THE SOUL REIGNS THROUGH THE ARTIFICE OF TIME
But as the black clouds rolled back and my eyes began to see beyond the withering willows of fate I became all that I was meant to be.
I became again what I once was, and what I was destined to become. Through the tragedies, the triumphs and the vicissitudes of life’s trampoline I held onto the one nugget of truth —“the true soul reigns throughout the artifice of time”
[Pink Floyd -Dark Side of the Moon]
For those who believe that there’s nothing at the end of the proverbial rainbow, you are wrong. I am living testament that there is, in fact, much more than a pot of gold at the end of everyone’s rainbow. You must first believe in yourself and forgive an unforgiving past no matter how hard it may seem at first. You must learn from the past. It will provide a much clearer path into a better future. Believe me, I know, oh, how I know… .
My belief: “It matters not how dark or blemished your past may have been; what matters is how clearly you are able to see it while looking toward a brighter tomorrow.”
My belief: “It is the small changes in direction while on the road to recovery that can lead to an entirely new destination – a place where you’d truly want to call paradise.”
I stand tall, knowing that my life had taken another turn but the road ahead is as clear as a pristine pond, as unwinding as a wound yo yo in a young man’s hands. The threshold is but a springboard for all that is good, for all that really matters.
As I embark on my journey I ask of you, my friends, my family to pay heed to the offerings; ah, the rewards are mighty.
Perhaps another mere coincidence, perhaps not. Marsilio Ficino, the great Humanist and Neoplatonist, five hundred years later, here again to share his soul, his wisdom, his truth.
Ah, to think he sometimes lives through me, helping me, guiding me, providing me with thought, inspiration. A mere coincidence that Marsilio was born on October 19, the same birthday as my brother.
A mere coincidence Marsilio once wrote a poem, back in the fifteenth century, titled the “Ultimate Goal.” I, too, wrote a poem, which I titled the “Ultimate Goal.” Way before I knew about Marsilio Ficino. And, you want to know how I discovered Marsilio Ficino. Well, grab an espresso, sit back and I’ll tell you.
Some years ago, my older sister Trish was in Barnes and Noble (the bookstore) looking around when mysteriously (she would later attest) she was drawn to one book in particular, “Care of the Soul” by Thomas Moore.
Trish could not explain what possessed her to purchase this book, what force guided her, in the first place, to that particular section of the bookstore. September 13, my birthday, was just around the corner.
Trish knows how voracious a reader her little brother is. Her initial thought of a present for me was a travel book. But, lo and behold, she was drawn to “Care of the Soul.”
Trish took me out for pizza for my birthday at a place called Pete’s Pizza (Montrose & Austin). There, one of the best pizzas in Chicago.
After stuffing my face with the deep dish (ricotta, spinach, Italian sausage) I was given my gift. I skimmed through it and suddenly, my heart skipped a beat, my eyes must have widened to the size of saucers. The name, Ficino! My name, Fico. There must be a connection. “Surreal! Trish, pass me a napkin.”
Later that night, I read more of “Care of the Soul.” Again, Ficino. Again, my curiosity. Could we be related? Could he be my great, great, great (don’t know how many greats) great grandfather? Later, a little research revealed more about Marsilio Ficino. Now I was really fascinated. I really must know more, I thought.
Marsilio Ficino, born October 19, 1433. Figline, just outside of Florence. Yes, my bloodline runs back to Florence, the birthplace of The High Renaissance.
My belief: “The Soul Reigns through the Artifice of Time”
The more I read about Marsilio Ficino the more I became convinced that I was reliving some of his steps. I was convinced that a few of my more profound thoughts were derived from another time, another place. Fifteenth century, Florence seems to make sense to me. I must go and find out for myself. And so, I was off.
Arrived Rome, went to Pisa and then on to Tuscany. Once in Florence, I knew. I was here before. Like Yogi Berra said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
And it was I who wrote: “Sex may perpetuate the species but it is Love that perpetuates the soul.” And it was Marsilio Ficino who coined the phrase: Platonic Love.
Thoughts transcending the barriers of time. Interesting!
I remember when I first realized I was perhaps a wee different. I was either ten or eleven years old. Me and my friends were in this elderly lady’s back yard. It had a lot of shrubbery and a big oak tree. We challenged each other who could climb the tree the highest. We were just about to start climbing when the lady came out and started yelling at us,
“What are you doing in my yard?”
A thought came to me. “We lost our ball.” For no apparent reason I continued, “It’s a yellow ball, have you seen it?”
Me and my friends were now pretending to be looking for the ball. We looked under bushes, pushed apart shrubs, we put on a real good show.
The lady kept yelling. “Get out of my yard or I’ll call the police.”
I didn’t want that to happen so I knew I had to convince her that we were really looking for a ball that I knew didn’t exist. But after a few more steps, a miracle.
Under one of the bushes there it was – a yellow ball. I picked it up and exclaimed triumphantly, “I found it!” The lady looked relieved. Her ideas that we were just punks who were up to no good were altered the minute I produced the ball. I had no idea what provoked me to say that we were looking for a yellow ball but I’m glad I did. As I grew older, other paranormal events encompassed my life – a wide mix of synchronistic events, acts of telekinesis and the like.
My belief: “An idea is nothing but a mere abstraction of a concrete undertaking.”
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Copyright 2021 by Ricky J. Fico & Golden Renaissance Productions