02-18-2016 Journal – Me and Julius Caesar!   Leave a comment

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It’s 630am and I just finished watching Julius Caesar be murdered for the umpteenth time. What a bizarre way to start my day.  I’m badly addicted to the late great HBO series, Rome, and watching it has slowly become my morning ritual. My fixation with all things Roman began in my junior year of high school with the reading of Julius Caesar and my three years of Latin language  classes also helped. Later in college I became quite fond of wearing togas giving me a whole new appreciation for Roman ingenuity when it came to easy-removed clothing.

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Over the years I’ve read almost everything I could find about that time period trying in vain to understand how such an advanced society could become so bloodthirsty and uncaring about human life.  The history of the time gave me a great deal of respect for Spartacus and his minions who rose up and attempted to free themselves from slavery even though they were all killed in the process.  I remain puzzled by the entire era which forces me to keep reading about it.

I’ve heard so many people over the years comparing the situation in this country to Rome’s decline and in some ways agreed with them. The only accurate comparison for me concerned the continuing lack of morality in Rome that seemed to increase year by year with their affluence. The United States seems to me to be in a similar rut but comparing the two in their entirety is like comparing apples with oranges.

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I’ve been reading for the last few months a book written in the mid-1700’s by Edward Gibbons, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It’s a difficult read on a good day as are all books written by so-called intellectuals.  There are as many footnotes as actual text in the book and I wanted to scream out loud before I made it through the first 100 pages. It became somewhat easier when I decided to completely disregard all of the footnotes and just read the actual text. I’ll probably finish reading this cumbersome tome in a few months but it won’t be easy.  Unfortunately there’s just enough valuable information in it to keep me reading to the end.

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I just finished my second cup of hot black coffee and I can feel my energy level beginning to rise. I’ll be spending some time today putting the finishing touches to a print I’ve been working on.  It’s an abstraction of a family photo
taken last Christmas in front of the tree. It’s more of an experiment in the use of vivid colors while working with materials that are somewhat new to me.  It’s preparing me for a more detailed and difficult project that I’ll be starting in the next few weeks using these same materials. As always practice and preparation make for a satisfactory completion of any project.

I’ll watch a few more minutes of Rome then get up to face my day.  I should be safe since the Ides of March are still a few weeks away.

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