The Allegory of the Palace

April 16th, 2012

Today Lena and I ran to catch the bus to go to school. The brisk 7am jog to the public transportation stop helped wake me up a bit, but what really did it was the coffee at breakfast at Lena’s school, hosted by the German exchange students.

We discussed our weekends with one another, and did more catching up, before the Germans had to get to class. The Americans then took a walking tour of Trier. We saw the Porta Nigra from inside, and learned about the various domes and churches in the historic town.

My favorite part of the tour was the pink palace behind Constantine’s church. And here begins The Allegory of the Palace:

The palace used to be perfectly symmetrical, up until the time when one wing of the palace was destroyed. To compensate for the asymmetry of the well-known building, the grounds keepers planted a large tree in front of the other (intact) wing of the building. They did this in hopes that the tree would obscure the wing in spring/summer, thereby giving the building a symmetrical look.

Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like the palace. Lopsided, sure, but perfectly so. Hey, why can’t palaces be asymmetrical? And, naturally, where there is an imperfection, there is someone ready to plant a tree to mask it. To personify this, there are people who attribute imperfections to a whole host of excuses. While, in reality, it makes more sense (to me) to tear down that dumb tree (those silly excuses) and accept that The Pink Palace was destined to be lopsided. Maybe we wouldn’t have to bend our vision so much if we spread around more acceptance.


After our tour, we met our students back at Humboldt Gymnasium (their school), and Lena and I took the public bus back home. We watched movies and played half a game of Monopoly to end the evening to a gorgeous day.


One response to “The Allegory of the Palace

  1. hey Mandi!

    Sounds like a great day. I’m with you on the asymmetry of palaces and people. In my mind that’s no mooole – it’s a distinguishing beauty mark. And the same for how we think, what our traits are, how we spend our time – all make up what we consider our personal norm.

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