My Dear Fellow Journeyers,
“It is never completely dark,” he would say to me. It is a truth of physics which I could not deny. Yes, there is always light. If there are stars, the sun and the moon it is a physical impossibility for there ever to be complete darkness.
I knew the moment he stopped and introduced himself to me, that he was intended to be in my life for a reason. It was upon me to find out what our relationship would be about.
The night before I had met him, I had stood in front of a fountain in Rome and threw a coin over my shoulder and wished for a life companion. The next day, he materialized.
That was two weeks ago. While on the steps of a museum, which I did not care to see, I met this gentleman dressed all in black. I believe he was the only black American male I had seen during the time I had been in Italy. It was a Sunday and the day was extremely hot. He started up the steps, and at first I thought he was going to walk by without recognizing me and I the friend with whom I was sitting. He stopped mid-step and turned around and walked down the stairs and introduced himself as an American and recognized us as fellow Americans.
As he introduced himself, I saw that he had four bead bracelets on his wrists. He saw me looking at them and said “Just bought these off of an African Brother. Paid $5 Euros.”
“Too much” I responded as he handed my girlfriend and I two bracelets apiece.
“And we didn’t have to show anything for the beads,” my friend jokingly retorted. “Four sets of beads wouldn’t have been enough,” she added, ensuring that her breasts which could never be missed, were recognized.
I was in no mood for small talk. I was dehydrated after days of walking in the hot Roman sun, not drinking enough water and consuming too much coffee and milk- even though I am lactose intolerant. My unresponsiveness hung heavily and the three of us abruptly went our separate ways all heading to the public restroom. It was an awkward and inelegant parting.
When I saw the line for the women’s restroom I returned to where I had met the man, while my friend waited in line to use the bathroom. When he walked down the stairs there I was sitting and waiting. I don’t recall what he said as he gave me his phone number and asked me to call. Before, he could leave, we were joined by two other my friends. I introduced them. One of my friends had grown up in New Orleans, where this gentleman lived. My girlfriend from New Orleans asked him a few questions to see just how well he was or was not acquainted with New Orleans. He passed her test.
I waited until I returned to the United States before I called him. I am not sure whether he said he was married, but I believe that he hadn’t denied a marriage. His unclear martial status, placed him in the friend category- which was fine for me. Never the less he was articulate, well read, well educated, well traveled and had a high paying job with the United States Corp of Engineers. He is currently on a project with the Corp. He is stationed in Weisbaden, Germany.
To cut to the point of the this story, today, this man, whose name is Rick articulated my life purpose “It’s not how much light you have, it is how much you leave behind.” It rang true. Going forward, it is the creed from which I intend to live my life.
Living by this credo will affect my future choices and actions. How will my life be effected? How will I effect others with whom I connect? If you choose to live as if your life’s purpose is to leave light behind, how would it effect your life?
Brianna S. Clark