In Gabriel Garcia’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, every March in Macondo, where Colonel Bundeia lived, gypsies would visit in their caravans to show the people of this small town magical objects from the outside world which would change Colonel Bundeia’s life forever.
Every September in New York City, antique book collectors from all over the world arrive carrying endless boxes of rare books, artefacts and pieces of art, like treasures from the outside world. They would change my life forever. The most magical part of this book fair is one section which I call the forgotten gems. Here you can find little scraps of paper bound with handwritten stories and doodle like illustrations, mostly of unpublished authors.
I once found a story about a giant mushroom that’s only visible at night, and a scrapbook about how a man met his wife. Maybe they wrote it just for themselves, or maybe they hoped one day to publish them but never did. Regardless, this section always left in awe at all the beauty that never makes it to us, and the idea that life and death is in literally in our hands.
Here is one story that I wanted to bring to life. In the 1930’s in a small town in Syria by an ancient Palace a serious and very handsome young man was strolling in a graveyard contemplating death, when he came across a golden strand of hair tied to a graveyard. He was mesmerized by this hair, for who is the woman who would cut off her hair for love? Enchanted by this, he went searching for her, knocking door after door, until he finally found her. That is how my great grandparents met!
When I came across this story, a story my grandmother had kept a secret even from her own children, I was enchanted. It felt like I had found it in that magical fair, only this time it was not about a stranger, but about me, where I come from. So, I began to search for more information.
I researched the town and tried to imagine what it had looked like in the 1930’s, what graveyards looked like! What people looked like. How their houses were built and what knocking on many doors felt like. This little town reminded me of the fictional town of Macondo. At the end of bringing this secret story to life, I felt like I was bringing a part of myself to life.