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Posted by on Jan 9, 2011 in Blog, Drawing | 27 comments

The Hand and the Rope

The Hand and the Rope


“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on”. Thomas Jefferson.

Rope detail copy

But how do you tie a knot in the end of your rope? This is the ultimate lesson that we can learn from life. I have found myself in several extreme situations since being a little girl. Remembering them in detail helps me see how I moved on from danger to safety. It helps me understand how I learned to hang from the end of the rope.

One of the most dangerous situations that I remember happened while walking to school on the 4th grade. It was a rather desertic area, a grove with a few trees here and there. I noticed a man chasing another man desperately, he carried a machete. It was hard to understand what was going on but I knew that it was very bad. Everything happened so fast. In the blink of an eye the men ended up really close to where I was. A woman that I never got to see screamed: RUN! GIRL!!! RUN, RUN!

I realized that the man running away from the other man was planning to use me to stop the attacker from hitting him with the machete. The woman kept screaming GIRL! RUN, RUN!! My brain immediately got into survival mode.

  Hand detail copy

Somehow I understood that running was not a good idea. I knew that if I run, even as fast as I could, the scared man was going to grab me up and go ahead with his plan. Instead, I saw a big tree and decided to use it as a shield. The scared guy run toward the tree. I was hiding behind it, waiting to see what I could do next. As the man approached the tree he fell down and boom! You don’t want to see what I saw next (the color red came out from the man’s back). The attacker hit him with the machete. I knew that it was time for me to run. I run as fast as I could, I used every drop of energy in my small body to get as far as I could from that place. I didn’t look back for a second. By the time my body couldn’t keep running anymore I was already in front of my school.  I have no idea what happened to the men but I was finally safe.

I never told this story to my Mom. I knew that she was going to be extremely worry. In the end it was going to be hard for her to take me to school anyway so I decided to keep this experience to myself. In fact, I never shared this story with anybody before.

End of the rope small

Pictures from one of my ink drawings titled The Hand and the Rope. 

Remembering that event is so important to me now. I shows me that we have some kind of animal instinct that helps us survive extreme situations, even as little people. I wonder what would have happened if the scared man had gotten to use me as a shield. Maybe I wouldn’t be writing this post right now.

That event was serious, dangerous and scary, but having survived it gave me a great sense of pride. It somehow made me feel in charge of my own life. That event prepared me for many other ones that followed next.

My mind is now trained to respond to difficult situations with a certain calm. As long as I wake up to a new day every morning, no matter what the circumstances are, I am always sure that everything will be alright.





  1. me alegra que sobrevivieras a aquella situación… y a todas las que te hayan ocurrido más tarde, para así poder tener el placer de leerte.

  2. Wow!!!! I’m so glad you survived to tell that amazing story Elsita! What great courage and strength you must have gained from that experience! I’m always soooo impressed at the way you’ve dealt with the difficult experiences in your life Elsita and how you always seem to come out smiling and seeing the positive side! :0)You’re a great inspiration to many people my lovely friend! Big hugs, xxxx

  3. That is quite a scary story! I’m so glad that you felt you could share it with us.

  4. Thank you for sharing this story and your ruminations on it’s impact. I agree from experience, but often forget to remember.

  5. What an amazing story and the fact that even than you already totally depended on your own gut instinct. You were and are amazing.

  6. Sometimes it’s easier to understand what happened when we share things with others. That is a very tragic thing for a young girl to experience and would definitely be part of what defines you as a person. Unfortunately things like this can also scare people from embracing the unknown or being brave.

  7. I’m sorry that happened to you! It’s good that you have turned it into a positive, but I’m still sorry you had to experience it.

  8. Elsa,
    You always amaze me with your insight, and your truth… I have never seen such extreme violence but I, like all of us have my own stories. Thank-you for your shining light and bring me back to me.
    Your’e ace 🙂

  9. Elsa,
    Thank you, as always, for sharing your amazing work and ideas. I haven’t been able to find a link to your archives on the new blog design. Is there a way to get to your older posts besides backtracking one by one? I’d love to take a look at the history, before I started following your blog. If I missed the link please let me know!
    Thank you!

  10. Reading you is always very inspiring. What an impressive story! You’re one wise soul.
    Thank you so much for sharing both the story and the drawing. I often wonder how you find the time to do all that you do!
    :Hugs: Claudia Liliana

  11. Dear Becky,
    To find my old posts go to the leaf that says: links.
    Then click on the first bar that says: Blog archive and categories.
    Elsita 🙂

  12. OMG! What a terrible thing to experience and yet you were able to get through it all by yourself at such a young age. I admire your courage and think that you are an amazing woman.

  13. you have always had amazing instincts, even as a young girl. Your ink drawing is so meaningful to me today.

  14. Thank you Elsita! Now I’ve found the archives and am enjoying catching up.

  15. That is a terrible thing to have happened to you Elsa. You are right too that it can be empowering if you choose to see it that way. You are strong. Many people might have used that event as a reason to hide from their own lives.:o)

  16. Very frightening. Your drawing reminds me of “Black

  17. Elsa, that story was scary, but so inspiring. I’m glad you survived to tell the tale, and it’s no wonder that you turned into an artist. Loved your ink art.

  18. What a story! It’s one I’ll remember. It’s so inspiring and gives me a new perspective on challenges in life. I will especially remember this line, “As long as I wake up to a new day every morning, no matter what the circumstances are, I am always sure that everything will be alright.” Thank you for being so willing to share.

  19. A lot of things is not as easy as it seems, only can do is original himself.

  20. Plato said: the first was crying because you’re not, the second laughing because meet you, third smiling tears because can’t have you.

  21. There’s visibly a new bundle in order to identify relating to this. I just believe you’ve made various good points inside elements likewise.

  22. You made some respectable factors there. I appeared on the web for the problem and found most individuals will associate with with your website.

  23. I love the way you told a story, no matter what happened, you always have your special way of calm, wisdom and appreciation to tell it. It reminds me thinking of my possible experience to death. When i was little, my friend and i want to test what the coin will look like if its ironed by a flying train. But it’s difficult to keep a small coin on the quaking track when the train is coming, so we decide to hold it until it’s very near. The driver on the train saw us he came out to wave his hand and shout us to go, we were not. Then he came in to his workstation and brought out a bottle of water to pull to us. We finally let it go when the train is very close. We were lucky that we didn’t get absorbed by the train. After the train was going far, we came out to look for the coin. The coin is in a beautiful slice shape and warm and we were satisfied. I never realize the danger until many years later when i grow up and thinking of it.

    • OMG. I am so glad that you lived to tell the story! There is beauty in the innocence of children, even though their fearless ways could be dangerous. I did so many dangerous things when I was little, such as playing with fire. I learned a lot from my accidents 🙂

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