By Bruce Farrow on February 20, 2015
The man stood on the Pons Fabricius, the oldest bridge in Rome. It is a beautiful bridge which spans only half of the Tiber River, from the Campus Martius on the east side to Tiber Island in the centre.
As he stood there he pondered as to what had brought him to this place. He had spent his busy life being busy – after all that’s what you should do, isn’t it? He had spent years of his life only focussed on the next deal, on the next contract, on the next piece of business. That’s what people do, don’t they?
What had he become in his life apart from a business man? He had concluded recently that in fact that is about all he had become and that is not much of a legacy.
There were things missing from his life, one thing especially, and that is why he was here, standing by the River Tiber. The time had come for him to put things right.
He had spent his whole life pleasing his conscious mind – doing what was expected of him and being responsible. Everything he had done had been logical and had made sense until this trip. He had gone to the airport not knowing why. He had looked at all the destinations available and had, for some reason, taken the flight to Rome. He had never done anything like this before, everything had been planned and had a reason and for the first time in his life, he was following his instincts. He just knew that for whatever reason, Rome had called.
He was jolted out of his thoughts by a local. “Dove stai andando?” she said and in an instant, with no thought he replied “Vado al Colosseo”. Why he said he was going to the Colosseum he had no idea. He hadn’t even thought about where to go in Rome. It just had come out of his mouth and, seeing as today was a day of doing things differently, he set off in search of the Colosseum, his head spinning.
As he approached the great monument he was in awe. He lined up to buy a ticket and started to wander within the elliptical amphitheatre and began to lose himself in the energy of this incredible piece of architecture. The tourists disappeared from his vision and he could almost see the roaring crowds and feel the burning excitement of the spectators. He was then hit by a feeling of terror, surely experienced by those who were made to ‘perform’ in the arena. Then there was the courage of the gladiators. This place was an emotional cauldron and, for the first time in his life, the man started to get in touch with his emotions.
He wandered around the area and found what would have been the forums, the market places and, once again, the energy of the place hit him. He could feel the buzz of the traders selling their wares and could almost smell the exotic spices that would have once filled the forums. His senses came alive. Nothing else mattered. He just absorbed the moment. His business dealings were in another lifetime and now he was alive.
His eyes were drawn to a building on top of a hill across from the Colosseum, a large and imposing relic. It was important, he knew that, yet he did not know why. It was talking to him, calling him, pulling him closer.
He checked his map and saw it was the Templum Veneris et Romae (the Temple of Venue and Rome) which sat on top of the Velian Hill. He walked towards its magnificence, not even questioning why he was being pulled like a magnet towards it.
As he stood within its boundaries, he felt the wisdom of the ages around him, communicating with him on a different level. His conscious mind went blank and his unconscious mind started tuning in to the hidden messages that were spoken, yet not spoken. Answers to questions popped into his mind before he had asked the question. He absorbed, he learned, he changed.
After a period of half an hour, or maybe more, he wasn’t sure of anything anymore . . . apart from one thing. That he was certain about. He had no idea why he was certain, but he was . . . he had unfinished business at the Pons Fabricius.