Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bernini and Truth

We are headed to the Borghese gallery today. It is far and away my favorite gallery/museum in Rome because it is home to an incredible collection of Bernini statues. If you're not aware of Bernini's work you're, well, you're missing out. His ability to take unformed marble and transform it into living, fluid, moving, and jaw-dropping sculptures is...well...there are no words.

My favorite, odd as it may seem, is the statue of Pluto and Persephone (above). The god of Hades, Pluto, is taking Persephone against her will to the underworld with him and she struggles with all her might. The story that Bernini's work is telling is one of an unwilling young woman battling for her freedom. The way in which Bernini is able to manipulate the marble to show the indentations of Pluto's fingers on Persephone's skin or her tears as they roll down her face is nothing short of genius. What one feels as they look upon this art work is her hopelessness, her anguish, and his brute strength. And I got to thinking. This statue represents so much in our everyday lives. For me, I feel like this can portray sin and our struggle against those things that hold us down or attempt to take us into bondage. It's a struggle for freedom and often times it feels as if we're flailing about trying to escape from that which holds us prisoner. Persephone is us wrestling with sin, reaching out towards Hope, Grace, and Mercy. I don't know. It just struck me this morning as I was thinking about going to the Borghese that this is a good representation of how I sometimes think sin is. Thankfully, though, unlike Persephone in this moment we have a Savior, one who does battle for us, who faced death for us so that we would not be dragged down by sin, dragged down into the underworld. Jesus Christ faced down sin and death on the Cross and overcame it and when we enter into relationship with Him we are set free. Though we may still struggle, we are ultimately free because of His death and resurrection. SIGH...this is good news indeed.

This is a little heavier post than normal on my blog, but as we approach Easter and as I get ready to head out to the Borghese this what God is teaching me. I love that He always finds things in our everyday lives to teach us Eternal Truths. Anyways, happy Easter from Rome and remember...He Is Risen!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend in the sun

We took this past weekend to get out of Rome and head to the coast to one of my favorite towns in Italy, Sorrento.

I first visited Sorrento with my family three years ago. I immediately fell in love with this picturesque coastal town. Sorrento is located on the Amalfi Coast and is perched above the ridiculously green-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It's a quiet city with lazy streets and parks that overlook the sea. Known for being the lemon capital of Italy, Sorrento offers one of my favorite lemon treats---grainte. (Essentially frozen lemonade)

We spent the weekend lazing about and meandering thru the streets of Sorrento, sitting on a bench overlooking the water, getting a pedicure, and eating delicious food. Lynda and I ate at my family's favorite restaurant, Il Leone Rosso, on Friday and I ordered their divine risotto.

All in all, it was a great weekend!! Relaxing...enjoyable...and beautiful. Can we move the program to the Amalifi Coast instead??

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Too fast

My mom's visit went way too fast!! The time, while great, flew by in a blur.

We had a whirlwind week that started with us having dinner with Lynda and her friend at one of my favorite restaurants. It was a lovely evening. Then, on Saturday my mom and I took the bus to Siena for 2 nights. It was such a relaxing time. Truthfully we didn't really do a whole lot of anything other than sitting in Il Campo either enjoying a gelato, a panini, pizza, coffee, or wine. We were merely imitating the locals!

We then returned to Rome where we took our time and enjoyed different aspects of the city. This was my mom's 3rd visit to Rome so we didn't have to do all of the normal touristy things like the Coliseum, Vatican Museum, etc. Instead, I got to show her some of my favorites here like the Borghese Gallery and Trastevere. It was such fun! We even managed to get a movie night with chips and dip in. It was a great visit!! Again, way too fast!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Almost there...

Last weekend we hit up Firenze. Florence for those of you outside of Italy. I love Florence. It's such a beautiful city. We had a great weekend albeit a cold one. There was rain on Friday and sun on Saturday, but a wind that tore right through you the whole weekend. We saw the David, went to the Uffizi, gazed at the baptistry, and soaked in the Florentine culture. This time Lynda and I were a bit more adventurous in our food choices as we tried some new places out. They were great and the best part is they're all near the hotel that we stayed in.

Florence was great, but what's really fantastic is...it's almost time for break. Hoorah! I need it. I do love being with students and this group's been fantastic, but let's face it...when they're here in Rome...I don't exactly get a break. I'm like a mother hen who's always concerned about where her little chicks are. ;)

Plus, my mom's coming! She'll be here on Friday and on Saturday we'll head out to Siena for 2 nights. I can't wait! We're going to have such a fabulous time...just her and me. I wish the rest of my family could come as well, but having 1-on-1 time with mom is always needed and special. And, let's be honest, it's always good to have her here cause she pays for everything. :)
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Time's flying!

I can't believe how fast this semester is whizzing by! We are headed to Florence at the end of this week for the weekend and then next weekend is the start of Spring Break!! That means we're halfway thru the semester. WOW! How did that happen!?

I'm not complaining...I mean with Spring Break comes my mom's visit, May brings friends Anthony/Jill and Josiah, and then June brings Brady/Heidi and then HOME. That's a lot to look forward too. Still, I am enjoying my students. It's been a good semester thus far.
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