I never realized it before I arrived in Rome, or Roma as the Italians call it, but it was just like what Schrödinger said about his famous experiment in quantum physics: “Unless we open the box, we can’t know if the cat is dead or alive. Unless we open the box, two truths exist: The cat is dead and the cat is alive!”

How poor we humans are, being unable to feel and only using our measurable senses and believing in the truth of those measures. A fact from the world of quantum physics was so simple. Until I arrived in Rome, two truths existed: I had both been there before and I hadn’t been there before!” At least at the beginning, I could choose my own truth…

Before leaving for Rome, I found a hotel on the Internet that was just by the Pantheon. It was one of the oldest hotels in the world. Apart from this historical background, why did I choose to stay near the Pantheon? I never would have guessed why before I got there. Did I know why after being there for six days? Well, while writing these lines, I believe I know. I hope you will also understand after reading the entire story.

After landing in Rome in the morning, I decided to take a shuttle service from the airport because it seemed the easiest way to my hotel. It was a good choice, because everything on the route to my hotel, which was the Albergo del Sole al Pantheon by the way, was so familiar to my soul, especially as we got more downtown, that I couldn’t stop my tears . After forty minutes of travel by shuttle and a quick chat at the hotel reception, I arrived in a room with a great view. From my third-floor window, I could see the fountain in the middle of the Piazza della Rotonda. I could also see the famous Pantheon, which was built more two thousand years ago by Marcus Agrippa, rebuilt by Hadrian after a fire in 118 AD, and transformed into a church in 608 AD by Pope Boniface IV.

I didn’t linger very long in my room, because even the smallest cells of my body were desperate to go out and explore Rome, my dear so-familiar Rome, and so I did.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living

In my life I’ve loved them all*

I didn’t need a map: I already knew where I was going. I wasn’t afraid of getting lost or having any unpleasant experiences. I walked until my legs refused to carry me further. I didn’t stop until I was breathless. I experienced a joy combined with curiosity and something so very familiar that it was hard to explain.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments in Rome
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Most of are dead, and few could still be alive.
In my lives, I loved them all.

I opened the box and the cat was alive. I could not change this truth now: I chose to be at home in Rome!
Later that day, I walked through the door of the Pantheon and experienced the first entrance  with my head held high. I thought I was a queen. I could hear hundreds of ordinary people clapping, and the Pantheon made me great, greater than I really was. I guess this is why leaders built such buildings, to feel greater than they are. In turn, the greatness made the power more dramatic, almost like an illusion. At the Pantheon, I was part of this greatness, both in measure and in heart.
After leaving the Pantheon, I thought it would be great to dance in the middle of the piazza, just by the fountain. Obviously, I didn’t realize that the box was open now!
I wanted to start the next day by visiting the Castel Sant’Angelo, which was on the way to Vatican City. This was built by Emperor Hadrian as a bastion by the river in 130 AD. There was an exhibition going on. I was at Castel Sant’Angelo quite early in the morning, but something prevented me from going in, so I sat outside and asked my heart, “Well dear Rome, tell me why I chose to be here? Why here, and why now?”

I then let myself feel Rome’s air, the birds around me, the breeze through my hair, the river’s gentle flow, the energy flowing in and out of my spine, and the whispers from the past and the talk of today. One word among them was the strongest of all: Love…

The box told me to love, so I decided to take Love as my next truth. It was a truth Rome would later bring to my life!

After that wonderful experience of consciousness, I decided to visit Vatican City. There was a long queue to enter, and I realized after a long wait that I couldn’t go in anyway. It’s forbidden to enter with exposed shoulders, and my dress didn’t have arms! Rather than buying a scarf to cover my shoulders, I decided not to go in and sat down for a long while outside. It could have been Mecca or Jerusalem as I watched people joining the queue, entering, and leaving again. I imagined myself as a religious leader and felt power, something like pure power.

I then felt desperate and sad, really sad, as I considered all the wars in the world, especially the recent ones in the Middle East. Shouldn’t we humans show more forgiveness and tolerance to each other? Do we not all come from the same origin and oneness? Do we not deserve better, more peaceful lives?

During my entire trip, something in me continuously told me about the box: It was open! The box held many past memories, and it knew from which centuries they came from. Of course, it also included today’s wishes! The truths of the past were mixed with the thoughts of today. What an experience it was for the next couple of days!

There are places I remember

All my life though some have changed

Some forever not for better

Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments

With lovers and friends I still can recall

Some are dead and some are living

In my life I’ve loved them all*

Rome and Love… Roma and Amor… RomAmor was my very reason for being here!

The next day was a wonderful Sunday morning with a clear blue sky. As is the law in Rome on Sundays, there were no cars in the center. I decided to visit the Palatino. On the way there, I felt a desire to feel rain in Rome. Believe it or not, Schrödinger was right again. All of a sudden, clouds formed and it rained. I got wet but cared little about it. All I perceived was a great scent I knew from the past, the smell of fresh drops meeting the soil of Rome. To be honest, though, as I walked through the ancient walls, I felt pride, a pure and delicate pride!

