Twenty years later: Between Novosibirsk and Irkutsk

It is still impossible to write on the train, because of all the shaking. I meet readers at the stations (see the photos in the gallery), talk with them, learn a lot from their eyes and the few words we manage to exchange. Some tell stories, others talk of their cities and the regions they come from.

One of them tells me: “Do you know exactly where you are right now? You are in a train station, along with many other people, and at this very moment there is a good chance that many people hold in their hearts the same hopes and despair as you.

“Let’s go on: you are a microscopic dot on the surface of a ball. This ball revolves around another, which in turn is located in a little corner of a galaxy, together with millions of similar balls.

“This galaxy is part of something called the Universe, full of gigantic stellar agglomerations. Nobody knows exactly where what we call the Universe starts and ends.

“Even so, don’t let yourself be beaten by the fatigue of the journey: you fight, make efforts, and try to improve, you have dreams, grow happy or sad because of Love. If you weren’t alive, something would be missing.”

I do not know where the reader found these words (he was reading from a piece of paper), but those are the words I needed to hear at that moment.

*****

Two stops further ahead, a reader tells me a story about a carpenter and his assistants traveling through the province of Qi (at the moment we are very near China), in search of building material. They saw a giant tree, so big that five men holding hands cannot embrace it, and so tall that it touches the clouds.

“Let’s not waste our time on this tree,” said the master carpenter. “It will take us so long to cut it down. If we want to make a boat, the trunk is so heavy that it will sink. If we decide to use it for the structure of a roof, the walls will have to be made exaggeratedly thick.”

The group continued on its way. One of the apprentices remarked:

“Such a big tree and no use for anything!”

“You are wrong,” said the master carpenter. “It has followed its destiny in its own way. If it were like the others, we would have cut it down. But because it had the courage to be different, it will stay alive and strong for a long time.”

*****

The Taoists tell that in the beginning of time Spirit and Matter waged a mortal combat. Finally Spirit triumphed – and Matter was condemned to live for ever inside the Earth.

Before that happened, however, his head hit against the firmament and broke the star-filled sky into pieces.

The goddess Niuka emerged from the sea, resplendent in her armor of fire. Boiling the colors of the rainbow in a cauldron, she managed to put the stars back in their proper places, but was unable to find two small slivers, and the firmament was incomplete.

This is the origin of love: two souls are always crossing the Earth, each in search of its Other Part. When they meet, they manage to fit together the two parts that are missing in the sky and the whole Universe then makes sense to the couple.

I think constantly about this as the Trans-Siberian train crosses this long steppe.

*****

Unbelievable as it may sound, many people are afraid of happiness. To these people, feeling good with life means changing a whole set of habits – and losing their own identity.

We often feel unworthy of the good things that happen to us. We do not accept miracles – because accepting them makes us feel that we owe something to God. Besides, we are afraid of “getting used” to happiness.

We think: “better not to drink of the cup of happiness, because we will miss it so much when we no longer have it”.

For fear of diminishing, we stop growing. For fear of crying, we stop laughing.

*****

In the train I meet someone coming from Morocco who tells me a strange story about how certain desert tribes see original sin.

Eve was strolling in the Garden of Eden when the serpent came up to her.

“Eat this apple”, said the serpent.

Very well instructed by God, Eve refused.

“Eat this apple”, insis¬ted the serpent,” because you have to make yourself more beautiful for your man”.

“I don’t have to”, answered Eve. “Because he has no other woman but me”.

The serpent laughed: “Of course he does”.

And since Eve did not believe him, he led her to the top of a hill, where there was a well.

“She is inside this cave; Adam hid her there”.

Eve leaned over and saw a beautiful woman reflected in the water of the well. Immediately she ate the apple that the serpent offered her.

According to this same Moroccan tribe, all those who recognize themselves in the reflection of the well and are no longer afraid of themselves, return to Paradise.

The next text will be posted on the 4th of June.

