I met this man at a street market, and I noticed he was closely observing his coin collection. I walked passed, looked at the neighbours' booth, and I picked up something. I asked the lady a question about the item, but she couldn't speak English, so she directed me to the same man I saw earlier.
He was an older gentleman who seemed to know a lot about everything. I asked him about the piece I purchased. As the conversation progressed, he asked about my ethnic background. I responded with, "I'm Persian, but I was raised in Canada." He paused, looked at me, and smiled. He got up, walked over to the back of his booth and brought me a bowl. It was handcrafted with various shapes and intricate designs. He was unsure of the origin and perhaps the era it was made in so he asked me if I knew anything about it. I wasn't sure exactly but we assumed it was from ancient Persia.
He was exchanging his ideas while he was showing me his collected texts, while I was trying to explain my ideas by showing pictures from google images.
Obviously, I thought to myself how great of a subject he would be for my photography blog. As I told him my story, he looks at me dubiously, and he continued to give me the most unexpected response. He says, "Look. Months ago, I came across this book on Avesta. These books don't just show up in Rome. Three months ago, I came across this crafted bowl. I don't know what it is but I've been trying to figure it out. Now, you show up. I don't particularity have a certain faith, but I do believe in God and I do believe that certain things happen for a reason."
There was absolutely no shred of hesitation in his words.
"I'm just a channel of the universe. So are you. But rather than looking for something, look within yourself. You have more to share than what you're seeking." He did not blink. His piercing blue eyes locked onto mine. So I blinked, turned away, smiled, and thanked him. As I asked for his name, he said, "that's not important. Just remember my eyes."
That, I cannot.
So, to my dear friend. You probably won't see this as you're far more traditional in exploring the world with your bare hands than reading what's on the internet but I just wanted to say, thank you. God Bless.
(Rome, Italy, 2015)