09/11 Milan, Italy

11 Sep 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

09/11 Milan, Italy

I found a good cup of coffee on the square in front of the Duomo, sat there and caught up on my journal while I watched Milan wake up around me.  The morning light danced past its arches onto the adjacent building.  It was a breathtaking sight, absolutely gorgeous, a very unique structure.  I spent some time queuing inside and then sat along the edges of the square.  I discovered an excellent restaurant just not far from the Duomo and relaxed to a bottle of wine.  I spent a day roaming around the Lago Di Como and visited the Santa Maria Delle Grazie so I can say that I have seen Leonardo’s last supper.  I suppose its popularity came from the controversies surrounding it, mirror image, dagger, challis, that type of stuff.  It was in very poor shape.  The hostel was across town which provided me the opportunity to wander around some of the residential areas.  I enjoy taking those long walks out of the city, and eventually I found myself with my back to a tree inside one of the city’s many parks.  They always provided a fresher perspective on the people who called this home.  I had a couple hours to burn before I could check in for a bed and fell asleep.  Slowly people started wandering up and once there were eight of us I began debating over what to have for dinner and ended up convincing the group that by pitching in a little money and we procured all the necessities for sandwiches and alcohol.  We were all on a budget so any suggestion that saved money was embraced.

We were all hanging around talking, when somebody interjected the topic of religion.  These types of discussions usually take one of two courses, either there’s an effort to exchange ideas or it’s used as a vehicle to attempt to convert or justify somebody’s belief system.  Somebody once said that the problem with an opinion is that everybody has one.  It is my opinion that if you can’t first agree of the definitions these types of discussions sometimes can be like reading a map; it doesn’t do much good if you don’t know where you are.  I sat back drank my beer and listened to the conversations.  An older gentleman wanted to debate Genesis’s creation theory versus Darwin’s theory of Evolution.  He portrayed himself as some type of professor and went on and on trying to convince the others why evolution was wrong and sacrilegious.  I thought it strange that somebody would think that evolution lead to atheism.  Everybody I know that views evolution as factual also believes in God and views God as the creator, a creation governed by rules, rules created by God.  He kept pounding that drum so I jumped in the water.  Evolution is not a creation theory I said.  It’s the observation of variances of life and pointed out that Darwin never tried to define the origin of life or the reason why life exists.  It’s the interpretation of factual evidence.

I believe our DNA contains both the word of God and voice of variation past and future.  Life has structure.  I pointed out that comparing the theory of Evolution to the stories in Bible is ridiculous.  I have read the bible many times and in no way do I take it literally.  How could you take it literally?  Where did Cain’s wife come from?  It doesn’t even tell the whole story “Jesus increased in wisdom and in statue, and in favor with God and man”.  John’s facts conflicts with the other three gospels and the violent images in Revelation conflicts with Jesus’ message of peace.  I told them that I view the Bible as the foundation to a religion, a religious seeking control of not just theological, but a social and political order and that its power is based not in the truth, but rather the authority of whose words are they.

I ask “What the true message of the Bible.”  Nobody ever agrees and in almost all cases the person sitting across from me explains their view eloquently.  Then I question, don’t you believe that if God wanted to communicate something wouldn’t it be perfectly clear without the need to interpret or guess what was meant?  I have always believed that the stories in the bible don’t have to be true to convey their meanings.  Misinterpretation and false interpretation is what leads people astray.  The Genesis’s story of creation is by definition an allegory. There is a delta between the story teller and the reader’s perception of time.  The reader’s perception is based on the natural environment in which he resides.  God in his creation has provided examples where man can prove and test this perception.  The creation of water consistently obeys specific principles represented in time and by those rules could not have been accomplished in what man defines as a day.  In fact, water is a byproduct of heat.  Yet in Genesis’s creation water is created before light and how could a day be measured if there was no light?

My church has no doors.  The truth is the truth no matter whose mouth it comes from.  I view God as everywhere.  That his purpose is true and consistent and he doesn’t play hide and seek in words written by man.  I believe in the message of the prophets who told stories with the truth about patience, forgiveness and peace.  But these words have been used to segregate, enslave, to remove and to reward.  And at its foundation lies a flaw, the belief that man is so smart that we interpret our environment.  That what we see, measure, perceive is what is true.  It was getting a bit too heavy for the group and became more of a debate and a discussion or inquiry, so I attempted to steer the group toward a local dance club instead and we made a memorable evening of it.

I must have had too much to drink because I didn’t remember this room being so fucking cold, like a jail cell.  I showered, shaved and waited in the lobby until the front desk opened.  Retrieved my youth pass and escaped.  Then I spent the morning walking about the Dinaloteca D Brera which was mostly an unemotional glorification of history.  I understand Michelangelo, I admire his work.  I stopped by to get another meal at the same place as before, boarded a late train north into Switzerland, opened up my deck of cards and invested some time in a game of solitaire.  Then our train came to an abrupt stop.  I stuck my head out the window to try to locate the cause.  It looked as if we had entered a logging community and perhaps we were picking up a few of the loggers.  About the time I sat down a large almost Santa type gentlemen entered the compartment with a dog.  I quickly responded that there was no room for the two of them.  Having to protect space on a train was par for the course and had become almost second nature to me.  It can get crowded and I had learned that if I gave up space I’d never get it back and maybe even lose some sleep.  He interrupted me as quick as I had responded.  “Are you sure you’re not hiding any…Cognac?” he asked with smile.  It was a drug search.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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