs of spectators entered, I needed a bit of solace to settle the thoughts and emotions that were dueling within.

Putting aside the dark history of the building and all that occurred during the ensuing years, I was in a place where I wanted to draw my own conclusions. Standing on the uppermost parapet, I surveyed this colossal feat of old-world engineering and, in that moment, for the first time, I had a revelation in regards to what humans are capable of.

Having traveled from Southern Pennsylvania to Southern France—an approximate distance of 3,770 miles it suddenly felt as though my journey had just begun. As I walked around and through the arched corridors, my vision lingered on the master craftsmanship of the masonry.

Considering the sheer size of the colosseum, the labor force it took to excavate the site, the artisans who chiseled massive boulders into well-sculptured precisely placed pieces—collectively the site is as an architectural wonder and a testament to the intellectualism and the will of a people who lived 1,947 years ago. The thing I often find interesting with regards to relics which have survived the impact of countless civilizations is they inadvertently spur us to ask jarring questions of yourself.

Siphoning a bit of inspirational marrow from a near two-thousand-year-old work of art, this photograph hangs above my desk where it serves as a reminder to sculpture something beautiful from this thing call life.

 

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