The Citadel

Last night, I went to the candle-lit festival, Lejl Imkebbes, which was organized by the Ministry for Gozo and Visit Gozo. Such a festival was held at the medieval fortress palace, the Citadel, and it was lit up with 30,000 candles.

I was wandering around the Citadel on my own because I enjoy my own company. 

I was underneath the stars that were so vibrant. There were no lights, thus I was surrounded by darkness. The sky was more a dark grey rather than pitch  black. Darkness is the natural state of things. Light is an energy source, natural too but not the natural way of being like the dark. Without light, darkness reigns. I enjoyed the darkness. Sometimes too much light causes you to not see or feel your surroundings. Sometimes light can blind you momentarily. 

As I was walking in the narrow passageways of the Citadel, looking up at the sky, I could see how the sky bended, how it is not so infinite. Two ends eventually meet.

In the distance, I could see an airplane. My eye always catches them as they fly by. Airplanes cross the world and I was just standing there underneath the sky observing it all. 

I went to the “swar” (tall thick walls built so that the enemy couldn’t invade, I don’t know what they are called in English) and you can walk on the “swar”, there’s a passageway. I could see all of Gozo. There were so many houses, filled with people minding their own business, all leading their own separate lives. The buildings in Gozo are all maximum four-storey buildings and so I felt like a giant on top of the “swar”, looking down on the world. Well really, just Gozo. The lights flattered me as traffic lights changed and cars passed by. There were patches of darkness, where there are fields and hills, no buildings. The lights reminded me of New York however the buildings are taller and the lights are never-ending. The lights continue even beyond the horizon in New York. One might think, well that just shows how our world has become a concrete world, however when you’re living in a place like New York, the lights are so beautiful. They represent a City That Never Sleeps and that’s the best type of city. 

It was windy last night as I walked around and I felt at one with nature. Or rather, with history. Such a place like the Citadel is a survivor where others didn’t survive. As I walked, I imagined soldiers running around trying to defend the Citadel from the Turks in the Siege of Gozo in 1551. Where I walked, there had been many before me, from such a long time ago. There was no electricity at the time, maybe candles, thus I could imagine them running around in the dark like ghosts. 

I passed by a sign and there was written “Triq il-Kwartieri San Gwann”. I wondered if that sign had been there in 1551, or even before that. Once we die, even our bodies rot away and dissolve yet what we leave behind, buildings such as the Citadel, they will always remain. Stones remains, flesh does not. One day, when our entire race becomes extinct, and I do believe that will happen someday, it is the materialistic things that will remain to show we were here, we existed. Nothing else.

There were a lot of people at the Citadel last night and I like looking at people as they live, everyone leading separate lives. The music was perfect with the atmosphere of being at the Citadel, a feeling of celebration.

I had to write about this feeling I experienced while I was at the Citadel. I felt like I was floating, observing the world from a different point of view. We lead busy lives that we do not have the energy to actually see things for what they really are. We become too caught up and taking things in, not realizing their worth. The Citadel has a lot of worth. Even the candles that were placed all around the Citadel, have a lot of worth. I find candles to be something traditional, a form of natural light. Electricity is a form of light that has no warmth, it is too static, too unemotional, too detached from nature. Maybe we need to be more like candles these days. Life, warmth and a light in the darkness.


1 thought on “The Citadel”

  1. i love that feeling of going up on a high place at night and everything’s quiet and everyone’s minding their business and you see the lights all over the island….i don’t know how to describe it but you kind of feel one with the world, similar to what you described. It’s really quite exhilarating. I also experienced that once on Ta Ghammar hill opposite Ta Pinu church (maybe going up there alone can be a bit creepy though ;-P but I had been with a group, at least)…and it feels nice to press pause and just watch everything go by, even if it’s for a little while….

    Liked by 1 person

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