This is a 13-minute story of Dominus and his three revelations. See how a boy from Sicilia travels the world, and finds more than he hoped. Much more!
Table of contents:
- The birthplace
- The childhood
- The studies
- The job
- The first revelation
- The travels
- The loss
- The bakery
- The walk
- The second revelation
- The third revelation
The birthplace: the story of Dominus
Dominus is a 10-year-old boy growing up in a remote mountainous village in Sicilia, Italy. He wakes at 5 am every day to catch the 2-hour-long taxi and get to the nearest school. The village, Ludion, only has 197 citizens.
This year, there are in total four children that go to school, so they all share the same cab. None of the other three students are in his class. However, he has a good friend with the name Surus. Dominus loves Surus.
Without Surus, Dominus would hate his life in this sleeping village and boring school.
Mountains, goats, endless fields, and forests are too familiar and boring for him. He seeks adventure and variety. He wants to be somewhere else.
In Ludion, there is nothing you can do to spend the day. Dominus has always nagged about it. No stores, no services, no soccer team, no nothing. There is not even a good cafe bar except if you count the traditional kafenio with an average guest age of 85.
But what can he do? He has no friends or family in the bigger cities or towns. He often dreams of living in Rome, visiting the Colosseo he has always adored, getting a takeaway coffee between millions of other people, meeting people of all sorts of life, and seeing things he has never imagined.
Leading. Enjoying. Living! But, he is stuck in Ludion. For now.
The childhood: the story of Dominus
All Dominus can do is wait. He works every weekend, and a few afternoons, taking care of livestock. Mostly ships and goats. But some chicken and pigs too. They all belong to a man in the village who is particularly rich, and everyone works for him. His father as well.
His mother does not have time to work, as she has to take care of her five children, including Dominus himself, born third in the order of things.
Dominus saves all the coins he can get. He knows his family cannot afford an education for him, so he makes his own plans. And these plans are against those of the village.
It is a tradition that whoever grows up on Ludion makes a family here; dies here. Leaving the place has been out of the question for generations. Now things have improved a bit.
Since last year, the village has had an internet connection, unprecedented for the time. There is no signal coverage unless you climb half a kilometer to the top of the mountain, but now there is cable internet, and everyone can get it.
Dominus is lucky that their neighbors have a router and are happy to share the password for the hours they don’t use the web. When they are online, they usually turn off the WiFi signal, but Dominus takes care to save ebooks and articles to read at his own pace.
Internet and Surus are the only companions of Dominus as he waits for the opportunity to get out of this miserable life. So Dominus waits. And waits. And works and studies.
Everything with a dream to go out into the world and see the beauty of it.
The odds seem to be against him. Could he ever have the opportunity? He often wonders if he deserves any.
At age 15, his best companion, Surus, sitting in a field of grass near the village, asks Dominus, “What do you want in life?“. “I want to live a full life,” Dominus responds.
The studies: the story of Dominus
Days pass. Weeks turn to months. Months to years. Until he is 18 and it is time for the national examinations. These exams determine whether you get into college or not. The better you write, or the worse the other students write, the more chances you get to a better school or a college in a beautiful city.
Dominus has studied hard for this week of examinations. His eyes are set on life beyond the seclusion of Ludion, preferably in Palermo. He wants to see it all and experience life in its totality. And he needs to leave Ludion.
Although the village is not very supportive -actually the opposite – his parents favor his decision. But it is a venture never dared nor accomplished before by a resident of Ludion.
Yet, despite all the odds, he makes it! He is accepted.
And there is even better news. It is not Palermo that he earns a position to study business. It is somewhere even better.
His childhood dreams slowly find shape. A few weeks after the results are out, Dominus is in Piazza Navona, in the heart of Rome.
He has to share a 20-feet room with some other guy from Naples and a small kitchen and bathroom with another six students, but he does not mind.
The rent is affordable enough, and if he gets a part-time job, his savings could last him for the entirety of his studies without burdening the family.
Life in a tiny house shared by eight foreigners is often challenging. Or so others would say. For Dominus, everything looks like paradise. He is finally outside Ludion. In the center of the old world. All roads used to lead to Rome. And Dominus hopes they still do.
His mind is set for traveling the world after all. That is an arduous task given his position, but he sees this challenge as an opportunity.
Within a month from his first year, he finds a part-time job as a waiter in a small cafe. He gets nothing but minimum wage but still a lot more than when he was herding ships.
With this job, he secures his place in Rome and becomes independent for the first time. And he lives in a grand city between millions, as he one wished. But that is not enough for Dominus. He wants more. But how much more? And how can he get what he wants?
The job: the story of Dominus
After two years of studies, Dominus has saved enough for a short trip. He has not yet managed to return to Ludion for holidays or to see his parents, and he wanted to, but, in his mind, there are other priorities. That of seeing the world. Italy to start with.
And so he makes a trip to La Spezia for one week during September. His experiences here are the best in his life so far. And he wants more of the same! How can he do that all the time?
He thinks of finding a job that allows him to travel all the time. “Another dream“, he thinks.
