The golden rose


(this is not the painting I buried on 08/July/2010, but a different one. To see me “Hiding the work of my wife”, click HERE )

I have just had dinner, now I am having some coffee and contemplating the painting in front of me: it was put in a river and left there for a year, waiting for nature to give the final touch to the painter’s work.

Half of the painting was carried off by the waters and bad weather, so the edges are all uneven, but even so I can still see part of the beautiful red rose painted on a golden background. I know the artist. I remember 2003, when together we went to a forest in the Pyrenees, discovered the creek – which at that moment was dry – and hid the canvas underneath the stones that covered the river bed.

I know the artist, Christina Oiticica. At this very moment she is physically at a distance of 8,000 kilometers, and at the same time she is in everything around me. That makes me happy: even after 29 years of marriage, the love is more intense than ever before. Never did I imagine that this would happen: I had been in three relationships that did not work out right and was convinced that eternal love did not exist until she came along – on a Christmas afternoon, like a present sent by a angel.
We went to the movies.
We made love that same evening.
I thought to myself: “this won’t last long”. For the first two years I was always expecting one of us to give up the relationship. For the following five years I went on thinking that it was just an arrangement, that in a short while each of us would go our own way. I had convinced myself that any commitment of a more serious nature would deprive me of my “freedom” and stop me experiencing all that I wanted.

Twenty-nine years on, I am still free – because I discovered that love never enslaves us. I am free to turn my head and watch her sleeping at my side – that is the photo I have on my mobile phone. I am free for us to go out, enjoy a stroll, go on talking, discussing – and occasionally arguing, as always.
I am free to love as I have never loved before, and that makes a great difference in my life.

Let’s go back to the painting and the river: it was the summer of 2002, I was already a well-known writer, I had money, I felt that my basic values had not changed, but how could I be absolutely certain?
By testing.
We rented a small room in a two-star hotel in France, where we began to spend five months each year. The wardrobe could not get any bigger, so we had to limit our clothes. We wandered through the forests, dined out, spent hours in conversation and went to the movies every day. The simplicity of it all confirmed for us that the most sophisticated things in the world are precisely those that are within everyone’s reach. All that I needed for my work was a portable computer.
But it so happens that my wife is … a painter.

And painters need gigantic studios to produce and keep their work. By no means did I want her to sacrifice her vocation for me, so I proposed renting a place. However, looking around, seeing the mountains, the valleys, the rivers and the lakes, the forests, she thought: why don’t I work here? And why not let nature work with me?

And thus was born the idea of “storing” the canvases in the open air. I carried my laptop and went on writing. She knelt on the grass and painted. A year later, when we removed the first paintings, the result was original, magnificent.

We lived in that small hotel for two unforgettable years. She continued to bury her canvases, no longer out of necessity but because she had discovered a new technique. The Amazon, Mumbai, the Road to Santiago, Lublijana, Miami. Today she is far away, but tomorrow or next week she will be close again, sleeping at my side. Content, because her work is beginning to be recognized all over the world.

At this moment I see only the rose. And I thank the angel that gave me two presents on that Christmas of 1979: the ability to open up my own heart, and the right person to receive it.

CHRISTINA OITICICA HOME PAGE

Comments

  1. gladys menezes says:

    i am so happy for me………….
    in my life too i am touched by an angel who has inspired me into a world of colors and magic is happening all around me!!!!

    WHEN TOUCHED BY TRUE LOVE U MOVE BEYOND EVERYTHING.

  2. jason says:

    Its nice to think that it has happened to some one… to find that one person to complete the circle. but after all i had to go through, i sincerely believe that not everyone is so lucky.

    You write very well.

  3. pawan sharma says:

    Dear Mr Coelho,
    as every1 else in the world me too luv ur books, (especially alchemist), but have u ever come india or have u read mahabharat?

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      I read the Bhagavad Gita

  4. Dr Pooja says:

    Read your love story”the golden rose”
    n it was so beautiful……..so simple n divine
    i recently had a break up from a relationship that was since long &reading your story i felt that one fine day i would also find”
    ability to open up my own heart, and the right person to receive it.”
    love to u & christina
    Dr Pooja

  5. Viola says:

    *Whispering*, I am trusting God to bring to me a husband soon. AND Thank you for restoring my faith.

  6. Robin says:

    Really amazing idea and impressive story.Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sheridan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this Paulo!
    I read this story over and over again. You give me hope and it shows me life and love are as beautiful as we make them. Settling is optional.

  8. Dorothea says:

    Bless you both by One´s Love

    & thank you :-)

  9. Silayio says:

    just today I came across Kahlil Gibran’s quote..”Let there be space in your togetherness” and “let the winds of heaven dance between you”..a much needed beacon at this tumultuous point in my relations

    I am edging close to the point of throwing my hands in the air regarding true unconditional and eternal undying love…reading Paulo’s work is just as well uplifting.

  10. Zee says:

    What a wonderful idea! It’s such a beautiful painting and looks more beautiful with the passage of time. True love ages gracefully. It doesn’t try to hide it’s faults.

