He walks like a tormented soul through the house, through the frozen fields, Publius Ovidius Naso, poet of Rome, fell out of favour, in his exile in Tomi.
The words came swift to his mind, as if a foreign voice had whispered them in his ear, as if the winter´s breeze had brought back memories from some furtive dream he couldn´t recall. He felt the cold air drying and hurting his skin while he closed the hands over the handrail where he was looking at the frozen sea. The stone in which he rested was wet, almost frozen. He could sense how it was chapping his fingers, but he didn´t put them away.
He gritted his teeth in an involuntary movement, while the pictures that haunted him at night crossed his mind: the exile order, while visiting the isle of Elba; his hurried return to Rome to spend a last night with his family and loved ones; the travel to that wild and barren confine of the world. Whispering, he closed his eyes and conjured oblivion; his family´s efforts to gain him forgiveness didn´t look like coming to a fruition.
Alas! I will spend the rest of my days in this barren place, and I will die far from my beloved Rome, away from all the ones I love, away from the best of women, from everything I once was. My bones will lie in this barbaric land, where I won´t enjoy the honour of a proper sepulchre, of a proper funeral, where my dead corpse won´t be attended by my wife´s tears.
He whispered while he bowed his head for a brief instant, only to raise it again and carefully look at the shoal of the beach in front of him.
“Quite beautiful” said a voice in his head. “You should write it”.