21 Nov 2010

‘Different Links On The Same Chain’


I received this beautiful letter from one of my readers who lives in Bengal.
We have shared a correspondence for some time now… but this one particular note touched me and gave me cause to reflect on the serendipitous nature of connection in our lives. 

“Vicki, please may I share something with you – you understand the essence of things – something I believe in totally and completely too…. 

There is a basti (a settlement of dispossessed people – they live in shacks, have no running or drinking water, no electricity, and no facilities of any kind AT ALL) near where we live. I go for a walk every morning, and used to see a lady from this basti also walk along the same route. One day, we smiled at each other, quite spontaneously when our paths crossed, and since then, without any words she started to join me, doing one round of my walk. This lady, has only a very small smattering of Hindi and a word or two of English that she has picked up. I speak both these languages. She however speaks Bengali (her mother tongue) which I do not speak, but can sort of get the gist of. Over the days, a kind of companionship has grown. Our worlds are so different – she runs a stall on the side of a small road. She takes her wares – bakery products, chips and such like, in a cycle van (a contraption which is a large tin box fixed onto a cycle) and sets up the stall every morning, and takes everything down every evening. It would not be an exaggeration to say that you and I have more in common than this lady and me, simply because we have a language to communicate in and the means to do so. And yet, think about this – you are an Australian who has made France your home, I am an English-speaking South Indian, living in Bengal, a Francophile, and this lady is illiterate (has native wisdom though), and has not seen the outer boundaries of Calcutta. Yet, something binds us – it is in fact the essence of our human-ness and our woman-ness is it not?”

“Vicki, I hope you understand what I’m trying to say…so different, one common thread, different links on the same chain…”

Connections…..How unique they are and how magical that these bonds occur in the most unexpected of ways… xv

VA In Your Inbox

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"All things French"

Thank You Vicki for sharing that beautiful letter ~ and I am still thinking about the lady selling from her bicycle on the side of the road. How wonderful that your friend has a wonderful connections with her ~ not so much in words ~ but just in companionship and friendship ~ that counts for so much.
Dianne xx


isn't that true?
we are all from different parts of the world… myself born in africa, raised in scandinavia and living in florida…. enjoying connection with bloggers all over the world, one link at a time :)

Northern Light

A Gift Wrapped Life

What a beautiful story this reader has shared with you Vicki and then you with us, I want to know more and that is always how a good story starts. We are all more alike than we think. Much love XO


Vicki, that is really a lovely letter and I am so pleased that you posted it for us. Yes. It is one of the reasons I love your blog, books and photos. I don't live in France, but it's the essence I'm drinking up!


Beautiful letter and so true! I am a Sri Lankan right now in Melbourne – I visit twice a year staying for two months at a time with my children and then go back home.


What an extremely thought provoking post, Vicki. Something to think about during these days of celebrating family and the holidays in our beautiful, comfortable homes.

"There but for the grace of God go I" is a thought running through my mind at this moment. We are all links in the same chain.


Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing that lovely email, Vicki. And I adore your new book…and that rose!Is that the "Semini" rose that crops up several places in the book? Just love the lush colors of French Essence! Merci! Trish

C'est Moi: Mak

Connections are so strange, get powerful when they occur. I truly believe all is one and one i all, and it is nice to see that a lot of people around the world haven't forget it. Have a nice weekend! Xoxo Maca

Laura @ 52 FLEA

Beautifully said…I have been thinking along these same lines having just returned from an art retreat with 150 other women….Women need other women. …and for the greater good we should nourish our relationships and be supportive of one another.
Different links on the same chain indeed.
:) Happy Thanksgiving!


What a touching story…how cool too that we are all connected in some way…we must remember this…its nice to be reminded of the 'smallness' of the world.

Alcira Molina-Ali

What a beautiful post.
It is true, our humanity, our essence our soul — ultimately, these are the ties that bind.
And how wonderful that you and this lovely woman correspond in real, written letters.
You live and give with all your heart, Vicki.
Cheers, Alcira



We are all same basically aren't we. Lovely touching letter – and all it took was a conscious decision to share something that gives joy.


You must have been incredibly flattered to receive such a heart felt meaningful letter. Although most of our posts deal with what seem more superficial themes, it just shows how the beauty we find can touch and inspire people in so many ways.

Roni Jaco

I woke to this lovely letter and was moved by this woman who chose to be seen and the other woman who SAW her. What seems like a small connection is the essence that binds us. A lovely Thanksgiving story to share here is the USA.
Thanks Vicki


Vicky, what an amazing letter and it's so true. I often feel that only circumstances set us apart and our minds perhaps.
Being connected through a shared spirit brings us wonderfully together. And it is the essence of humanity!
Thank yo for sharing this with us!

