an introduction

As I’m starting this blog to share my writing and life with my friends and readers, I thought a short introduction would be a useful beginning. Adopted into a Gentile family as a child, my original family background was Jewish. Recovering these ethnic origins later in life, I lived both in the church and the synagogue, exploring both worlds. The experiences between both traditions and the research that went into discovering my ethnic roots imparted a vivid view of the WWII death camp trials that destroyed Jewish people. I traveled to many of these camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau where my uncle was imprisoned. Time spent in these areas was invaluable and led, as well, to learning about the current underground groups attempting to reconstitute Nazism.

Attempting to supplement my understanding of the forces that impinged on the history of Israel, I traveled extensively in Greece and across the Italian peninsula, eventually exploring the entire country of Greece a total of six times. Touching on Turkey, my last northern trip extended from Komotini down the plains to Thessaloniki, where I spent time in the ruins of the ancient cities of Philippi, Apollonia, Veria, and traveled down to Delphi and ancient Corinth. In Philippi, I had the opportunity to explore the traditional site of the prison where St. Paul and other Apostolic Christians were held. I had the opportunity to spend several weeks working only in Athens.

During further travels across the entire length of Italy, I found myself curious as to how Rome evolved into the contemporary world. From Milan to Venice and on to Ravenna, I explored both the present and ancient worlds. Eventually I made fifteen different trips to Rome. Studying in the Vatican library and the museum, my research touched on many aspects of the past, including information on what actually happened to the sacred objects in the last Temple after the Romans burned and destroyed Jerusalem.

These explorations into the ancient past have inspired much of my writing. I enjoy writing about history, particularly that which has been shrouded in mystery over hundreds of years. The ancient world had a strong belief in the afterlife and this has also influenced my writing–places such as the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione which displays the bones of more than 4,000 monks. “What you are today, we were yesterday”–as written in the church–urges us to contemplate more than just the here and now but the future and life beyond. Writing is a chance to tell stories about ourselves, our histories, and to explore the unknown.

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Filed under History, Introductions, Travels

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