Michelangelo sibyl from the Sistine Chapel


maria frederick prussia

I dreamt that I had a tattoo in the shape of two Greek letters on my right arm. The two letters were beta and epsilon and I have no idea why. Neither of those two letters have any real meaning to me and they certainly aren't my initials or of anyone else that I know.


Since I've been back home, I've tried not to fall into my old routine and so far I like to think have been pretty successful. Oh, I knew that my life wouldn't be completely different when I got back, but I did want to change a few things. Just the idea of returning home after a three week stint in Europe as though nothing had happened seemed so sad to me.

By changes I don't mean suddenly learning two foreign languages or seeking out new and exotic foods at every chance that I get. What I was hoping is that I wouldn't let my vision get so narrow anymore. There are days when it seems as though my life has reached some strange plateau that I can't escape and I have to remember that that isn't true. All that I have to do is quit my job and go somewhere else to start fresh.

People who want to spend their whole lives in one part of the world is something that I can't understand. Some people never even venture beyond a small radius of where they were born and that makes me wonder if this is fear that keeps people grounded or if they know something that I am missing.

Here I am thirty years old and I still want to run around the world as though I were on some kind of National Geographic expedition. In fact if someone offered me a job with the magazine for a year, I would gladly throw away my current job. I wouldn't have to think about it all. I would just go.

Quite simpy I want to see as much of this planet as I possibly can before I die. For me traveling is living and I have no intention of stopping. Australia will happen next spring and then the following year I'm going back to Europe and or perhaps Russia.


Thankfully the massive spending spree that I was expecting to do once I got back home hasn't happened yet and it might not happen until sometime next month. A large portion of my spending money went toward paying my fall tutition. There isn't that much left to spend on electronic enhancements for my computer.


I've been reading The Habsburgs Portrait of a Dynasty by Edward Crankshaw and I have to say that I am impressed. My primary reason for getting the book was so that I could learn more about Maria Theresa and her effect on Europe, but the chapter devoted to Charles V and his struggle with Martin Luther caught my eye first and now I have to read the book from the very beginning to the end. These were some amazing people that shaped Europe for centuries.

When I was in high school I loved history. Freshman year was world history packed with foreign names and places. Other people had trouble memorizing the dates and events, but for me it wasn't a problem. The logical progression of civilization made sense to me.

Then during my sophomore year I was given a biography of Harry Truman to read and I loved it. History suddenly became far more personal and reachable. These were real people that lived and breathed in the same country where I lived.

Unfortunately high school was followed by two awful semesters of history in college and I completely walked away from the subject. It wasn't until I saw the Ken Burns documentary on Lewis and Clark that I got back into it. Now Crankshaw is making European history come alive for me.

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