A few months ago I had heard that one of my son’s classmates was moving to Rome. I told the parents that it was my dream to live there for a year and I was very envious.

Last week I had a call from my best friend T whom I haven’t seen for years despite the fact we live not far from each other, but just because we are both in a different phase of life now. I mentioned about him a while ago in this blog.

T says “Hey man, I’ll be leaving for Rome soon for one year, so let’s get together.” He got the Rome Prize and will be on fully paid sabbatical from his work for a year, which give his wife and children the opportunity to join the Roman life. “You should come visit me. I will let you kneel in front of me to kiss my ring!” he laughs out loud.

I applied for the Rome Prize once more than ten years ago and of course didn’t get it. I felt then that I could eventually receive the prize by trying another time or two. But I’ve never tried again.

I have never been to Rome or any other part of Italy. While Pope John Paul II was still alive, I used to joke I wouldn’t go to Rome since if I ever had a chance to be at the Pope’s weekly general audience at St. Peter’s Square I might pee my pants and would never return home. I once in a while had this profoundly weird dream, I saw myself being ordained in Vatican.

Of course that wasn’t the reason I stopped pursuing the opportunity to go to Rome. I just slacked off.

I found a line saying “I’m in Rome now for the month of June…” this morning at my regular stop. Is Rome becoming a directional keyword for the new phase of my life? I hope not…

In the picture above, the always elegant Meier’s architecture seems particularly beautiful in Rome/ Jubilee Church Dio Padre Misericordioso Rome.