frozen by fire

“frozen by fire” by Samual “S” Pawlowski @sfinessin of @fiuinstagram

After death do our lives continue, cease, or are we stuck in limbo between the two? This question is central to my exploration of Pompeii. My ideas of Pompeii did not align with what my eyes perceived at the city gate. The haunting nature of Pompeii is one that cannot by realized through reading a text.

Upon steps into Pompeiiโ€™s forum, I entered a world frozen by the heat and firey forces of a volcano. Volcanic ash delicately dressed relics. What tourist perceive as spectacular ruins were once ordinary living quarters of common folk.

Pompeii had approximately 20,000 citizens. While 18,000 escaped the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, 2,000 lives were trapped in time. On August 24, 79 A.D. Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Their lives cemented to the earth by the volcanic ash that fell overhead. Their bodies excavated by the durable hands of archaeologists

Pompeii is the most intact Italian ruin. While the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius remains a tragedy, the volcano left Pompeii almost entirely intact. Frescoes still line walls. The menu of a brothel explicitly demonstrates the sexual freedom of Pompeii. The plaster bodies of individuals capture that Pompeii could still be alive. While these people may be dead, the emotions on their faces and positions of their bodies are very much alive. The story of Pompeii continues to live on through relics that are frozen in time.

Pompeii is in limbo between death and life. As swells of tourists journey down mundane streets, Mt. Vesuvius continues to cast an eerie shadow over Pompeii. To some, Pompeii is a archaeologists dream. To me, Pompeii is a sacred ground: a graveyard that is very much alive. The remains of those captured in ash show the humanity of Pompeii. The humanity encapsulated is key to the sacred spirit of Pompeii that is very much alive!

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