Another year passes in Rome, and Dominus continues to study hard and excel among pupils. It is his last year at college, and he is unsure what he should do next. Should he find a job, open his own, or continue with another better degree.
Dominus thinks about it for several days until suddenly, a national consultancy offers him a position as an intern to a consultant. And a consultant travels all the time; that’s an opportunity not to skip. He accepts it.
The first year is tough, with many promises for travel, but no travel at all. Dominus is just an intern, not a consultant. But he believes in himself and works even harder, with the goal of endless trips in mind.
His persistence has always been one of his traits. Some have called it stubbornness. No matter what others say, Dominus knows that his decisions and hard work led him to where he is today, and they shall also lead him to fulfill his goal of unlimited travel.
He wants to see the world.
Six more months pass, and the prospect of becoming a full-time consultant seems more plausible yet still out of grasp. But Dominus does not quit, and his dedication finally pays off.
After two years as an intern, he is now a proper consultant, offering his services all around the country and often abroad too. The company is growing, and the timing for Dominus could not be any better.
Along with his promotion, he is offered relocation to any part of the world he desires. He has heard tales and stories of how beautiful America is, so he moves there.
A typical month at work means visiting at least five states and two overseas trips to more than half a dozen countries. As he enjoys the views from the airplane, he often catches himself thinking he is some kind of wizard.
He wished for a life of endless travel, and he got it. He wanted a life outside Ludion, but he has made a lot more than that. A salary he could never imagine even in the wildest of dreams. Indeed he has it all. Or does he?
The first revelation: the story of Dominus
After five years of hard work, Surus, his beloved companion, one day approaches him and says:
“Dominus, you have been a consultant for six years. I know you once wished life outside Ludion. You wanted to see the beauty of life and experience it all. Yet, I notice that you work 14 hours a day. You travel, yes, but not to the museums or archaeological sites you love, but from one office to another. You hardly go sightseeing, and when you do, you are in a hurry, or business thoughts occupy your mind. How do you fare?”
Dominus is left speechless.
Surus speaks with hard words, but true. That is not the life he dreamed. No matter how good he is at it, he wants to see and experience the world, not skim through it.
And so he quits and leaves his work behind forever. However, he doesn’t mind keeping the bank balance he has gained through his working years. Enough to let him travel the world for two, three, or even five years if he can avoid excessive expenses.
So Dominus starts to travel.
The travels: the story of Dominus
He visits one country after another. Properly this time. Going to all the sights, venues of interest, and entertainment options. Bars and restaurants become his second home. Hotels and house rentals are his new homes.
One year of travel passes. And a second. Then a third. Dominus travels to 182 countries, visits more cities and villages than the days of his life.
He does not even sleep three days in a row in the same place. He sees the world as he once hoped.
After six years of travel, Surus comes back and says:
💬-Dominus, you have turned from a businessman with a 12-hours-per-day schedule to a traveler on the go for 16 hours. You have seen the whole world. How do you fare?
👀-I loved every part of it, Surus. I may be broke in a few weeks, but I am full of memories.
💬-Memories fade with time.
👀-They do, but I keep them in my heart too.
💬-Memories are of the mind, emotions of the heart. I remember your words when you were little. You wanted to live life to the fullest.
👀-Yes, that is right.
💬-And you do?
A silence drops. Dominus hesitates to respond. He wonders if he does live life to the fullest. Or has his recent life only been a rollercoaster of emotions, with a continuous dull journey interrupted by moments of ecstasy? Moments inflicted by the activities he partook but never lasted more than a few minutes?
Dominus gets deep in thoughts. His last two weeks-worth of savings can barely be enough to return to Ludion. So he decides to take the way home, burdened with the words of Surus.
The loss: the story of Dominus
He hasn’t been home for the past eight years. He remembers his last visit when he was a wealthy consultant. It was a snowy Christmas, but it is now mid-August, eight and a half years later. These two weeks of travel in hot temperature, with thoughts of a missing life behind him, leave their toll on him. An old acquittance revisits.
Depression hasn’t been an issue for him since he departed from Ludion to Rome. But now it is back. And he has not even returned to his home yet.
The thought of a wasted life burdens him, not his return home. After all, he knows that he has the means and guts to leave the village again and find a new life in a city. He has done it before.
One day before he reaches Ludion, Dominus is at his worst. Looking out a train window, he understands his desire to live life to the fullest was still there, as if it was never satisfied.
Dominus wonders if it was ever satisfied. He thought changing environment and living space was his way to live life to the fullest. But it turns out it wasn’t. It now seems that travel has been more of a distraction than a way to meet his goal. Dominus is about to cry.
Just as the first tear starts to form in his left eye, Dominus hears the familiar voice of Surus again. Surus has always been there for him. And would now seek his advice once more.
💬-Dominus, all your life, you wanted to experience life in its totality. To achieve that, you left the village to seek another life. And you made it. You lived in Rome for four years, worked as a consultant for five years, and traveled the world for another six. Did you find what you were seeking?
