Mata Hari

Below is an email I wrote to the infamous Paulo Coelho  after finishing his book The Spy.

Dear Paulo 
There’s this eeriness to the fact I finished your book The Spy 100 years to the day of when Mata Hari was executed. Thank you for sharing her story.
I have purchased your book several months ago but waited for the right time to read it, when my brain and schedule could fully inhale it. Oddly I was flying to Malaga (where Picasso wanted to whisk away Mata Hari), when I began reading it. The thing with your books is I immerse myself in them completely and will finish them in a weekend. I want to linger in them and savor each word , but they are so inviting . I can’t help but be pulled in.
As soon as I began reading the book , Mata Hari intrigued me. I heard the name but thought by the sound of it she was some yogi who was known for singing bhajans. The story you told of her keeps her spirit alive. There’s this allure and passion for wanting to be the world’s muse, but she struggled for never allowing herself to be vulnerable enough to have her own muse. She danced to escape the horrors of her world and be lifted to the gods, and perhaps briefly was a goddess. But mortals can never be godly for long. Her execution, 100 years ago today, served as a warning to the people of that time that we cannot escape death. Jealousy, war, retribution, distraction, disempowerment, and judgement were all reasons for her execution . In today’s world, people sadly still die for these reasons and more.
As a psychologist , I appreciate how you explored how trauma can taint and shift the direction of our lives. She found strength and salvation through dance. Mata Hari recreated the life she wanted through the process of renaming herself and creating her own storyline. The fabrications and erotic dance both eventually served as her downfall, but simultaneously kept her alive during her most darkest times. We have the power to recreate our own lives on this limited time we have here on earth.
Your novel keeps Mata Hari’s spirit awakened. I want to reconnect with belly dancing and the goddess within me. I know there is a goddess that lives within us all. Maybe today I will let her dance.
Thank you again for sharing your research and creativity by bringing her story to today’s consciousness. I rarely reach out to authors who impact me, but the more I live each day with gratitude I find it necessary to share the impact others have on our lives. The definition of inspiration is to breathe in God. Beauty awakens within and stirs in us a calling of wanting to be more and serve others.
“Beauty does not linger; it only visits. Yet beauty’s visitation affects us and invites us into its rhythm; it calls us to feel, think, and act beautifully in the world: to create and live a life that awakens the Beautiful. A life without delight is only half a life.”- John O’Donahue

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