P.S: Dear reader,

During this journey, that is filling my soul with very interesting experiences, one of the most magical moments comes every night when I read the comments posted on this blog. Even though I can’t answer all of you, I want you to know that it’s very important to me to know that I’m not alone on this path. Thank you so much for your support and for the words and ideas that are now engraved on my heart.

Paulo Coelho

Comments

  1. Ramprakash says:

    Hi Paulo,

    Thanks for sharing your dream with us. Dreams occur in sleep but your dream actually wakes me up in to a beautiful world.

    Cheers,
    Ram

  2. jehad says:

    when will the two souls meet so that the universe starts making sense??? do they ever meet? I’m starting to lose faith!! being such a romantic is taking me nowhere. reading can be very amusing, but reality is not!!(at other times I’m more coulorful, but today it’s all gray!!) thank Mr. Coelho I love your smile!

  3. Rosa says:

    Someone wrote a reply about the apparent discrepancy between destiny and free will. I have thought a lot about this as well! I think there is no discrepancy or paradox!

    To me destiny is the place where you can use all your talents and feel at peace. I think this place has been imprinted in your soul during childhood, when you had the experiences that influenced you and shaped you.
    Whenever a situation, person or place strikes you, this is because it is close to the shape of your soul. You recognize yourself.

    If you live a conscious life, you can use your free will to seek this place.

    At least I think, and I try… :)

  4. cheri says:

    I am enjoying your writing, your stories especially what touched me was that you mentioned Eve’s apple.For some reason I contemplated an apple left in a fruit bowl this week.I was thinking of a whithered apple and Eve.the way we always save something for someone we love…putting aside our own hunger.
    I look forward to your posts further along your journey.I hope you enjoy the company you find yourself in , that the wind and the weather on your face feels like elixior of life and a blessing along the way.

  5. Maria says:

    Deb, you’ve got me in stitches! :D

  6. Christine Engel says:

    I wake in a sorry place..
    I’m in the lost void of hang-over..

    My liver leaks into my gall bladder
    which..
    struggles to survive invasion of something which demands release from tight confine.
    Swollen spleen casts shaddow over my stomach..
    which leaks over my bladder..

    Oh…never again!

    My Heart pounds heavy beyond weight.

    Exploring this sorry space I imagine I’ve die..
    Who would know? … How long before someone knew?
    I accept my death would be a non event to the world
    and …
    I know people would care….but would I?
    …It’s time to get out of bed..

    I’m on the topsy trainride of life…
    Sometimes I feel I know where I am but this morning I’m a dot in a universe larger than I can conceive.

    I think of Paulo…
    thousands of people follow, know of and wait for his arrival..
    At every stop his image is captured ..
    At every stop his signature is recorded ..
    He is expected, received, appreciated, loved..

    In the entire history of my life this foreign to me…

    I’m squashed into a dot …I have a hangover..

    I rise and fly away …
    I see myself walking on Bronte Beach..
    My footprints merge with the sand..
    That’s it, that’s my signature of Life and having been on Earth..
    Footprints to merge with the songlines of the world..
    to echo with whale song…
    to blend with the memory of my ancestors who walked on the sands of the Earth and Time.

    My Grandfather’s image comes to me…
    Pop, a timber getter, taught me Ecology…how to look, listen and love
    the multiple species who are the Bush..

    Now I see the sky, the meeting of dimensions…
    I’m back…between the stars and deep Earth..

    hmm coffee …. caffeine for the body …
    hmm time… stimulation for the spirit..
    Hangovers … reflection of the sorry self… Not necessary.

    To-night reflection seeps into my Soul…
    How rich is life…
    I see a tree. I see Pop Engel..
    I see the stars. I feel my father…
    I see the moon. I know my Grandmother..
    Today I took the Eucharist and my Nana came to me.

