Click the link at the end of this sentence to listen to Pink Floyd while reading this post (It will help). Pink Floyd at Pompeii
Warning: Non-Pink Floyd fans may have difficulty with this post.
A Pink Floyd Place
Pompeii screams: “Time – Your moments on this rock are ticking away, don’t fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way!” Was Pompeii, perhaps, Pink Floyd’s inspiration for their now classic song Time; influenced by the intense visual of our mortality on high display in Pompeii?
Was this part of the reason Pink Floyd, in 1972, chose to perform an audience-free (or perhaps to the ghosts of Pompeii) concert in Pompeii’s Coliseum-like amphitheater?
I don’t know. But Pompeii certainly would have been all the motivation necessary for them to write their classic song Time, which extols the virtue of using time wisely. Wisely, I think, can mean very different things for different people and Pompeii is the perfect place for introspection.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
Walking the streets of Pompeii felt very different, at least for me than the other ancient sites we’ve visited. I expected just another ancient ruin, with little relevance to my normal, daily, modern life. But Pompeii was very different. It is a moment in time frozen for eternity, a visual memory of a people that used up their time at this tiny spot of earth on this tiny planet.
And this tiny spot of earth exuded a feeling that it was, only yesterday, a vibrant, working city. But in the blink of an eye, nearly 2000 years ago, all was lost. And it begs the question: In the end, was their life a virtuous one; fulfilled and happy? Or were they caught with plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines? They certainly appeared to live a comfortable lifestyle (comfortably numb?); fresh water was piped into homes, food and wine were abundant, the arts flourished and it was a cultural hotbed.
But in the end, was that enough? Or were they left wishing for just one more minute to catch up with the sun? We’ll never know, but there is a lesson to be learned here, and that lesson is that we should use what time we have wisely.
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
And for us, wise use of time is mostly all about the world. Seeing natural wonders, exploring different cultures, foods, and of course wines.
For others, it’s working within their communities for the improvement of their neighborhoods. Yet for others, it’s cultivating a passion for science, writing, painting, or photography. Or it could be a combination of these or other things. The important thing, I believe, is that how you choose to use your time must be important to you and that it must make you happy. So don’t wait for someone or something to show you the way or one day you find ten years have got behind you and you missed the starting gun.
Pink Floyd Alive in Pompeii
And for Pink Floyd it must have been expressing themselves through sight and sound, resulting in their film ‘Live at Pompeii’. The film must have impressed the people in charge of the archaeological site because located in one of the coliseum’s entry tunnels, was an interesting
exhibition of the filming of Pink Floyd’s film, along with subsequent films created by other artists at Pompeii. Pink Floyd’s film was on continuous display.
The song, ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ resonating through and around the structure certainly provided an interesting backdrop while we strolled around the coliseum’s floor.
For the sculptor, Igor Mitoraj, it was about creating sculptures with the dream of having them displayed in Pompeii. A dream that turned to reality.
Apparently, ancient Pompeii was awash with erotic art and Mitoraj continues along that theme, as many of his works, displayed throughout the site, predominately focus on naughty bits. As a matter of fact, Pompeii had so much erotic art that it was removed from the site and hidden away for
centuries as offensive. It’s only been since the 1960s that they can be viewed by the general public in a museum in Naples. Minors are still required to be accompanied by an adult. I guess these ancient folks enjoyed their ‘sinful’ pleasures. Was it time used wisely? Hmmm…
A Glimse of Daily Life
There was also a multimedia exhibit that attempts to recreate normal, daily life in Pompeii, using actual items excavated from various sites in and around Pompeii. Still in the construction phase, it was nevertheless, very interesting and was time wisely spent. Some of the exhibits were actually as psychedelic as the Pink Floyd film.
The New Pompeii
I guess I should also mention that there is a ‘new’ Pompeii where people still live, work, and
basically, live normal lives. Carrie had found us a nice family run guesthouse via Booking.com that was centrally located near the entrance to the ruins, trains, and food. In the end, the city is all about ‘the ruins’, so don’t expect to spend much time sightseeing the new Pompeii.
So was Pompeii worth our time? Yes. Was it worth braving standing room only trains with luggage in tow to get there? Yes, although there are easier (more expensive) ways of getting there. Is Pink Floyd one of the greatest rock bands of all time? Yes. Have I run out of ways to use Pink Floyd lyrics in the post? Yes. My time is gone, this blog is over, thought I’d something more to say. I lied. More photos below.
Hike Drink Live Laugh (Apero Time)
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One thought on “Pompeii, Italy: Just Ticking Away the Moments, Kicking Around on a Piece of Ground”
Skip the film and go straight for The Director’s Cut. Trust me.