I sat down for a while at the top of the Palatino, where I enjoyed a commanding view of Rome. The history was all over. Everything was real, but at the same time, it was unreal. Oh Schrödinger, you and your cat! Was it real or unreal? I didn’t know, and I couldn’t decide which truth to embrace. There were yellowish-orange houses with greenish-blue fences, and there were high, umbrella-like pine trees everywhere, the half-standing library, the museums, the old shopping center further away, and the Coliseum. It looked like North Africa, but it also looked like Europe. It was a mixture of cultures and a magical mixture of the old and the new.

I heard a huge crowd energetically screaming at the Coliseum: “Kill or die! Kill or die! Kill or die!”

I asked myself what it must have felt like to decide to kill or die. After two minutes of hesitation and reflection, I chose to die. There was honor and pride, and power too, in killing and winning in those times at the Coliseum. I preferred the silent triumph of death instead.

I wasn’t the queen I was in the Pantheon. I wasn’t a religious leader like outside Vatican City. At the Palatino, I was just me. Whatever or whoever I was, it was me, the me who had travelled for long years through every emotion and experience. The me who has at last reached her own self, the very core of herself, and who wanted to complete her being in this life with this consciousness. I thought about every gift I had received in those lives, being thankful for them. I felt like me. I felt fine. I felt at home in Rome.

Up until then, no other place in the world had given me such a strong feeling, which caused me to cry most of the time without reason! I wanted to live there and complete my being there. I wanted to die and be buried there! I wanted to stay there until the end of time.

RomAmor!  The box was already open, and I wished for something. I knew that according to Schrödinger and quantum physics, whatever I wished for would have its own truth, and it would be my truth! So I wished for it!

Amor… Love…

That same evening, I asked for some signs from the universe to show my feeling was true. First, while walking down the street, I found a bookmark with a painting by Titian called Amor sacro e profano. Next, I was given a wonderful red rose by a lovely little girl. It was exactly the sign I wanted. I also received a very kind compliment from the hotel receptionist.

Each day, I increasingly realized that every Roman street had another secret passion that would satisfy my feminine soul. I imagined myself as a housewife, cooking wonderful food with all kinds of Mediterranean spices and vegetables for my friends. I thought of myself as a business woman with international business at the heart of her world. I thought of myself as an academic lecturing about mediation and peace. I thought of myself as a mother proudly raising her children toward a peaceful and promising future. I thought of myself as a lover continuously flirting and experiencing all manner of desire. I thought of myself as a writer being a bridge between the past and the future.

RomAmor…

Rome’s faces were beautifully wrapped with love. At every beloved corner, I enjoyed love and being a woman. At every peaceful corner, I remembered my desire to meet my real love again, my soul partner that had already travelled a long way with me.

At each romantic piazza, I wanted to recognize something of him, be it a scent, a smile, a look, a touch, or a word from when we met. At every holy place, I prayed for the perfect circumstances to bring us together and make us One on Earth.

Two hearts at once
dreamed of each other
Two hearts at once
         understood each other
and felt each other,
not knowing but wishing for each other
until the end of time.
Two hearts at once,
Part of One love,
Met while dreaming like this,
crying  helplessly
by the silent sea.

I left traces all over Rome: my hopeful tears, my kindest smiles, my flowery scent, my wishful thoughts, my endless generosity, my greatest happiness, my sense of belonging, and definitely my unconditional love. I wanted to complete something in Rome that I hadn’t completed in centuries: Being One…

Two hearts, two lovers, and One love…
with laughing souls
and hearts and bodies,
lived this unexpected passion
with their entire senses,
while reaching One.

Two hearts, one love
are now having their dreams come true.

The days passed, but my favorite places at the end of my stay were the same as at the beginning: the Pantheon and the Palatino. I found a great bookstore near Trevi Fountain that had a very pleasant café, and it became my regular lunch venue. I bought books in Italian and started learning the language. I drank Prosecco and Barolo a couple of times and lots of Brunello di Montalcino of course. The best I ever had was from 1996. I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes fine wines. There was an unforgettable sense of being in that glass of 1996 Brunello di Montalcino. My favorite foods there were insalate, tonnarelli cacio e pepe, and salmone in guazzetto.

Most of my time there, I allowed myself to become lost in the evenings and even during the daytime. Each time, I discovered new ways back to the hotel just by using my senses. I met all kinds of people. They mostly peaceful people, like what I strived for, except for a bank manager named Roberto. He was over six foot tall and had a lot of humor. I met him at a restaurant on the last evening of my trip. When I cried, he asked me why. I answered, “I guess I fell in love with Rome.”

He laughed for a while. He had tears in his eyes as he told me only a woman could have said that. We spent hours together, and it was almost two in the morning when he asked what my favorite song was. I told him it was Woman by John Lennon. Roberto then stood up and started singing it with a funny voice:

Woman, I can hardly express

My mixed emotions and my thoughtlessness

After all, I’m forever in your debt

And woman, I will try to express my inner feelings and thankfulness

For showing me the meaning of success

 

Ooh, well, doo doo doo doo doo.

Ooh, well, well, doo doo doo doo doo

Later we danced in the piazza outside the Pantheon. I’ll always remember him fondly for that.

My first visit to Rome had a magical start with the Pantheon at one of the oldest hotels in the world. It had a wonderful finish by dancing to my favorite song ever.

Though I know I’ll never lose affection

For the people and things that went before,

I know I’ll often stop and think about them.

In my life, I love you more

In my life, I love you more…*

Roma… RomAmor…

My soul had already been here, long ago with a full pride and a real love.