    Tonight as it rains the breath of Earth is renewed.
    walk gently
    Christine

  7. Hi Again Paulo and all who may be reading this, (and you know who you are!) (hopefully!) :)

    It’s MEEE again. ;) ( I can hear the groaning now)

    I was just reading one of the posts above by Anne, and, not to change the subject! But…

    She was talking about all the molecules, etc. and it got me to thinking about what I read recently in an article by some yogi guy…about how everything comes from the Earth.

    I know that it’s a simple thought, but, for me, it seemed so profound to look around and realize that any and everything that we see has come from the Earth.

    I’ve often thought about wooden things…it’s easy to make the connection there. Wood equals table, chairs, houses, etc.

    And glass and metal…same thing. It’s easy to understand that they also come from the Earth.

    But, to look at synthetic objects – plastics, intricate mechanical things like televisons, and, well, computers, and even polyester pants! Yuck! ;)

    All that fake stuff. It’s so hard to think that even things like that came from our precious, beautiful Earth.

    It just blows my mind.

    I’ve always looked at things as either ‘natural’ or ‘synthetic’, but I realized that I had to change my perception of synthetic things, since they too come from the Earth. Even though they aren’t in their original form.

    Hmmm.

    And it reminds me, too, of that line from one of Shakespeare’s plays that says, ‘Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’

    I always want to categorize things.

    Natural -GOOD!

    Synthetic – BAD!

    But, when you think about it…sometimes synthetic things are necessary and are helpful and are GOOD….like life saving devices.

    And sometimes natural things….like the poisonous mushroom I fed my husband for dinner last night…are GOOD, I mean…. BAD! Very BAD! You should never feed your husband naturally poisonous things!

    Unless he’s an abusive, horrible, horrible man who deserves it because he’s been cheating on you since day one with your best friend.

    But, I digress! :)

    So, yeah, sometimes things seem good when they’re bad and vice versa.

    The earth is a beautiful thing.

    And, I don’t know where the hell I was going with any of this.

    I have to go make dinner now. Mushroom Surprise. :)

    Ta Ta For Now! :)

    Keep on tripping…I mean, journeying. Yeah, that’s it. Did I say mushrooms?

    Lots of love and happiness to all and to all a good night.

    -Deb ;)

  8. Lisa says:

    Reading ‘The Zahir’ at the moment. Seems almost autobiographical!

    Have a happy weekend Paulo and everyone!

    Blessed Be

    Lisa
    xxx

  9. tendai says:

    wow…
    sometimes words are not enough. i feel so inspired

  10. Alex says:

    Dear Paulo and friends,

    It’s interesting to see so many comments from female readers. It appears to me that Paulo’s writings are closer to the female nature, as one can come closer to their meaning by ‘feeling’ them, rather than by ‘understanding’ them.

    Just a couple of thoughts:
    i think the big realities are simple, very simple – it is only humans (esp. men :-) that, in their effort to appear superior, perplex things and make philosophy sound complicated and intricate, when in reality it should be understood by children (and all those with children’s souls :-).

    I believe in love. It has made me feel, and it has opened up my eyes.
    I believe we get what we need.
    And i believe that he who seeks, finds, and he who asks, receives.
    Sometimes i feel like a character in a novel that’s already written.

    Paulo, some years ago you opened up doors of compassion and understanding for me. Although i haven’t followed you after the ‘Manual’, i hope you do well and share love and your gifts.

    Hang tough, and please spread compassion and light – but i guess you are an expert at that :-)

    Kind regards,
    Alex

  11. km says:

    Paulo,
    I’m here with my friends drinking and smoking ciggs. We really think that you should come to galway. really really really…..come to galway. The pilgrimage dosent end ingermany.you have to come.u should. don’t be
    a thinker be a do’er!!!come paulo and get drunk with us!!! please>>>>>>we want and need some love here…pleaseplease please…..

