“What are you thinking about Tomas?” asks Tereza as she leans towards him in the driver’s seat, kissing him softly. He ponders before answering. “That I am so happy! ” So the canvas fades, and they face death. This scene is from “the unbearable lightness of Life.” A film based on Milan Kundera’s novel. I watched the movie a long time ago but never read the book. If someone asked me what the movie was about, I would say:
“The beauty that goes hand in hand with drama. It lurks around every corner of life, in unforeseen events, political upheavals, and human encounters.”
Why am I talking about this? That name came to me as the title for my post, and I thought, “Now wait a minute, isn’t that a movie?” A Google search answered yes! The film is from 1988 with Juliette Binoche as one of the main characters. The idea for this post came after my last post about love.
“How about dedicating a post to the lightness of life, surfing the surface, and not diving deep into the ocean of life and human existence as you often do, Parisa? See it as a kind of exercise, and find out if you can conjure up something readable that others will also enjoy.”
“Remember lightness and playfulness!!!” I reminded myself, continued typing and hoped to draw out my playful side that I quickly jump into when meeting children.
“Are you over a hundred years old?” one of the kids asked me one day. I laughed and thought that I should thank myself for that question. Every time kids asked about my age, I answered 550. My joke had come back to me like a boomerang. “No, not that old, only 50.” I owed him a truthful answer. Speaking of age, precisely one year ago, I was in Peru on A 3-month adventure which culminated in celebrating my 50th birthday on the top at Machu Picchu. I had my doubts and second thoughts during the planning stage.
“How can I realize getting there with my chosen lifestyle?” Somehow, all the practical pieces fell into place, and I landed in Peru on July 6. In Peru, I wanted to finish a writing project, spend my 50th day at Machu Picchu, hike in the Andes mountains, explore the magical historical land full of ancient mysteries and make blog posts.
A year later, I recall my endless encounters with people and my steps in the Andes. I think of my elderly neighbour across the street. I wouldn’t have known he existed if he hadn’t spent all day on the pavement outside his simple home. And had I had enough Spanish, I would have bombarded him with questions, but the language barrier inspired other methods. It became the post of Don Julio.
A 180 degrees change of direction
Another theme that synchronicities often led me to was meeting people who had taken giant leaps of faith. They had a 180 degrees change of direction. People like Australian Stephanie, who was only dreaming and her state of mind, contributed to creating Imagina-Té in Cusco, Peru.
There was also the Bellota family, who enjoyed the first few weeks of the pandemic. As the lockdown dragged on, their joy was replaced with desperation. They had no income. They chose to move, and today they run Santuario de La Veronica (ecotourism) at the foot of the mountain Apu Veronica. I remember the taxi ride that confronted me with my prejudices: an Israeli and a gypsy in a taxi in Peru. That trip took me to Mancora in northern Peru, where I met people on a trek hoping for a better life because their home country, Venezuela, had been declared bankrupt.
So were all my steps taking me to the Andes mountains and the mysterious historical places of Peru. Did you know, for example, that the Incas had no written language, but they had quipu or khipu? A knot system that is still a mystery. That made me wonder: What do we know about ancient history? If this topic piques your curiosity, you should watch the Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse.
Being done reminiscing about that trip, I am on to my next one. “Will everything fall into place this time as well? Can I walk the 1000 km( 621 miles) from Seville to Santiago de Compostela at the beginning of September?” Before that, I’m heading to a two-week dance art project, so this will be my last post for a few weeks. And while wrapping up this post, I wonder, “Did I master lightness? “
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