Thursday, January 5, 2023

Rome Journal: What Season Do You Identify With?

American Academy "Under My Thumb" (photo: FLevy)

In New York, the onslaught of winter with biting cold whipping across black ice is betokened by the dead evergreens, wrapped in plastic, which line the streets. Rome doesn’t accede so readily to the end of The Nativity. Christmas lights are everywhere well into January which together with the comparatively mild climate can create a disconcerting feeling of discombobulation or timelessness. You don’t know if Spring is coming early or a late Indian summer is leaving Christmas yet to come. While January on the East coast of America usually signals a dark gray period of hibernation, Rome’s seasonality is ambivalent. There's a beauty to being neither here nor there in this age of ambiguous pronouns--when the question of identity itself is continually up for grabs. Ancient Rome, of course, tested the limits of sexuality before anyone ever contemplated a sexual revolution.Whatever generalizations might be made about Italian manners and mores, there’s a labile feeling in Rome during the early weeks of winter. Visitors to Rome may not only begin to question what season it is, but what sex they choose to identify as, in a world historically rich with proclivity.

read "Sperm Count: Speaking of Erections" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" by The Four Seasons

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