    kealan

  12. Anne says:

    Dear Paulo,
    reading your comment about the universe got me thinking. Everything we see or smell or touch is made of countless molecules. Our perception of things is our personal perception of countless molecules by more molecules that make our eyes nose, mouth, hands, fingers etc….
    It’s almost beyond the graps of our limited and yet so wonderful mind.
    And it is only the atmosphere as well as the gravity and all the natural forces that protect our beautiful planet, like an invisible shield, and keep our molecules from being scattered throughout the universe along with those of the animals and the trees and all that exist on this earth.
    The more science discovers the more amazing everything seems to be.
    And then there is the unexplained: spiritual experiences that we may have from time to time. These cannot be explained by science and yet they feel very real and true.
    But then again going back to molecules: what we see and hear and touch feels very real and very true. Yet they could just disappear in a fraction of time if there was nothing to keep these molecules together. But it doesn’t mean that they were not here at some other time and space.
    So maybe it is the same with spirituality. It is not because you cannot see something that it is not here, or has not been here, in the first place.
    Wishing you the best in your journey.

  13. Lisa says:

    Chiara from Italy.

    I know just how you feel. Many times I wonder if this is all there is.

  14. karen Williams says:

    Paulo, dear warrior friend.
    I have just sent you a comment about what you have written today and I think I deleted by accident.
    So this is a repetition.
    Love all your moments Paulo, they are the only ones you will ever have today, and today will never come again. The bad will give you wisdom, and discernment, patience, and lovel, the good will give you hope, joy and love.
    The Morrocan story of Eve enchanted me.
    I recognised my journey in the ending, and realised that 18 months of fear, tears and doubt and pain, finally ended in me seeing myself in the well,
    Oh, I can see my email, on the screen Paulo, well, such are we as humans, full of wonderful mistakes, which are never mistakes really.
    Now you have 2 messages.
    Much Love Paulo,
    Karen.

  15. karen Williams says:

    Paulo, Hi dear friend.
    Sitting in a library reading your entry today.
    Thinking of you while I work in a factory.
    I loved what you have written today, even though I am tired and cannot reply properly to you.
    Love the miracle of each moment. Even the bad things which teach us wisdom and discernment.
    The Morrocan story moved me deeply. I looked in the well since I saw you, it has taken 18 months, and I sayw myself.
    LOve Karen

  16. vilola says:

    Greetings Paulo! I Vilola, from Novosibirsk, write, that here recently have learned about that that you came to our city. It is very a pity that has not seen you in a reality and so I wish successes. I Hope i will see you in future!

  17. Stanley says:

    Thank you for planting this giant tree on the internet. Your blog and the resulting comments are just wonderful and enriching to me.
    Without this, we would not have read Margarita’s beautiful words and learned about “65 roses.” That is just tearing at my heart this morning.

    This blog brings such a freshness and vibrance to what was seeming like a dull, routine day. Oh, may I be inspired to seek God’s will for me this day, rather than just plodding through it in boredom.
    Your journey is good for many of us, Paulo. Thank you for sharing it.

  18. Dasha Semenova, Novosibirsk says:

    Hello, dear Paulo!
    I’m very glad that I’ve found this blog. I didn’t know about existing this and only yesterday I saw a large text about your visiting our city and a bit of your diary in Russian, printed in our local Novosibirsk newspaper and address of this site. I think it’s God’s bless for me to read your thoughts and stories here. I was on the meeting with readers in hotel Sibir (Siberia). I was there by chance by the end of your talking with readers, and I presented you a little gift – a bracelet from little glass beads or pearls (I don’t know how it’s in English) but in Russia all hippies (and not only they) wears these beautiful bracelets))) and danced with you. I hope you remeber. Your books are full of thougths which are in my mind. Today in the morning I prayed with my friends-baptists and in the middle of this wonderful sunshine day I went through a park and only thought about God’s love and blesses that God gives to me every day and every moment in my life. I really agree with your ideas about fear of happiness. It’s concerned with almost everybody, and sometimes it is awful I think. We should unrerstand our real predestination on Earth, I believe that it’s only happiness and Love. And I agree with my favourite writer, Dostoevskij. He said in “Brothers Karamazovi” (sorry,in my translation): “Because only for happiness people are created and who is happy then he is worth to say to himself ‘I have carried out God’s testament on Earth”. I think he said really true thing.
    And also it’s interesting for me if you have ever hear songs of my favourite musician Boris Grebenjikov (also known as BG). Almost all his songs are in Russian but some albums are in English. For example Radio Silence. I consider his wonderful songs fulled of real blessedness and must be close to your understanding of life and world. His understanding of God is close to philosophy of sufism. For example, he said:” I did not become a guru, but remain myself, who I am. I collect all the positives and no negatives. This is a very winning situation. Why be afraid of death? My preparation for it is – while I am alive, I try to do as much as I can. Why am I here in this world with healthy hands, legs and head? You think for no reason, just to waste time?”
    I would be very-very happy if I could read your answer to my advise and your thoughts about it. It’s very important for me and I hope that you write to me.
    Sorry for my mistakes,
    Good bless!
    Thank you for visiting our city!

