Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Out n About

I just returned from an event with the Good Shepherd Out N About group. The O&A is a group of men and women over 55 years old who accompany each other on field trips almost every month. Today we went to Discovery place to see the "A Day in Pompeii" exhibit, watched an Imax film titled Greece: Secrets to the Past, ate at Brixx and rode the Lynx. It was a nice trip, I find myself sleepy and I'm not sure why.

The exhibit focused on the city of Pompeii and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. The eruption allowed the city to be preserved for many years. In fact, the tag line of the exhibit is "what nature destroyed it also preserved." The last part of the exhibit was a room with eight body casts, or plaster molds of the cavities left by the victims' bodies, depicting the people of Pompeii in their final moments of life.

It felt like sacred space. The presentation seemed so matter of fact. I suppose that's because its easy to accept the death toll of a natural disaster almost 2,000 years ago. It still felt like sacred space and a part of me grieved for these people. The hardest one to see was of a man and a woman lying down. It looked as though the man was trying to protect the woman.

While I'm glad I went, I felt like the Pompeii presentation and the Imax film on Greece failed to be totally accurate. They did not mention either culture's obsession with sex. They do have a section on religion in the exhibit that has Bacchus and Diana and they do mention Athena in the film, but their failure to talk about their cultic rituals and practices bothered me for some reason. I'm sure it was intentional because they knew kids would be there, it just seemed like a huge part of their culture was completely ignored.

I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to those of you who are interested in world history.

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