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  • Lorraine Johnson

[126] Came To Go

There lives a kind man with wavy, silver hair and a latin tongue that speaks volumes of romance even when ordering simple pasta with red sauce. A glass of full-bodied wine always close by his hand, along with sparkling eyes that flirt and draw you into his charms. His vision—revolutionary, an educational one, that lives to bring justice to the fore of the fight—keeps him strong, while his seeking for culture continually opens unknown doors. He is a man dedicated to others far from his homeland—who three decades later still shows up for more. A man encountered that could not have been dreamt, his soul so recognizable there was nothing left but to pull him into the fold—the fold of my life that I had not yet met. I was embraced by his presence, his long conversations and tales of all sorts, and beautiful questions of life that left me yearning to hear more—most told over red-stained goblets and earthly rhythms that swept up the night or cold local beers that moved the heat from our brows.

A day arrived when life pulled me away, as a whisper entered my heart and floated up to the top. "He came to go," it spoke, "He came to go." And just as innocently as I approached him so many moons ago—in a most unlikely space, in a city not our own, as the peace accord arrived in the nick of time—I smiled, turned and walked away, into the fold of a different day—with sweet memories of him still lifting me up along my way, even though time and place and circumstance keep us lightyears away.

Though sometimes— in the darkness of a moonlit night—I become still and speak to him— what the Grebo people taught me to say in the departure—"I'm coming." Opening the possibility to say hello—once more.


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