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London and England

First Encounter with the British Museum

By Julia Somit

I sit in the grand hall at the back of the first exhibit, unable to walk any farther.   The bench I slid onto is tucked away at the end of the long rooms. The hall is filled with broken pieces of Antiquity; it flows and ebbs, emptying people like the great tides of the oceans- swaying in echoing noise and muffled by sheer grandeur and magnitude. The height of the ceiling is awe-inspiring.

There is something here, seeped into the stones, the floor, the bench I sit on, and transcribed thickly into the air.  A mixture of subsequence is a fog that melts slowly inside, like a slow sweet poison. A wonderful mixture of fear slides through like a shiver in the cold as ghostly as lives of those who’s work is before you on the walls, and those who have walked these halls for so long surround you.  The breath of the past seems thrown upon you and drenches your insides with every breath.

The insignificance and short span of life is so easily displayed before your waking eyes that inspiration leaps into my mind and my pen begins to work out these words.

The majesty that is history, the very art of it, is so strong.  In a subtextual and subconscious way it flows out of my hand through ink.