Thank You Christina Oiticica & Paulo Coelho

It is SYNCHRONICITY or COINCIDENCE that brought the Camino and now living in Galicia, Spain into my life.  I would never have guessed the interesting connections and twists this journey has taken – that is still unfolding today.  Who knows where it will lead but I am very grateful to all who have been a part of it.  Muchisimas Gracias!

A very special thank you to my family, friends, and camino contacts who have encouraged me to continue to follow this unfolding Camino path and see where the journey takes me. As I begin to share some of my own Synchronicity and Coincidence stories that have been a part of my experience there are connecting points that help me to share a little of my experience and it was Paulo Coelho’s Facebook post today of his video speaking on “Luck, Coincidence and Faith” that inspired me to share my thank you letter to Christina and Paulo. As it is through the kindness, generosity, and open spirit with others that has been the most special part of this journey.  I hope that it too will help you to see more of your “Synchronicities” and “Coincidences” in life.  Have Fun Following Your Own “Yellow Brick” Camino Trail!!!

Dear Christina & Paulo,

It was a pleasure to see you again in Santiago. I am glad you like the dolls – it was a fun way to share the camino pilgrimage spirit which you have inspired around the world. The synchronicity that I experienced around the world that brought the Camino, Santiago de Compostela and Spain into my has been the most amazing journey of my life of which you were a very important part and led to me meeting you during your wonderful art exhibition event at the Parador July 2010 during the Holy Year of Xacobeo. Thank you for a very special time that has lead to many more wonderful continued synchronistic experiences.

It was attending your wonderful party, meeting you, and Paulo introducing me to Julio Castro that led to our having the Rexistro 108 Vilei Global Pilgrims’ Photography Exhibition June – July 2013. I knew that when we met and I experienced your special event that in the future it would be special to continue sharing the camino and pilgrim spirit at the Parador but I didn’t know what form that would take as my “synchronicity” was still unfolding bringing new people, relationships and experiences into my life.

Your introducing me to Julio Castro has led to the opportunity to continue to collaborate and share the pilgrimage spirit through a variety of camino projects for which I am very grateful.

I would never have thought or guessed how my synchronicity to you would unfold from meeting a woman who was volunteering for the same charity as I was in La Jolla, California. She was born Toronto, Canada moved to Guadalajara, Mexico and then bought a second home in La Jolla, CA and was asked by the same woman to volunteer for the charity event (interesting is that I met this same woman at the baggage / luggage claim at the Dallas Airport and though she was from my home town I didn’t know her before and hadn’t seen her.  It was bumping into her months later when I returned from travel that I too was invited to volunteer) our meeting summer 2009 that just happened to be in the La Jolla library and she knew of the documentary I am developing and said there was a book I needed to read and had I heard of The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho? I was not familiar with this book at the time and then she mentioned The Alchemist which I had read and loved.

So from this comment and brief discussion in the library which made it easy for her to show me your book started my synchronistic experiences that led to meeting you in Santiago de Compostela in 2010.  It was an interesting journey from the Library, that led to having a special celebration for my friend’s 89th Birthday and lunch with Prince Albert of Monaco where I gave to one of the guests my copy of The Pilgrimage. The Camino helps to start many special conversations and at the birthday lunch I was seated with one of the other 11 guests and in our conversation she said that she had always wanted to do the Camino by horseback.  This woman had started the garden society with Princess Grace and her daughter also an avid horse lover works for Prince Albert.  So the next day I went to the palace with some gifts one of which was your book The Pilgrimage.

It was interesting how interconnected my synchronicity has been and there is much more to the story but in short  I had put Prince Albert’s name on my computer calendar regarding the Camino documentary and another charity I participate in that teaches underserved communities filmmaking to help empower them through filmmaking to their share their stories in life.  It was then six months later Spring of 2009 that I saw in the paper that Prince Albert was coming from Monaco to La Jolla October 2009, my home town, to receive an award.

Through even more continued series of synchronicities I would attend the event and a man I met that evening, Ed Mracek, would introduce me to his friend, Max Gurney, who has been honorary council to Monaco and the Prince for more than 50 years. Max and I became friends and sharing the same birthday month Max June 10 and mine June 5 he invited me to share in celebrating his birthday later in June 2010 fly to Monaco with Prince Albert and special guests.

There are many connections to this story and the 10 years of synchronicity to the Camino and Spain that I am now writing in story form but it has been an amazing journey of people, connections, our connectedness, and experiences that still continues.

