“It was daylight everywhere else by this time, but they were still enveloped in a darkness that was blacker and denser than any night, and they were forced to light their torches and lamps. My uncle went down to the shore to see if there was any chance of escape by sea, but the waves were still far too high. He lay down to rest on a sheet and called for drinks of cold water. Then, suddenly, flames and a strong smell of sulphur, giving warning of yet more flames to come, forced the others to flee. He himself stood up, with the support of two slaves, and then he suddenly collapsed and died, because, I imagine, he was suffocated when the dense fumes choked him. When light returned on the third day after the last day that he had seen [on 26 august], his body was found intact and uninjured, still fully clothed and looking more like a man alseep than dead. ”

Epistulae VI.16, First Letter to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger

Between the vulcan and the high sea, the last inhabitants of Pompeii did not have a choice. We are like them, between old age, illness and the accidents of life, there is no way out. The Vesuvius chose its hour, without consultation or warning.

Upon reading "Training in Compassion" by Norman Fischer

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