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  • Writer's pictureJason Rodi

Dearest Kino,

Updated: May 21

What is in a name? I've found that destiny hides in a name, and that in time our entire lives can be told within our names. Mine, Jason Nicolas Rodi, my middle name being my grand-father's, Nic, whom I loved dearly. How I wish he'd known you and your sisters. How much he is in each of you in a way that you will never know. Such is life, and that is how we can appreciate how much we are a result of our ancestor's very lives, and personalities. Watching your children grow up you come to see yourself and their mother so much in them, no matter how different they are from each other or how they might try to distance themselves from the tree of life, they are me, and I am them. The only thing that separates us is our bodies, but otherwise we are one and the same. Like the first cell that ever was, how it became 2, and how 2 became 4, and 4, 8, and so on. We are a copy of that cell, we are the miracle of life that has shaped into this perfection of balanced existence. The only thing that separates us is our names. So, what's in a name? Rhodes, Greece

I've come to understand my own name, Jason Rodi, to mean Spiritual Son of the Nomadic Knights of Rhodes. Its very funny for me to write it out like that but that is what my name means to me when I fully unfold it. Rodi always sounded like a roadie, nomad being derivative of that. However, the name, though our lineage more directly goes back to Southern Italy, is in fact from the island of Rodos, Rhodes, in Greece. If you go there someday, as your sisters and I have, you will see that the people that first came to the island of Rhodes were some of the Knights Hospitaller who had originally escaped Jerusalem back in the crusades, at the beginning of the first millenium. It starts to give you a sense of your own place in history, considering that you are an extension of those knights, that you were there then, fighting for your faith first, then for your life. Perhaps you too will begin to perceive history in a subjective manner, and we will travel back in time, across the Mediterranean sea from Rhodes to Jerusalem, and all the way to Egypt, and further still into Africa to the cradle of civilization. Where will go back to then, once we'll have reached the beginning?

Knights of Rhodes |

The beginning, the very beginning, when you first appeared in this world, in my very consciousness, was nearly 20 years ago now, in the night of the Sahara desert. It was my first time there, my first time seeing the stars so bright as in the desert above those slow moving waves of time, dunes shifting to the will of the wind. Those stars, that canopy of light shinning across the sky, it was so mesmerizing. It reminded me of a screen, how it draws the attention always, its mere light vibrating colours, ever enticing to the eye. Those stars with their shimmer, were as enticing as any screen image I'd ever seen. And then it occurred to me, as I gazed up at the Milky Way, I pictured a boy of the desert, having grown in this timeless space, devoid of any screen or image or story of any kind. That boy, what dreams would he see in those stars that I saw on the screen? As I asked myself the question and tried to picture those dreams from the stars, I saw your name up there : KINO. And as I saw the word and heard it in my mind, I was struck by an entire universe, a story so vast that I could not fathom its extent, yet I had it, all at once, received it from the stars, unlocked or called upon by your name. KINO. I looked down and across the ocean of sand and could suddenly see light shinning across the edges of the horizon and along the lines of each dune, like sound waves shimmering in the distance, calling me on to draw near, into the infinite. I pictured you, Kino, hearing that sound from the distance in a way that no one else could, and having the courage to go towards it, like a longing, for the unknown, for a love you didn't know existed, but that could make you complete. I pictured you going so deep into the yearning, hearing the purest of songs come from within you, as no dreamer would have ever been more pure than you. Going so far after that song, and so deep into the desert, that you would have come to swim those dream waves, and surf them even, manifesting your every vision into what I would soon come to call "The Invisible Territories", a place you would soon enter and live out your many lives.

And so I have been writing this story ever since, a story that I know isn't my own but that came down from the sky in your name, one that I must honour by not giving in to mere invention, but rather by seeking within myself for the purest of inspiration, the divine kind, telling a story that is true, that is not just made up but elemental, drawing from the world around me and the signs and signals conveying its true narrative. For, I believe there is only one story, as there is only one source. Every story is a different way of telling that same cycle of beginning, middle, and end. Birth, life, and death, to begin again, always. The great loop, the feedback of time constant and turning, like two mirrors facing each other. We are here, between past and future. There is not fiction, my son, there is only NOW. And your story, the story of KINO & The Invisible Territories may be a kind of fiction, but it is every bit as true as I am of this world, and you are yet to be.

KINO & The Invisible Territories

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