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Old Aug 18th 2014, 07:49 AM   #41
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Great stuff so far…...
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 08:28 AM   #42
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Back to Rome and death.



Or maybe just Rome first. From the Coliseum it's a short--almost nonexistent--distance to the Forum.





Then onto more stupendousness:



My mind wandered to earlier in the morning.











I was thrilled to see that no one was on the backside of the Spanish steps. I hoped, for a second, that perhaps the other side would be just as desolate. Proof that hope is as worthless as the air it's printed on.



Maybe it's the stress of travel. Or maybe it's the retardedness of the world. I'm not complaining that not a single person was on the backside. I enjoyed my isolated-from-tourists-walk. But then I crested.

This is the least nauseating picture I could post of the Spanish Steps. With a little fuzziness it's almost cute. Couple looking over junk, but still they try to be as much in love as they think they should be.



I avoided this area before, but thought, 'ok, what the hell...have to experience before you judge. Awful.



Now I can judge. This is about the only guy who got it right.

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Old Aug 19th 2014, 08:41 AM   #43
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After hours of riding freely through nature and seeing both the best of what man and the green countrysides have to offer, cathedrals seem so ostentatiously oppressive, as if walking out from under the bright blue (or grey or white) sky into a church was like stepping into the architecture of plague. Yes, there is an awe when walking into a cathedral, but it's at the expense of powerlessness, weakness and suffering. Could just be me, but freedom and self-assurance suffer anytime I step into hallowed halls, whether in Florence, Rome, Milan, Orvieto or Siena.
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 08:42 AM   #44
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This was the main reason I came to the steps, the final dwelling of John Keats.



Contrary to how it's commonly used today, the word Romantic, especially when applied to literature or art, has nothing to do with swooning or hugging and kissing. At the core is the the desire to experience and to explore. (Which is why we are all here on ADV, no?) Tennyson best captures the essence of the romantic in Ulysses: "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

In part, the Romantic movement was a rebellion against the age of reason and in part it was a rejection against the church. Both science and religion provide certainty, or at least the illusion of clarity. In doing so, we are robbed of experience. Science tells us how the world works, religion what it should mean. Both de-emphasized individual experience and neither celebrated or encouraged the emotions that provide depth to experience.

The awesome and the mysterious and the unknown are all around us. John Keats, coined the term “Negative Capability” to describe this type of perspective and it's what motivates a lot of the inmates here on ADV. Depth of experience, getting more from life, sucking the marrow. And perhaps, as a group, we are not quite as comfortable to have an unchanging view of life (Keats refers to this as “egotistic sublime”) as your average person. Keats crystallizes this notion with the term, 'negative capability'--or, the willingness and the capacity to embrace the uncertain and the mysterious. A formula, if you will, of transcending the circumstances that form the settings of our lives. Perhaps that's what makes travelers different than tourists. The former yearn for new experiences, the latter simply want to repeat past experiences in different locations.

As a tragic aside, considered among the greatest poets in English literature, Keats was 25 when he succumbed to tuberculosis in 1821. He'd moved to Rome with his friend Severn, who noted that Keats would sometimes weep upon waking to find himself still alive.

He was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water."

Unfortunately the cemetery had shut down for the month when I visited.





So we'll just have to make do with a picture from my previous visit.



I had no idea at the time, but my visit to John Keats' grave fell on the same day the actor who played John Keating (in reference to Keats) in Dead Poets Society, ended his own life. Robin Williams, RIP.

They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

(From Dead Poet's Society.)
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 05:54 PM   #45
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I Ride: Panigale 1299 (base) Panigale 1199 sold, MultiPP&scrambler-sold,DVT multi 1200,use of MT09sp,gxsr750
Wonderful poet, like so many writers tragically taken from the world in youth. Strange I had quoted some Keats this morning to one of my patients. He replied 'that sounds beautiful' I have never heard him speak clearly before it was lovely to hear him speak. Then you post this about Keats!
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 07:02 PM   #46
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Great stuff Dennis, keep it coming. I was just at some of the same spots as you, perhaps at the same time. It's always an interesting dichotomy being in Italy during the height of summer tourism, which is why I normally avoid it - but, then again, how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to be annoyed by these bus-touring miscreants. You've put it into perspective beautifully.

All the best and stay safe.
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Old Aug 23rd 2014, 02:41 PM   #47
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Long day, longer days ahead. Pics and stories are backing up....all I can say at this point is onto Orvietz, Siena and Florence.

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Old Aug 23rd 2014, 02:44 PM   #48
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How many miles now Dennis???
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Old Aug 23rd 2014, 04:35 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
Long day, longer days ahead. Pics and stories are backing up....all I can say at this point is onto Orvietz, Siena and Florence.

Nice places!

/me back to USA
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Old Aug 24th 2014, 12:40 PM   #50
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Dear antihero I'm the Italian administrator of the forum dedicated to the panigale, the streetfighter, the diavel and the multistrada (the forum link is www.desmoriders.it)..and I would like to thank you for your report. It made me excited for what the passion can make us do. The members of my forum are distributed over all the Italian territory..it would be a pleasure for us to help you, I'd you need it, and to meet you just for a beer and for a small chat on your amazing trip. So please write me in private and let us show you how we think that you are a great man. I live close to Milan, I know you had been here some days ago, but, as I said...a lot of my friends and forum members live in Rome
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