    Thank you Paulo for sharing your story with us.

  11. Tatia says:

    Dear Mr Coelho,

    I love your books… and they are close to my heart and sole… you have verily brilliant talent granted to you… God bless you.

    P.S We would be appreciated if you could visit us here in the Republic of Georgia.
    Regards,
    Tatia M.

  12. Jojo says:

    Have to share this … at a funeral, a man that I did not know, the brother of the deceased, came to me the second day and told me he had a mission … to deliver me a message … many things he said, like if he had known me, giving me answers to many prayers, and saying that “this man is your true love”, and that he had to deliver a message to the man, which he did. He told me that this man truly loved me, that we were meant to be together and that the only thing that was holding his love was fear. Yesterday, my “ex husband” came to me and asked me to postpone the divorce papers, that something happened to him and that he feels that he has to take time and be sure of his decision.

    Love, Jojo.

    1. Adriana says:

      Dearest Jojo
      I hope you can read this.
      I’m with you, I fully understand you. Fear had taken hold of me too. I’ve undergone a terrible fear for the last month. Just trust, don’t give up on love. Time and faith will make things happen.
      Lots of love
      Adriana

  13. Asfar says:

    I love your books.I so wish to exchange a few words with you… but I know its a futile dream.
    Best wishes to you & your family.
    Asfar
    From India

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      best wishes to you and your family

    2. Adriana says:

      Asfar
      Don’t think it is a futile dream. I see myself in your thoughts five years ago. I remember once I got to the Internet cafe from work feeling so depressed because no matter how hard I tried I could not make the best out of my English students, they did not respect me and that really hurt me. That day I wrote to him via e-mail that I hoped to get an e-mail from him someday and I got it soon after that. That gave me hope. My brother, whom I owe the fact of having made me read the first book by Paulo,kept telling me that those e-mails ( because I got more) were not written by him, and I never listened to him. I know they were written by Paulo. I want you to know that perseverance, time and faith perform miracles because I got to know him and exchange wit him a few words as you say , last March.
      Blessings
      Adriana

    3. Magdalena says:

      If you really want something it can happen! Dream do come true :)

  14. Helen says:

    “At this moment I see only the rose. And I thank the angel that gave me two presents on that Christmas of 1979: the ability to open up my own heart, and the right person to receive it.”

    very touching and sweet love story, it brought tears to my eyes..though i stopped believing in everlasting love..

  15. tania says:

    admira-me sempre a “facilidade” que tu tens de expressar o amor que tu sentes pela tua mulher, eh um amor lindo, que inspira-me e da-me forca de continuar a amar, eu tou numa relacao de 2 anos , eh o meu recorde ate agora
    :) e confesso k as vezes sinto que nao vai dar certo, e que nao vai durar, mas eu o amo, e por isso luto todos os dias a favor desse amor, e quando leio os teus livros, tenho mais forca de seguir em frente. Obrigado Paulo

  16. Maire says:

    “I am free to turn my head and watch her sleeping at my side” The persons who appreciate the simples moments of life find the meaning on it… to see the person you love beside you it’s one of the best things there is… why we always want more??

  17. alchemist was really a wonderful xperience……….
    thanx a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. paulo coelho is the best writer at the world

  19. tricia says:

    “I am still free – because I discovered that love never enslaves us. I am free to turn my head and watch her(him) sleeping at my side – that is the photo I have on my mobile phone. I am free for us to go out, enjoy a stroll, go on talking, discussing – and occasionally arguing, as always.
    I am free to love as I have never loved before, and that makes a great difference in my life.”
    im at Loss for words because this already says exactly how i feeL. Loving is a great feeLing. ♥

  20. Dagmar Lamaletie says:

    ” to be in love with you, yet it has nothing to do with you’ is a saying so true, because how easily do we lose our identity when in a relationship?

  21. eleonora says:

    centra poco con quanto dovrei scrivere….sappi che l’appuntamento quotidiano con te, e’una piacevole attesa….e’confortante per ognuno di noi sapere che chi risiede ruoli ambiti nella societa’ti presta attenzione…ma il bello risiede nel cammino delle persone comuni….***suerte****!!!********

  22. Gaurry says:

    A pretty moving story, that reminds me: the happy marrage just is each one has his or her own loving interesters meanwhile respect each other’s, never blame the partner.the perfect conjunction is both independence and dependence together!

  23. Sua história me faz lembrar a minha, de amor, prezando a liberdade, se prendendo e ser livre, amando. A pintura é linda não só sua esposa, mas o tempo, a natureza e Deus foram artista dessa obra.
    Abraços de carinõ.

    Estela Franco
    Campo Grande – MS
    Brasil

  24. elf says:

    Thank you Paulo. My love and I are currently apart, knowing that despite some devastatingly difficult times we love each other, we are part of each other, what we have is enduring and hoping that we will find a way. This beautiful story of your & Christina’s love gives us inspiration. You have my gratitude, thank you for sharing. God bless. xxx