One final thought from the Paulo Coelho’s conversation with Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast that you can listen to here. In talking about Eros, Coelho says:
I’ve been married for 34 years with the same woman, but is she the same woman? I don’t think so.
His statement made me think about my own marriage. Stephen and I have been together seven years and married five, such a short span of time considering my in-laws have been married over 50 years, and yet even we are not the same individuals we were when we met. I think I’ve gone through more of a change, which may be the reason why I laughed when I heard Paulo Coelho speak about his wife. I was a hospice social worker, then a therapist at a group home for teenage boy’s on probation, and then I quit my job to travel with Stephen before starting our family. Most of the time I worked as a social worker I was stressed out and didn’t really find joy in my work. Now I am a stay-at-home mom. I dream of working along side my husband at the ranch, growing our food, raising and caring for animals on our land. For some people the change that occurs within an individual in marriage is too great to embrace to allow the two to grow together. Maybe we are just lucky that our dreams merged into one. Knowing how I am, I’ll still be a different person ten years from now compared to who I am now.
In response to Krista’s final question about what it means to Coelho to be human or as he interprets it, “Who Am I?” he says:
So, uh, to be totally honest, I don’t know who I am. And I don’t think people ever will know who they are. We have to be humble enough to learn to live with this mysterious question. Who am I? So, I am a mystery to myself. I am someone who is in this pilgrimage from the moment that I was born to the day to come that I’m going to die. And this is something that I can’t avoid, whether I like it or not, or — I’m going to die. So, what I have to do is to honor this pilgrimage through life. And so I am this pilgrim — if I can somehow answer your question — who’s constantly amazed by this journey. Who is learning a new thing every single day. But who’s not accumulating knowledge, because then it becomes a very heavy burden in your back. I am this person who is proud to be a pilgrim, and who’s trying to honor his journey.