Out front

galerius' palace

Photo 2009 by Yiannis Psathas, http://www.thessaloniki360.com

 

There’s a square near my home, always filled with people: sunglasses, ponytails, nice t-shirts, excitement, food coffee drinks, children of all sizes and babies in prams, free dogs and beggars. Young bodies moving slow, and hurried phrases; now and then a shout: laughter, surprise, cheers; occasionally a verbal fight.

Hundreds of people sit around the ruins of an ancient palace, the pride of Galerius reduced to broken marble, sand-covered mosaics, fractured memories and rain-stained infographics. But these are simply ghosts, invisible under the bleaching sun to eyes untrained but full of life. It’s only us, the fifty plus, that sometimes meet inside this space of fallen glory. We need the lesson, but for the young people out front, history is something that comes after life’s cryptic imperatives.

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