There were a few amazing things that have happened from me getting this accident. One I have talked about before. The enormous (and I cant actually put into words how enormous) help I have gotten here. I feel like the most spoiled of people. If I move people tell me not to. Whatever it is that it is their specialty I am offered.
The second thing is that I got emails from all over the world. My Brazilian friends and family welcoming home, my friends from abroad wishing me to go home enjoy my family and friends and hoping to meet somewhere in the future.
The third thing that happened which touched me deeply is that most of my friends wrote to tell me not to stop writing “Around the World”. Some told me they were addicted to reading the stories of the people I encountered. One of the things that made me really sad to stop traveling was not to be allowed to share stories. But I wont stop. I will keep writing wherever it is that I am.
I wish I could write about all replies that I received. You would not imagine how much they touch me.
When I read Carley’s words ( yes I could hear them), telling me she was going to be a granny to me because all the pain she had felt through her journey in Kashmir could not be wasted in vain. I felt blessed. When Mirte who was here for few days told me she never writes because she feels insecure about it but read all of my emails and was touched by it I was grateful beyond belief. When Sam who is in Palestine wrote me saying
“If I learned anything in my 40 years of life, I learned that no matter how hard life is, how painful it is, how unfair it is… It always comes with unplanned, unexpected joy… All our bad experiences, crappy feelings, we end up learning, feeling better and have the benefit of our worst experiences”
I felt the greatness of pain is that it allows for you to be compassionate even of some small problem. Sam lives under an occupation has been illegally held in prison for 11 months and yet he finds the time and compassion to sympathise with a “broken foot”.
When Carol who I have not seen in almost 7 years wrote to me to give me support and advice I felt thankful.
When Natasha who I met in India 4 years ago ( when I was then sick with my brain) wrote me inviting to come to her mothers temple in Brasil I was surprised she read my emails. Her reply was
“that she always prayed for me.”
I met Natasha in my first journey to Tibetan lands. When she was studying Tibetan Buddhism with high lamas. At the time she gave me an amulet that had been given to her by a lama. It was to protect her but she passed it on to me. I was speechless. I carried it with me for years till I felt my brain was healed and that I could pass it on to someone who needed. Just like it was once done to me.
Kica my friend in London wrote me several lovely emails to tell me things that come from within. Joana who I met here offered to come back from Laos to take me down to Bangkok and carry my bags. My dear dear dear friend Paula who I know since I am child wrote to say she was worried about me. A short message. To the point…enough for me to know she is there. My cousin Olivia wrote to wish me to be welcomed. Ricardo who I met when I was a child and have not seen in almost 20 years wrote me too. And so did many other people I cannot do justice here now.
This email is just to say thank you. To let you know I will keep writing. And that yesterday’s pain is already brighter.
I fly to Brasil on Sunday. My Israeli friend changed her plans to come and visit me here before I go. I will be taken to Bangkok by Nick ( an angel who is just going to take me and come back the day after here). I am a 100% sure that once he leaves me I will encounter other nice strangers who will help me along the way. At some point I will be able to help other strangers too. Some will pass through my life briefly. Some I will never see again. Some will stay forever even if we are not in the same place.
This e-mail is to say Thank You. It is to say that I am not a brave person as many people feel that I am. Once you put your bag on your back and cross borders you will realise it is way easier than it appears. It is to say that even though there are painful parts. That you do get hurt emotionally and physically. You do fall and break yourself sometimes. That you have to re-evaluate who you trust who you don’t. If you are open enough you will always encounter help along the way.
I am going home. I am now happy to go. But today I realise that I could just as well have stayed here. It is one more mark in my body, one more scar in my soul. I am learning to uncover it. I am learning to reveal it and attempt not to run away. It is difficult. It is painful. Some people look at you and they see it. When we encounter them we recognise our pain. We accept our fragility. When it happens you feel you will die but little by little that despair becomes familiar. And you know sometimes it takes simply time. And of course the support of those around you.
To those who wrote me telling me of their pain that they keep secret. It is true that it is us who must heal our own wounds. However, our fragility is what makes us human. Do not hide your pain. Open up in face of it all. Open it up. I guarantee that whatever reason it is you feel pain you will find out that we all feel it. And when you do you will like me find help all over. In spite of language, of culture, of social class. When you do others do it as well.
It is not a matter of being brave. It is just accepting our own fragility. Mine has taken me a long way. It has brought me to a world of gratitude.
This e-mail is just to say really thank you.