I am here in this room, I thought, far from everything familiar to me, talking about things that have never interested me and sleeping in a city where I’ve never set foot before. I can pretend—at hast for a few minutes—that I am different.

I began to imagine how I would like to be living right at that moment. I wanted to be happy, curious, joyful—living every moment intensely, drinking the water of life thirstily. Believing again in my dreams.
Able to fight for what I wanted.

Loving a man who loved me.

Yes, that was the woman I wanted to be—the woman who was suddenly presenting herself and becoming me.

I felt that my soul was bathed in the light of a god—or of a goddess—in whom I had lost faith. And I felt that at that moment, the Other left my body and was standing in the corner of that small room. I observed the woman I had been up until then: weak but trying to give the impression of strength. Fearful of everything but telling herself it wasn’t fear—it was the wisdom of someone who knew what reality was. Putting up shutters in front of windows to keep the joy of the sun from entering—just so the sun’s rays wouldn’t fade my old furniture.

I looked at the Other, there in the corner of the room—fragile, exhausted, disillusioned. Controlling and enslaving what should really be free: her emotions. Trying to judge her future loves by the rules of her past suffering.

But love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to stretch out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness.

The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us.

And to save us.

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept – Paulo Coelho, 1994

…. and I am wishing it could be happened to me.


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