location: Rome, Italy
It's Easter and I'm in Rome, so here I sit after a vagabond day, the soundtrack for which was my camera's shutter clicking nonstop. I'm not sure why I decided to venture down to here for such a holiday, but I had already planned on being in Venice, so without much more than a fleeting 'Why not!' I booked a southbound train ticket and here I am, in an ancient city just bursting with a beautiful, glorious, horrendously bloody history. Growing up attending Sunday School means that most of my knowledge about the Roman empire is based around the stories of Jesus, and the other bits filled in from a weekend in Ashland spent watching 'Cleopatra and Antony', a play which prompted me to go out and buy two different types of gold eyeliner and has forever solidified Cleopatra as the OG boss bitch. Get. It. Girl.
But back to Easter. Perhaps it's the spectacle of it all, or genuine respect I hold for the social justice driven agenda of the Pope. Maybe it's just my intrigue about this grand idea - religion - one that I fully embraced for so, so long, and now can't say fits into my life at all. Maybe it's the fervor of the people that will get up before the sun and wait for hours, just to catch a glimpse of a lovely little man who seems to genuinely wish the world a better place. I hope I can believe in something like they can. Sometimes I think I do - like when I have a particularly sassy feminist day, a la Broad City, or when I meet unfailingly kind people - then I believe in humanity as much as these Romans believe in God. But that's certainly not every day.
So maybe Easter, in Rome, in all its glory, represents not the best of religion but the the best in Belief. A sign that us silly humans really do care about something, anything, and we don't let all the outrageous negativity and cruelty of the world get us down. There's still time for wholehearted, unabashed celebration, where we put on our loveliest dresses and cook divine dinners to share with our most important people. So while I can't get behind the theology of it all any longer, I can certainly get behind the spirit of it. Because believing and celebrating - these are the things Peter Pan taught me held the most magic of all!