👀-I found a lot of joy, made unforgettable memories, and met incredible people. But I cannot say I lived life to the fullest. I guess in some moments, I was close, but they would not last. What went wrong, Surus?
Surus does not respond. And will never do again.
The bakery: the story of Dominus
Dominus reaches Ludion for the first time after eight years. His parents, brothers, and sisters are excited to see him, less so the rest of the village. Dominus tells them of all the adventures he has been, all the people he met, and the experiences he had.
But on his talk, there hides a longing or grievance. He wants to speak with Surus, but that is a thought in vain.
For the first three weeks in the village, depression is still there in Dominus. It has not gotten any better, but it has not deteriorated either. It is stable, and Dominus slowly learns to live with it.
He has to find a new job and start fresh. Thankfully, the village is gradually becoming a tourist destination, and there are vacancies. He finds a job at a new bakery.
After one month of learning the job, Dominus is now becoming an expert in making bread. Although he hates waking up at 5 am, he loves the job. He finds creating a bread liberating and has even developed his unique recipe.
In one week, it is his first day as a proper employee. He will open the bakery alone, without supervision. He is excited. And nervous. If only he knew.
The walk: the story of Dominus
The grand day arrives. In anticipation, Dominus wakes up at 3 in the morning. He cannot get back to sleep. So he decides to take a walk in the village.
It is 3.10 am in mid-October. A bit chilly, but the aftertaste of summer is still evident. He only wears a light jacket. He now heads toward the edge of the village, near the farm where he once worked as a shepherd.
There is a forest near it that he seldom visited. He reaches the forest and sits below a tree, with the farm and village left and right. If he looks up, he finds the northern peak of the mountain above the valley his village stands. He sits there waiting.
The first 30 minutes pass with lots of thoughts in his mind. Memories of his studies in Rome, as a consultant, and as a traveler come and go. After he stops meddling with his thoughts, he sits there at peace.
He can now hear the noise the cattle stock makes. The chickens talk to each other as they wait for their boss to open the door to the field. He can hear the soothing sound of the wind as it finds passage through the mountain. He can listen to the dry leaves falling from the tree under which he sits.
It is still dark, but there is a full moon, and Dominus can discern shadows. The place looks eery yet romantic and captivating. He decides to close his eyes and focus on the sounds.
He makes an effort to listen consciously to all the sounds together without focusing on one. The cattle noises, the passing wind, the occasional bird cheering, the tree leaves falling into the ground, his breath.
He has never paid attention to his breath and the noise it makes. It is soothing.
The second revelation: the story of Dominus
Twenty-two minutes pass with closed eyes.
Yet, Dominus feels like it is the first time he has his eyes open. A tear drops on his right cheek. But this is not a tear of depression.
Dominus enjoys whatever is happening to him. And he does not want to stop it until he feels steam of light falling into his eyes. Dominus opens them to examine what interrupts this strange experience. And he is grateful his eyes are open.
Beyond the houses’ roofs, the sun makes its appearance for the day. Dominus has never seen such a beautiful sight. The sky looks like a canvas of mixed blue and purple colors, with all combinations mixed. And these fresh streams of light fall into the village, the mountain, and the field he stands.
The beauty of the surroundings shines. Dominus never thought the place he grew up was so beautiful.
He looks at the field’s fence and notices the details on the wooden stakes holding everything together. The lines and shapes in the stake make for another exhilarating canvas, one of abstract art.
After admiring this peculiar beauty for a few minutes, he turns his attention to the village. Dominus is in awe, standing below an imposing mountain in the north, a forest in the south, fields on the west, and a valley with unprecedented views on the east. Everything he looks at is more than beautiful. It is captivating.
Everything is breeding with life, from the rising sun to the seemingly-dead wooden stake.
The third revelation: the story of Dominus
While lost in time and space, a sudden sound interrupts the experience. It is 4.30, and his alarm rings. He has to be in the bakery in half an hour. So he heads home to prepare himself. But the experience he has had does not go away.
He continues to see the beauty in everything around him. The pathway seems more beautiful than ever before. Yet, it has been the same since his childhood. The houses he passes by looking like they come out of a fairy tale. Dominus is overflowed with joy. And freedom.
He enters his room and prepares his daypack for the working shift ahead. As he looks to see if he forgot something, his eyes fall in a post-it above his deck. It is a phrase that Surus once said, and Dominus wrote it down and posted it like it was a quote.
It reads, “Life is all Around“. Dominus looks at it. He stands still for a second and then bursts with uncontrolled laughter, turning into a tearful cry of joy.
Surus had told him that life is all around. But Dominus never really made the connection. Until today. He did not need to leave his village to live life in its totality. Neither did he have to be in his birthplace. He just had to open his eyes and see the beauty in everything around him.
At this very moment, Dominus is grateful for his work. He has been creating the persona of Surus since he was a little kid to keep him company. If it weren’t for all the work that Dominus and Surus have made together, Dominus would never see the full beauty of life.
It is now time for Dominus to live.
The story of Dominus begins now.