Cartagena and the Bracelets


Usually as I see things, I want to tell them to the world. Here is the same.. But
writing is a bit harder now because when I am not doing something I feel I
should rest… Yet I have 3 stories I want to tell and if I do not
write now tomorrow there will be 4 things that I will have to weave

You all know I have a strong relationship with Palestinians, Israelis
and Italians. So I left Brazil having just spoken to an Israeli who
lives in Italy.  We spoke and I said farewell to Brazil and when I got
to Colombia I met Lorenzo, a friend from Italy whom I had met in Palestine.

He used to live there, now he lives here. He is a very special person. Who I have written about when I was taken by him ( against my will) to see the wall in Bethelehem with three of my friends from Nablus in Palestine. Those of you who have read me since then must remember it.

I was furious with him that day. Here it is a reencounter. A third
continent we see each other in.  He knows me so well. He makes me eat. He has
introduced me to a place he has been living in for a while. And most
importantly, he introduced me to his family who is here visiting him.

So my atypical trip started by me recovering, joining 2 italian families who know each
other for decades. Through these families I am being introduced to
Colombia. I who can barely eat am being made to eat slowly. Eat well.
And I who can barely speak Portuguese have to have complicated
conversations in Italian, swap to Spanish, English French several
times a day. To Lorenzo I speak Portuguese and now it feels like

I spent Christmas with them. Italians are hilarious. They are so
sacred about their food. And they remind me sometimes of my father with
how much it matters the food that it is put inside. Hunger can not be
wasted they say. I who can not waste hunger either (but for physical
reasons) am learning to really appreciate the food I eat.

So it was in one of these lunches that I met a Colombian woman who
knew some men Lorenzo ( my italian friend) knows. She looked at my
Chinese bracelet and commented on it. I told her it was from china and
she showed me hers.

It was made of the same material. Yet hers were three that had been
put together. She wore them and one day the love relationship she was
in broke and so did the bracelet. They separated and one of them broke
off. She took it away and locked it away. She eventually, fell in love
again, one day that relationship broke off  as well, and the second
bracelet also out of the blue broke out. She locked it away with the
first one.

I heard her and as a true south American I am discovering myself to be
I asked her whether she was starting a new relationship. She confirmed
it. It immediately came to me a story I had heard a week before. Someone
important to me had read it, It was a short story about some man who had
fished a beautiful bracelet out of the sea and had given it to his wife and fell in
love with her when she had it. He then died and some other married man fell in love
with the lady who had the bracelet.

In realizing it she gave the bracelet to the wife of that man. And so the man fell madly in love with his wife. Eventually as they decided moving houses and she used
the bracelet to tie the wires of a computer her husband fell in
love with the computer, and more precisely with writing. As this wife
also noticed this love the bracelet created she decided to break it
into pieces and asked her nephew to throw it in the sea. The nephew then fell
in love with the sea.

I heard the story and told my friend who  had read it that to me what
made me moved was to think of how love is not on things. It is in
relationships and yet sometimes we need something symbolic to see
it…. and yet this women, this archetypical women of the book don’t
want that power, they return the love that does not belong to them
either to the person who it belongs to ( first wife), or even to the
sea. And the sea for me is water, it is movement, emotion, they return
love to it all…

I tell the story to the lady. Not entirely sure why. She looks deep
into my eyes and tells me that that was the greatest gift she had
gotten for Christmas. She had locked away those broken bracelets but
had lately been thinking to throw it in the sea. Before thinking much
I said ” do it”.  Not sure why I told her then…

And after i understood why… We all have to close cycles to start new ones.

Today Lorenzo and his family invited me to go to an island. We took
the boat there… it reminded me as I entered the boat and felt the
sea in my foo that just before me waking up sick I had been the day
before in the sea. As I made my way to the island i thought of the
bracelets, and of my health.

Yet in the Island i started to do yoga for the first time as I sat in
the sand. It was also the last thing i did before being sick yoga in
the beach and the sea. And then as i deeply enjoyed discovering this
new body I live in.. A little Colombian boy sat watching me. Usually,
I would have just kept my practice. But yet there was a child and I
could not. I asked his name, and decided to teach movements to him. And
within seconds I had 4 young boys talking to me. I learned their
songs’. I learned their lyrics.. And when they were gone I entered the
sea. I sang. It was no perfect singing but I could sing to the sea. I
had nothing to return to it. Just maybe my difficulty of speaking.
Maybe i wanted to thank the sea, I am not sure… so I sang whatever came to mind.

Ironically or not, I can not know what I did to my Chinese bracelet. I
dont know where it is. I am still hoping to find where i misplaced it.
I never minded loosing things. Yet this bracelet was given to me by my

I know perfectly well what are the things that I am supposed to throw
to the sea. But maybe I am not yet ready. But at some point if  we
want to start something new we must return things to the sea. They
might be back. But we can t lock things up. Broken things. We must let
go what makes no sense. So that we can be in what makes sense.

And what makes most sense to me now. Is to go have dinner with Lorenzo
and his family. They are making me much healthier and happier.
Love from mysterious Colombia.


Ps: I wrote this post last night, I sent it and my first reply came from the Palestinian who introduced me to Lorenzo 🙂 He wished to be here, and wished for me to find my bracelet. As I went to bed yesterday I found it… under me. Who knows how .. who cares..? I wished Ahmad could be here too…

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