In Rome, do as the Romans do…

by Steven McCabe

two figures

The tourist marvels at the intricate figures and stories on carved stone columns in Rome,

sporetwo figures

Imagining a stonemason/carver scooped up by the Roman Legions and brought as a slave with his family alongside for his ‘new’ life,

columnszo

He pictures the artisan/slave at work chiselling when a small stone chip flies up hitting his eye.

sculpture and no

He lives nearby and walks home to his hut, where his wife daubs at his eye with a cloth, removing the object.

sporecolumnszo

The tourist turns to go, and after walking a few seconds,

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Sees a couple involved in some first aid type of situation.

trailing line

The man is wearing a camera around his neck,

slave 2

And the woman is wiping at his eye with a handkerchief.

aanew face

The tourist tells his traveling companion about this coincidence and she says ‘Maybe they’re not here.’

some sculpture

I’m remembering a trip to Italy in 2001 like it just happened.

d

I wasn’t originally involved in what turned out to be an Italian-Canadian art education initiative: a visual artist and a musician visiting schools in the north (near Bologna) and the south (Pozzuoli – on the coast south of Naples).

wing

It was soon after 9-1-1 and I think somebody got cold feet.

new facetwo figures

In spite of being stressed about the idea of flying I took the advice given, such as, Are you crazy? Pass up a paid trip to Italy?

sporesome sculpture

It was of course amazing.

two new

The synchronicity of this event has puzzled me ever since.

distant past

Archival ink drawing in my Moleskin sketchbook & details of Roman sculpture (Wikipedia)

some sculpture