As always- with love! Victoria

Dumbwit Tellher

A very special letter from what seems like a very special woman. A woman that has compassion and appreciation for things in life that are important; such as the connections we make along our paths. I so love the line "different links on the same chain". Vicki thank you for sharing this letter, so heartwarming.

I wanted to tell you that I received an email from Amazon this a.m. & it was to tell me about your new book. I have put in on my Christmas 'wish-list'. I cannot wait to read it!!

Have a lovely Saturday & Sunday xo

Vickie H.

Lovely post! And I celebrate the very nice woman who shared it with you and therefore, US! I always believe that we are all MORE ALIKE than we are DIFFERENT…and I also know that there are people living their lives on this planet in ways that most of us could NOT imagine.
I thank God daily for all I have been blessed with and hope I am doing all I can to give some of it back and to deserve, in some small way, what He has showered down upon me.
Very thought provoking piece and one that will stay with me. Thank you!



A serendipitous experience, profound and evocative experience ,how strange this simple act of encounter, this human intimacy affects us all.

We take it for granted our life styles and gifts from the 'creator' for some have been given many opportunities in life to succeed, and others have not.

But beyond the rich and the poor divide, and the language, after all said and done we all share the same landscape body about spirit from the divine.

Wonderful letter, and a wonderful friendship you have made and shared with us today.



Hi Vicki, You have lifted my petty thoughts of this morning to a higher level. Yes, it is our common human-ness; our oneness that binds each and everyone one of us together. Each one of us is a gift to the other if we can only open and accept the offering. Today I am struggling with that truth. Thank you so much for sharing. Mary


Thank you for sharing, Vicki, a beautiful letter.

Finally! Your new book, French Essence, arrived yesterday. It's huge, what a delight. I can't wait to read it and also enjoy Carla's pictures.

Helen – Toronto


The human spirit is an amazing force! The ability to understand someone whose language you do not speak is a humbling experience. The instant connection you make with certain strangers is soul-to-soul.. and wonderful.. While flipping thru this month's House Beautiful, my eyes fell on your book,"our favorite books". Kudos to you Vicki! It's wonderful when good things happen to sweet and genuine people. xxj

Renee Finberg

this is a beautiful letter.
i am involved in an organization where i get to know the homeless,
and the educated living in mansions.
it is a funny thing,
how at our cores…
we are so much the same.
and it is only some of us who can bare to really see it,
and know it in our hearts.

hugs to you

Blooming Rose Musings

Vicki, thank you so much for sharing that beautiful letter with us. Truly a letter of exquisite compassion and support. We are all certainly connected in some way and this is the perfect time of year to be reminded of that.
Beautiful post.

La Petite Gallery

Vicki Clara's note is so beautiful, if only the world would realize we are all connected like a chain of
mankind. We need to make an effort to understand each other and connect

Roses, Lace and Brocante

Oh Vicki, this letter really touches my heart.
I have a love of India without ever stepping on it's soil or meeting the people.
From the writings of Rabindranath Tagore I have found the importance of the inner sanctuary of the soul.
I feel these two beautiful women know this also – friends in mind and spirit.

How special for you to receive this letter telling of the essence of friendship and the unspoken understanding of two kindred spirits – worlds apart yet linked in their femininity and mutual respect.

I'm meeting with friends today so I will print off your letter to share with them.
This is one of the pluses in being a blogger – I am inspired by reading gems such as this.

hugs and merci


I ordered both of your books, and cannot wait for them to arrive. They were shipped yesterday, and I am so excited! I so enjoy your beautiful blog, and I am always inspired by the beauty. Thank you for inspiring and sharing….and oh what a beautiful letter in your latest post.


What pictures your friend paints with her words. I feel as though I just dropped into their world for a few moments.
Thank you for posting.


I stopped to ponder this and more than anything enjoyed the notion of being a link in the same chain, too.

A lovely story, thank you for sharing.


How absolutely beautiful. That we all want connection and something that belongs to us, no matter who or what or where we are. Thanks for sharing that.


This is such a beautiful and thought provoking letter, Thank you for sharing! And so true…You must be enjoying getting your stunning home ready for the holidays ~ Have fun!


This is a really touching story Vicki! It gave me the chills while I was reading it. Everything about it is true. Here I am living in California, but I'm a Filipina born in the Philippines. I am a francophile and would move to France if I can. I've never met you, but through your writing, and creativeness, I feel like I know you. It's something I cherish in my heart!

Verandah House

Its amazing that an act of kindness need not be in words or actions, simply a smile at a complete stranger can be at times enough.

Thank you for always thinking of me, its times like this that you really understand the true value of friends and family. xxx


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