From lunch with Prince Albert my time in Monaco brought other synchronicity to you where I later traveled onto Marsailles, Aix en Provence and onto Barcelona at the last minute to follow some new signs all related to developing the Camino documentary and at breakfast with a producer from Valencia, Spain who has been filming her own Camino story and the Santiago’s around the world for more than 20 years received a call during our breakfast meeting that she was going to interview Paulo. I had shared some of my stories of synchronicity and we both smiled at yet another “coincidence”.

From Barcelona in June 2010 it was back to La Jolla briefly and then onto Santiago de Compostela for Xacobeo St. James Holy Year Festival where I would ultimately attend your special Art Exhibition Event in the Parador.  It would be at the last minute when I was working with a team of 5 people that I would “hear Paulo’s name in my head” – we stopped filming briefly and a new contact, Nathalie Archer whom I had met in Barcelona had traveled to help me film events of Xacobeo and the Holy Year Celebration 2010, was also helping with translating during our trip. We made our way to the Santiago Film Commission Office where we had had our meetings earlier for filming.  We spoke with them and they said yes your event was today starting in an hour and being familiar with my project they arranged for us to be a guests at your event.

It was very special for all of us to share in your event and experience your beautiful and inspiring art. With all the film and television crews you had attending we would again synchronistically end up talking to and filming the team that had been hired to document your exhibition.  A father and son from Germany.  We enjoyed filming them and their personal story because through the documentary we are trying to share and show how people using their gifts and talents working collaboratively together make a difference in the world.  What a wonderful example of a father and son team doing just that. It was in speaking and filming them that led to finally meeting you.

After your cocktail reception it was time for your dinner event and we were invited to take some pictures and video of the dinner.  After a short time, my film team left, and the translator and I said our thank you’s and as we were leaving just outside there was Paulo standing alone with Julio Castro of the Parador.  Paulo was kind to greet us and introduce us to Julio Castro, as I had earlier in the party shared a little bit about the documentary I have been developing.   This conversation would lead to the next day being what we thought was two hours late to a meeting, but again the universe has its own timing, I would walk into O Beiro Vinoteca to purchase a birthday gift for another friend and there was Julio Castro with the President of the Paradores.  They invited me to join them and later to have a meeting at the Parador.

This series of events would lead to a year later returning to Santiago de Compostela in September 2011 meeting German Limeres the photographer of Rexistro 108 Vilei through the Santiago Film Commissioner Dimas Gonzalez introduction that led to having the Rexistro 108 Vilei Global Pilgrim’s Exhibition event June – July 2013 in the Parador and our participating in the 1st Camino Film & Television Festival as their inauguration event June 5, 2013 which just happened to be my 50th birthday – so a very special way to celebrate life and my synchronicities to the Camino, Galicia and Spain.

It was a wonderful surprise that your 25th Anniversary Celebration of The Alchemist and the filming of your new movie occurred when the exhibition was taking place and brought in many ways full circle the synchronistic events that started years before.

There was another fun twist in the story that when I had been inviting pilgrims’ in Obradoiro Plaza to come to have their photographs taken I met two couple who had done the camino together and they decided to come to the Parador later for their picture. As she walked through the door you and Paulo were just leaving for the airport. She was amazed and touched deeply about her own synchronicity to you as she shared with us later with us that she had decided to do the Camino because of Paulo’s book The Zahir and later The Pilgrimage.

They had finished their camino a day early and just happened to be sitting in Obradoiro enjoying the view of the Cathedral when I invited them to participate in the photography project.  I had only handed them a flyer and asked if they wanted to participate and nothing more.  So for me it was fun to have them participate and when we asked if she wanted to share any of her camino thoughts and reflections on video she would share this story of synchronicity to you and your books with us. It was another wonderful “circle of synchronicity” at that moment.

Again I would like to  share a very special thank you to you, Paulo , Julio Castro and Dimas Gonzalez, German Limeres, including all the others who through these synchronistic connections helped to make all this possible for us to continue to share the Camino spirit through this photography exhibition and the development of the documentary.

Thank you for your patience and time in reading this as I felt it was important to share with you this story of how we met and the wonderful experiences it has led to.

I look forward to seeing you again if your travels have you returning to Santiago de Compostela and am wishing you a very special Bo Camiño journey!!!!

With every good wish,

Susan

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