If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

07 April 2005

The Pope, Colin Powell, and Moments

When Mom and I were in Italy in 1999 (I think it was her first trip to Europe if I'm not mistaken?), we walked through Vatican City and she commented how wonderful it would be to be able to know what it was all like when St. Peters' Square and all the surrounding buildings were televised when a new Pope is elected in the future. Five and a half years later, here it all is. ... though it feels even closer, now that Rome (FCO, in airport code language says she the travel dork) is my home airport. Quite a rush.

A part of me is wishing I was there as it all plays out, if only that I would be fascinated to see the spin on their TV coverage, but the other part of me is greatly relieved to be missing it. 2 million people crushed into a city that is only home to about 1 million in what can only be politely described as an aging infrastructure has got to be an enormous strain on all the resources in the area, roads, surrounding towns, etc. I was there during Holy Week and traffic everywhere was obscene, I can't imagine it today with world leaders and 2 million more bodies...

I've been watching the practically round-the-clock coverage, a bit transfixed (if only for the occasional words in Italian plus the familiar scenery), and I realized today that if I *were* living there, I would be as far from Rome as I could possibly be. Don't get me wrong, the Pope was a great man -- (I'm not a Catholic, so I don't mean to sound like a heretic here, and apologies in advance to anyone I offend), and his passing is certainly a significant historic event (and truthfully, I will do so in my own personal 'marking of time' as well). However, as I realized last night in a truly 'Washington Moment' when I was lucky enough to be eating dinner 10 feet from General Colin Powell and his wife, Alma (after he accepted an award at a dinner I was attending and well-seated at!), I'm ultimately just not a starstruck person. Not a photograph taker or an autograph seeker. So there it is. They put their shoes on one foot at a time just like the next guy, and ultimately what is so much more intriguing to me is discovering the potentially more fascinating story of the life of the person who is relatively unknown.

Enjoy a life of moments, not momentousness.


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