Assisi, (and honestly the entire Italian campagna) fascinates me because it’s a prime example of a place in a temporal vacuum. In a very big way, it stands exactly as it did 700 years ago, and in a world where the things that I buy are inadequate in four months, this is astonishing.

It’s funny, while I was there, I felt uncomfortable as I recognized that the most amazing thing happens in Assisi. The inhabitants of the region, the same peoples who have lived here for millennia, all tacitly understand that the past stood for something. They know that certain ways of seeing, are worth preserving: that there is beauty in knowing and understanding that certain things are so significant to what it means to be human that they have no choice but to be immutable. –That life in this place is not something you chase, but something that you simultaneously celebrate and contribute to merely with your existence there. It’s the most amazing thing to feel the perfection of all of this start to osmose into your very core. Effortlessly, the place infuses you with itself, and makes you a part of it.

In America this doesn’t happen. Not in the same way do the American people derive such sustenance from putting themselves into a place that instills them with such a degree of vitality.

I realized later that I had sought this feeling for a long while prior. I had looked for it in places that were doomed to never be able to give it. That didn’t have the history, or the spirit to give up. It was this that fascinates me in a way that nothing else has – if for no other reason than that before I didn’t know it to be real.

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~ by crossmd on September 8, 2011.

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