The Salsa Alchemist.

18 Jun

The following references are from:

by Paul Coelho ».

A novel and fairy tale about following one’s dreams. First published in Brazil in 1988.

Part One, Pages 22-23:
“… The boy didn’t know what a person’s “destiny” was.
“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is.
“At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begin to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.”
None of what the old man was saying made much sense to the boy. But he wanted to know what the “mysterious force” was; the merchant’s daughter would be impressed when he told about that!
“It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your destiny. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” …”

Part One, Pages 22-23

I’ve often mused that salsa is a dance for people in transition. When you look around, salsa gigolos don’t seem to be whole or complete people. Often, something is missing in our lives. This is probably true, even, for most non-salsa gigolos, but salsa has a way of bringing all that is deep down, all that is hidden, to the surface. When we dance, our awkwardness, our insecurities, our desires, all previously hidden, bubble to the surface.

Part Two, Pages 96-97:
“… Finally, a young woman approached who was not dressed in black. She had a vessel on her shoulder, and her head was covered by a veil, but her face was uncovered. The boy approached her to ask about the alchemist.
At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged within him. When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was cerainly an omen — the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. …”

Part Two, Pages 96-97

And the one thing that seems most to be missing from salsa gigolos’s lives, is love. Salsa gigolos are mostly searching for love, running from love, in between loves, or simply waiting for love. Before salsa, before dance, my concept for finding love was to work on everything else first and then work on love. Salsa has flipped this around, and now I believe that the concept for finding love should be to work on love first, and then work on everything else. Learning salsa is like a trial, and every small thing learned takes time to become incorporated, to become smooth. Learning how to love, too, takes time to become incorporated, to become smooth, to become a part of a salsa gigolo’s philosophy.

Part Two, Pages 138-139:
“… “Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them — the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.
” So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”
“Why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?” the boy asked the alchemist.
“Because that’s what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.”
From then on, the boy understood his heart. He asked it, please, never to stop speaking to him. He asked that, when he wandered far from his dreams, his heart press him and sound the alarm. the boy swore that, every time he heard the alarm, he would heed it’s message. …”

Part Two, Pages 138-139

It is unlikely that becoming a salsa gigolo was a part of anyone’s childhood dreams. Yet, we have become salsa gigolos, and this is now a part of each of our paths. For me, salsa has helped me become a new man, and to better understand what salseras, and women want. Salsa has taught me about love, and it is still teaching me about love. Salsa has taught me the value of the 12-bonk rule », and then how to follow my heart.
Salsa Gigolometer 120


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