  19. KV says:

    Paulo,
    Yet again, im amazed and in awe. No author has ever touched so many people and its because your stories are real, u are real for that fact you will always have loyal followers, like me, your biggest fan. I particularly loved the story regarding happiness and i agree, cause ive lived that a little until i learnt to trust my higher power about being exactly where i needed to be in my life. Its a sad place to be when you cant be happy.
    thank you and i cannot wait for your next blog.
    Go Brazil in the world cup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. haricharan says:

    The crux is in wanting to discover something already there deep within all of us, and you(we all) are just catalysts for each other in the process, how about a two way catalysis?just imagining the big tree enthralled me, at the size but my tale is about the roots of the tree not seen, deep within are also those roots which painfully grew for a long time the beauty of the struggle which is the reality for most of us in the poorer worlds,each one is a big tree over here,from rural india.

  21. Hande says:

    Dear Mr. Coelho,
    You are the great tree that you wrote in the story! No one will dare to cut you down! Nore will anybody dare to throw even the smallest stone at you! Because those who don’t love you and don’t love life will never be able to touch you, climb on you or embrace you! But we, who love you, who seek love, joy and the life, who are the warriors of light always carry you in our hearts! We reach the clouds with you, thanks to you! It is because of these tiring jurneys will we be wiser, step the earth more firmly and strongly, get used to different climates and be that gigantic tree! You know that we are always with you! And thank you very much for being with us, Mr. Coelho! We embrace you, you embrace us, we get united and make that gigantic tree! Please keep on your jurney and take us with you! I love you in any languages of the universe! Your name and surname is life itself for me! Mr. Paulo coelho!

  22. M83 says:

    Paul-

    I have joined you on your path this evening. Until the end, I will walk with you. If you look, you will see me smiling. If need a hand, mine will be there waiting. It is the least I can do, after all you have already done for me.

  23. Angela says:

    Hello Paulo and friends

    It’s fantastic reading this blog! Paulo what a great idea! This is such a lovely community and it’s great to be sharing everyone’s experiences and dreams day by day.

    Isn’t it strange how we all follow our own paths, but how they intersect? Tonight I was reading about the Cathars and was curious to discover that they believed in two gods – an evil deity associated with the material world and a benevolent force connected with a universal divine essence. As I was reading the information, it reminded me to log on to this blog and leave some comments. When the page was loading I was thinking about Catharism and how, like many religions, it remains focused on our personal identity and experiences even though we barely understand our own existence. So how brilliant … and perfect … to read tonight’s entry and a stranger’s comments about the problem of being a microscopic dot in an infinate universe and growing in spite of our limitations because of love… We can grow and understand our condition, if only the will to be better and ‘fight and dream’ is there.

    This is always been my experience of your work Paulo! Encountering your dreams, thoughts and wisdom just when I needed to hear it. Had I not found your books two years ago, I’m sure I would be in a different place today. How many times have I closed your books and said “those are the words I needed to hear at that moment”!

    It is also coincidentally exactly one year today that I found out you were in England and (probably stupidly) tried to send a thank you card to you via a restaurant where you were attending a press conference. Hopefully this message will find you with more success!

