When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
For Mio Baba meeting Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho was a dream come true. A miracle. She was so happy.
She wanted to know more. She did a search. She came across Yumi Crane.
Why she thought, was the facebook picture of Yumi Crane with Paulo Coelho?
She wanted to know more. She contacted Yumi and asked.
Yumi told her of meeting Paulo Coelho in Istanbul at a St Jospeh’s Day party which he hosts every year with his friends. Of signs. Of the Alchemist stone, a story she and Ken Crane told as we sat around a table a year ago after the St Jospeh’s Day party.
Mio wished to go to Australia to improve her English (I suggested England would be better). She asked her boss. He said yes, then said no: If you want to go to Australia get a new job. Learning languages is not valued in Japan.
She was very disappointed.
When Ken learnt of her story, he contacted Paulo told him of Mio and her story and asked: Could Mio come to the launch of The Alchemist pen in Bassano del Grappa?
Paulo said yes, but went one better, he said bring her along to the St Joseph’s Day party that night, a party that was to take place in a medieval Venetian castle.
When Mio was told of the invite, she could not believe it. It was a miracle.
All four of us walked to The Alchemist launch. It was pouring with rain, we arrived dripping wet and squeezed in at the back.
After the launch, as Paulo walked out, he spotted us three and gave each of us a hug, Yumi, Ken and I.
We then introduced Mio.
Paulo gave Mio a big hug. Had she died on the spot she would have gone to heaven happy.
The best was yet to come. That evening we were going to Paulo’s St Joseph’s Day party at Castello Superiore di Marostica.
A taxi came to pick us up to take us into Bassano del Grappa from where we would be taken to the party.
Had Mio got her books for Paulo to sign? No, in the excitement she had forgotten. Not to worry we told her. The taxi turned around and she picked up her books.
At the castle she again met Paulo. Her books were signed. I introduced her to Christina Oiticica (artist and Paulo’s wife) and to Rudolf Schenker (founder and lead guitarist of German rock group Scorpions).
A dream come true for a very lovely person.
She made me two lovely origami figures on the train we caught to Venice two days later as a souvenir to remember her by, but sadly these got squashed in my bag.
I have another lovely surprise for her. A very special present which I know she will love.