Hannah Singh: Italia as Text 2022

Rome as Text

“We Rise, We Return” By Hannah Singh 

From this Earth, we rise, and to the Earth, we will always return. To feel the stone beneath your fingertips, the stone that was once touched, placed there, by the Romans, to be transported to an ancient world-a truly indescribable feeling. 

I place my palm to the stone, feet planted in the dirt under the aqueducts on the Appian Way, and I see the world around me change, shifting out of place. As if the curtain of time slips past me, revealing an ancient world I can learn about but will never truly know. To be stuck in this exact moment in time is both a curse and a blessing. To have missed their era of acceptance, of non-judgment, of openness, yet be spared of their atrocities. Both the best and the worst of humanity, only the remnants left before me. 

I am constantly reminded that every moment is fleeting and nothing is guaranteed. For thousands of years, the Roman Empire thrived, conquered, created, yet they too fell to the trials of time. But I sit here in the ruins, I see their magnificent structures crumbling before my eyes, I see the flowers growing from the crevasses in stone, and I am reminded that life continues on. Life has continued beyond the fall of the Romans, who believed they were invincible, and life will continue beyond me, who has made peace with the fact that I am not. From this Earth, we have all risen, and to this Earth, we can all return. 

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