    Can’t wait for the next instalment! Thank you so much for taking the time out to share your journey(s) with us Paulo.

  24. Chiara Italy says:

    ..I am one of those persons. I am afraid of being happy and waste my time trying to set myself free from this enormous pain. I am 27, I am healthy and I have travelled around world. I met different cultures and learnt different languages bu many time I felt no warmness no sounds, all is muffled. I percieve feelings and experiences as I was behinde I glass that allows you to see but not to fell the wind and the sun. It is not life because the present doesn’t exist. The past is the only thing taht can give you prospective but is like a cristal, you can just look its cold beauty and see yourself reflected in it.
    The future is the hope, it looks like the goal and you think that you should run and get finally what you want. But the future is the present of tumorrow, and like a mirage in the desert, it disappear when yoy think you can grab it. It remains just sand.
    But If you can stop and sit on the warm send, if you can stop and remain alone with yourself without being afraid of what your soul can tell you, you are the most lucky person on erath.
    Live for those people whose happiness is trpped in themselves, because they will be glad to see that to many of us God allowed to be free on this path.

  25. km says:

    Paulo,
    I decided to drink a few beers finnish the Zahir and write a few lines to my book…im back on track again(sort of).I just need to find the time to write between everything. And so it goes, no night or day. no time to pray, no time to laugh, no time to cry, and here i stand, my soward in hand, i must fight to win, and let another day begin.

    looking foward to Like the Flowing River, if it really flows. U have to come to Galway then and bless the city, me and sign my copy…

    visit the spannish arch etc.

  26. Anna says:

    Ciao Paulo,
    che storie meravigliose ci hai regalato oggi!
    Grazie

  27. L. Katelijne says:

    Hey Paulo,

    It’s a pitty that I can not wright in my own language, it would be so much easier to speek about what I feel. Although I can feel everything you wright. The story of the tree is nice. It makes me think of my life. I’m different, not the casual women, that do what everyone wants me to do. I’m the difficult women who does not let them take my rights (like I wrote before). Therefour some are not very happy with me. And then this morning I wake at 04h40 and heard the birds singing. For me it’s the sign that even it’s still dark, the day will come soon (the first time I had this idea on a ‘short’ pelgrimage two weeks ago at night) This morning I felt suddenly very light, I can leave it to God. I have the fieling it will be allright at last even when I don’t know how the sollution will be. I have also the sparkling idea that (because they will take my loan -also for holliday, like they said) I will do a part of the road to Santiago with my three children 12,5-15-16,5 years old, I hope I don’t need to much money for that. It’s a way for me to get even closer with my children. It are three very nice children with whom I can talk very good.

    I hope you enjoy your trip next days, and meet marvelous people, with wonderfull thoughts, like yours.

    Katlijne

  28. Carla says:

    “…all those who recognize themselves in the reflection of the well and are no longer afraid of themselves, return to Paradise.”

    Paulo my favourite genius! Always manage to say what I need to hear. I was so silly to think I was going back to the Sicamore, no, no. Well we keep on pedalling, right?

    Hugs!!

