The October Horse
by Colleen McCullough
a novel of Caesar and Cleopatra
I was coerced into taking into taking Latin by my high school principal. What began as a reluctant study ended up becoming a wonderful adventure. And I even managed to score straight A's in the subject for two years!
Thus began a lifelong interest in any book surrounding the times of Julius Caesar. My December page represents the parting of Caesar from Cleopatra and his sea journey back to Rome. McCullough masterfully puts us into Caesar's mindset at this point in time:
A voice whispers: where are you going, Gaius Julius Caesar? And why does it seem to matter so little? Is it that you have done all that you wanted to do, though not in the way and with the constitutional sanction you yearned for? No sense in ruing what has been done and cannot be undone. No, it cannot be undone, even for a million gold crowns studded with rubies or emeralds or ocean pearls the size of pebbles.
But without rivals, victory is hollow. Without rivals, how can Caesar shine?
The sting in winning is to be left the only one alive on the field.
December's birthstone is turquoise. The Tibetan coppery print fabric is mindful of a rolling sea. I vainly attempted to reproduce an outline of the Mediterranean Sea against this dark fabric and ended up beading far more than I intended. Caesar and Cleopatra's lives are intertwined around the Egyptian symbol for eternal love.