What is there to write about Florence that hasn’t already been written over the last 2000 years?

Nothing.

I’ll tell you why: Florence is a city to be lived, imbibed, tasted, savored, touched, and heard. It is a city that caters to all the senses, touches the four temperaments (or humors, as the alchemists called them): choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine and melancholic. Regardless of what the guidebooks tell you or the directions they send you off into, there will be something missing, a wrong instruction that no longer applies to the reader, a missing bus stop, a construction crane that blocks the walk described.

Florence is the place to get lost, and lose yourself, and these are two very different things. In the face of all the antiquity dating back to the Etruscans and Romans, I question the validity of everything in the present time. Such opulence and art, timeless structures that have withstood the passage of time, wars and seasons, and here we are in the present day, fretting over small things that are attached to digital and virtual worlds that erode at our souls. The Etruscans held the value of religion, family, art, music, literature and community to the highest degree already back in the 5th century BC. It is believed that much of their work became the foundation of Roman civilization.

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©MTHerzog

I find myself searching for lasting legacies, depth and substance in conversations and life philosophies, meaning in writing and visual arts. Everything is turned upside down and inside out, an interesting albeit not always pleasant experience, but am learning, a necessary one.

Living in Florence has brought me to the point in my life where discernment between what I need and what I want is an absolute necessity.

  • What do I need to survive and what do I want that will make me happy…
  • What do I need to learn, and what do I want to learn…
  • What do I need to let go of, and what do I want to hold on to.

Yes, discernment, awareness and mindfulness. For years it was always about the Other, but now it’s time to put the forgotten, neglected Self in the forefront and recover

…in order to rediscover.

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