    Carla

  29. Marina says:

    Hi, Paulo! I want to tell you a story, too. (Sorry for my bad English.)
    At the beginning of life, when God has just created angels, he wasn’t satisfied with his work, although he loved his children with all his heart. He then envented matter, Universe, planets… And still wasn’t happy. So one day, following his intuition, he created the last angel, most beautiful: slim, with big blue eyes, soft features, very tender. And not like others at all. In those days God wasn’t very skilled, so he decided to find out more and created Earth. He made water, green forests, animals and, finally, a man. But the man was lonely and God didn’t know how to help him! God thought: “He needs a company, he needs to be in love, care and see beauty every day. Of courcse! My last angel!” And, by inspiration of his youngest child, he made a woman.
    Years passed by, angel saw people’s life and noticed, that she’s the same as women. And she fell in love with God… “But he will never love me”, she cried, “I look almost like a boy! Let another women be most beutiful. I’ll help them.” She went to Earth and taught women to seduce men. But men started to fight and a lot of women were alone. Then angel taught men to make weapon. “It’s so scary, that they won’t use it of course! There will be balance of forces so!”-she decided. But men shed each other’s and their women’s blood. People started to make legends about the fallen angel and his (she looked like a boy) malicious actions. She wanted to do something useful, but she didn’t know how!
    The next day God shouted her in anger:”What did you do?! So much people are unhappy, so much are even died because of you! You spoiled my entire creation!!! Why?!” She thought:”I’ll tell him my truth. He will banish me out and I’ll never see him sgain… Let it be.” “It’s because I love you”, she answered. “I’m not a beautiful woman, I’m only your first experience… You’ll never love me as a man can love a woman… So I wanted to make Earth women happy with their men!” She prepared to punishment, but something changed in God’s face. “You see”, he said, “I’ve been loving you for all this long years, as a man can love a woman. But I was afraid of dreaming of you; I thought, how could you, so beautiful, so amazing, love me, simply a master…”
    :) Good luck, Paulo!

  30. marian says:

    Dear Paulo,

    thank you for all your words… they feed our souls i think, we will all miss your blog when you reach the end of this journey of yours, a journey which has become ours in a way too.

    below is a favorite of mine, a sanskrit proverb i want to share with you and everyone here…

    For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore, to this day.

    bye for now,
    Marian

  31. Hello dear Mr. Paulo Coelho:

    First of all I thank you for all that teaching that you give us in each paragraph that you write. For all that “I have learned this” or “I have found this”. When I face difficult times -which is very often-I can find hope and understanding of life in your books, in your webpage and now, thanks to God, in this webblog. Many times I think that what is happening to me (loneliness, more loneliness, a lesson to learn that I think it is difficult) is an isolated event and that I am the only one who is facing this problem; but then I read your book (nowadays I am reading El Zahir), and let me tell you, I feel better and it seems that some words that you wrote are present in my mind and so the pain decreases and an acceptance or life incresases.

    Thank you for everything and you are not alone in this path, many people whose comments are in this webblog are understanding life in a better way -for not to say in THE way- that should be, thanks to you. This Peruvian guy is with you.
    We are with you.

  32. Margarita says:

    Sorry to bother you again, guys, but kids call their disease 65 roses, because the name cystic fybrosis is unpronouncible even for me, the foreigner…

  33. Hubert says:

    Dear Paulo!

    In some moments I praise the wisdom of the spirit. The words you get, sometimes you read or hear it, are dedicated to the writer and in the same moment you write it done on a sheet or a computer, there is found a way to send it round the world to each man or person searching this words. Like a blue light embraceing or surrounding the whole world.
    And sometimes we get messages to give it to others, because of feeling so.
    “…. the wonder of love.”

    Thank you, dear giant for showing us to be couraged and different. May we find out how to be so on our own way. Big trees fill a large place in the world and in our hearts and we enjoy to grow under its cover of boughs and leaves.

    Love Hubert

  34. Margarita says:

    Right now I’m translating a declaration of consent for kids who will participate in a clilical trial of a new drug for patients with Cystic Fybrosis. Did you know that these kids rarely survive their 18-th, not to speak of their “wrong side of 30-th” birthday?
    So, dear co-readers of this blog (and my dear One, but you are already aware of that truth), please, try to utilise that precious gift that you have and do your best to sprinkle light and happiness all around you…

    How about the desert?

  35. Lisa says:

    Dearest Earth Angel

    I found the story about the tree quite moving. We live our lives, or try to live them as best we can. Lessons are learnt along the way and wisdom gained too. During that time most of us think ‘How will I grow from this?’. But as in the case of our friend the tree, we do.

