what my soul knows very well...
Finished another book by Paolo Coelho the other day,
Veronika decides to die.
Tough title. Tough topics in the book: mental illness, suicide, depression.
But in the end, healing. grace. hope. restoration. redemption. new life.
Much to glean and learn and store in my journal and in my soul.
Veronika's words: "A long time ago, when i was just a child, and my mother was forcing me to learn the piano, i said to myself that i would only be able to play it well when i was in love. Last night, for the first time in my life, i felt the notes leaving my fingers as if i had no control over what i was doing.
"A force was guiding me, constructing melodies and chords that i never even know i could play. i gave myself to the piano because i had just given myself to this man, without him even touching a hair o' my head. i was not myself yesterday, not when i gave myself over to sex or when i played the piano...and yet i think i was myself." (page 162)
Her friend, Zedka replies: "Before you say again that you're going to die, i want to tell you something. There are people who spend their entire lives searching for a moment like the one you had last night, but they never achieve it. That's why, if you were to die now, you would die with your heart full of love. You've got nothing to lose. Many people don't allow themselves to love, precisely because of that, because there are a lot of things at risk, a lot of future and a lot of past. In your case, there is only the present."
Zedka continues on the next page: "Outside i'll behave exactly like everyone else. I'll go shopping at the supermarket, i'll exchange pleasantries with my friends, i'll waste precious time watching television. But i know that my soul is free and that i can dream and talk with other worlds that, before i came here, i didn't even imagine existed. i'm going to allow myself to do a few foolish things... but i know that my soul is complete, because my life has meaning. I'll be able to look at a sunset and believe that God is behind it... I'll look at men in the street, right in their eyes, and I won't feel guilty about feeling desired. But immediately after that, i'll go into a shop selling imported goods, buy the best wines my money can buy, and i'll drink that wine with the husband i adore because i want to laugh with him again... I need to run the risk of being alive."
Looking back at my own life, my soul knows well that I have had those moments that others spend their entire lives searching for. Those moments of connection. Of soul-fullness. I have stood by the sea gazing at the full moon, convinced that there is a kindred spirit off in the distance sharing that moon with me. I have sat in silence in cathedrals and listened to my heart join the choruses sung over the centuries gone by. I have been hopelessly lost on streets whose names I could not pronounce, only to walk one more block and find myself exactly where I intended to be. I have dreamed in other languages and learned more from those dreams, far more than I could ever explain or capture in waking words. I have laughed loud and loved deeply.
Looking ahead at my life, I realize that outside I will wear the same simple skirts and tee shirts. I will go to Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter and Target and Barnes and Noble. I will cook and clean and walk the dog. I will do laundry and dust and vacuum. I will show up for my obligations. I will drive my children where they need to go. I will bake cakes and make pasta and chop salad and change sheets. Outside, my life will go on, business as usual.
But inside, I will sing and dance and wander the streets of foreign cities, distant towns, and right here in Charlottetowne. I will tell myself stories of adventure and of love and of finding the lost parts of myself. I will remember the blessed days of times past. I will dream of enchantments yet to come. I will smile at the simple details that display profoundly perfect timing. I will stop every now and then, breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly. I will bask in the power and beauty and excellence of "right here, right now." I will know that I know that I know that it is well with my soul. That all is well. So very well.
I've got nothing to lose. I've got nothing to gain.
I have everything I need. And so much of what I want.
I want to laugh more and more, again and again.
I need to run the risk of being joyfully alive.