Gente que Cuenta

The coin,
by Leonor Henríquez

Ana Maria Mendoza Atril press e1697689558667
Ana María Mendoza,
Two sides of a coin, 2023

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      Recently, due to different circumstances, I went to two very busy places.

I was shocked by the overwhelming crowd of each one, perhaps due to lack of habit after so many months of the pandemic.

They were two very different places in their style and nature, but with several things in common.

In both, colorful cocktails, and all kinds of cold, rather icy, fluids were served.

The staff was extraordinarily friendly and efficient, always with a smile on their faces.

One of these rooms was more bustling than the other. In the first one, people spoke more loudly; in the second, an overwhelming silence, spoke even louder. But in both locations a secret camaraderie could be felt. Those who attend these spaces share deep ties.

I am fascinated by what I call “the human experience” and I like to observe around me, at the crowd and their inscrutable faces, at myself.

Contrasting these two spaces was very illuminating for me. I thank my two friends who gave me the gift of their company.

It is time to reveal to you that the first place I attended was a pub. There, I had a very well-conversed glass of wine and friendship with a long-time friend.

The second place this analogy refers to, is the hospital room where patients receive chemotherapy. I went there as a companion of a brave friend.

That morning we drank a glass full of courage and hope. We talked, we laughed, and I even read her the messages from the animal spiritual guides, legacy of our “First Nations”.

There is no fear for those who have hope.

They say that “to have hope is to believe in the impossible,” and with the forgiveness of Saint Thomas, it is not “see it, to believe it” but rather, “believe it, to see it.”

Pub and hospital; health and illness. The human experience.

Two sides of the same mysterious coin.

The one called LIFE.

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570

Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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