    I was thinking today how respect towards people, regardless of age, is lacking is most societies. Age is irrelevant when it comes to wisdom. Not knowledge, wisdom. The woodcutters respected the tree and it’s uniqueness. How dispite adversity, it continued to grow. How many people today repsect individuality for what it is. A desire to be seperate unto ourselves, yet still belong to the human race. To know that we are love for who we want to be.

    Blessings on your journey Paulo

    Lisa
    xx

  36. Hi Paulo,

    When we stand strong, like the tree in your posting today, we follow our destiny. Yes, that feels right to me.

    But, what IS destiny?

    Destiny and Free Will seem to be at opposite sides of the spectrum, don’t they?

    Yet, when we use our Free Will, it somehow, paradoxically, allows us to follow our destiny.

    Or, are we just following our destiny all the time and is there no such thing as Free Will?

    I know the greatest thinkers of all time have grappled with this thought, and that I can’t come to any more of a conclusion than the rest of them.

    But, I like to play with it.

    Or struggle with it, is a more apt term. ;)

    I did have a dream one time, though, which felt like a strong vision. (I get most of my visions through my dreams).

    In it, a friend of mine was listening with rapt attention to someone who was speaking to her on the telephone. She had a bright light shining on her eyes and I knew in the dream that I needed to heed what she was going to say to me.

    She then spoke and told me what the voice said to her:

    ‘It doesn’t matter which choices you make. You will always end up right where you need to be!’

    And so I awoke feeling pretty good about that.

    I came to the conclusion that we are free to decide how to get there, but, that we’re going to get there, whereever ‘there’ may be, eventually.

    All roads lead to Rome. :)

    So, destiny and free will – they’re all jumbled up together in a big bunch of stuff that we call life.

    I may be wrong – stranger things have happened. :)

    I may be right.

    But, that’s the beauty of this mystery. It keeps the dialog going.

    If we knew all the answers, then, what would any of us have to talk about with each other?

    May your journey today be filled with the freshness of wonder and the excitement of new discoveries.

    Lots of love to you and yours,

    -Deb :)

  37. km says:

    It’s lunch time here. As the universe spins never ending over my head I eat a hot omlette in my fave cafe. I am safe here..there is nothing to worry about as I track back over what you wrote today…The Zahir is here in front of me. I have to read it for a while out in the sunshine. I like the book…it makes me laugh inside.Today I will finnish the book. When I am done I will look around and see what I can do with myself…Mabey write out a few chapters form the silly book I am trying to finnish, have a few beers, have a few ciggs. Make love. I am not sure. I have a few other books I should be reading but I’m lazy now and in need of excitement. I still want to go to munich nxt week but I cant…I didnt get payed much this week and probly wont next week..I hope my book will get published and I can do all the things I dream of 2day..I would love to write all day and night..bringing life to the pages again. I have a few people here in the favour bank so i’m counting on that to help me with the book. I had an article published a few weeks ago. I know I have some talent and I am young!! I wish to meet you some day if only for a while and see the man who has shaped my unorganised spirit into a full spirit, with his words and stories. Thank you for it all and everything..I don’t hear voices, ha ha!! cya in the next blog. keep smiling..

  38. Nesreen says:

    Dear Paulo,

    I always saw that travelling by train could give us the chance of meeting different interesting people. persons who look so simple and yet hold deep thoughts and meanings. on the other hand meeting you obviously brings out the best in people. we all need to find our missing parts which sometimes are not a lover, but a friend or even someone who believes in us. I need to thank you again for travelling the world for us, and God bless you.

  39. John says:

    Good afternoon dear Paulo and everyone reading this.

    It’s wonderful to see how people from different cultures come with such interesting lessons, packed inside the most beautiful stories. Oftenly full of symbolism. They can be a support to many of us, to everyone who will recognise the value. If you are open, you will always find helpful people everywhere. Maybe we need some contradictions in this world, to prove that they are not necessary.

    I am convinced that you will finish the 90-day-journey. Everyone has doubts now and then. If this is what the heart tells you, you will complete it, you will find a way to do it, although this train-journey is long and almost breaking you.

    Kind regards,
    John