Monday, 14 July 2008

Knowledge from the ‘Witch’

Whenever I find I’ve got enough money to spare for a book (which happens once in a blue moon, or something), I always prioritize Paulo Coelho’s works. Of course, I don’t always buy his books, especially back when I was still collecting the Harry Potter series. But whenever came an instance I had to choose between a lesser expensive (and way thicker) paperback and one of Coelho’s, I’d buy his work even if they cost more. Such is the quality of his writing, which I had grown to admire and respect so much.

Thus, when I had the chance to shop around for a book several weeks ago, I immediately scanned the prize-winning collections of the bookstore since I knew that all his works are placed there. I really didn’t bother considering the other authors available, because I’d have preferred to buy one of Coelho’s books anyway.

The choices were narrowed down, but I still wasn’t able to decide right away which among his books I’d get. So, I looked at the brief descriptive on the back of each book, and I knew at once which one will use up the book coupon I’ve been saving. Oh yeah, I was buying a book because the book coupon I got when I bought Harry Potter 7 last year was expiring. Hehe =P

“How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves – even if we are unsure of who we are?”

The moment I read those lines, I knew I had to buy Coelho’s “The Witch of Portobello.” Perhaps it was because I had been subconsciously asking myself that question, or maybe I was very much intrigued by the premise, or probably because the book cover is blue – or all these may have affected my choice – but sure enough, I never let the book go.

The way of presenting Athena’s tale reveals just how great Coelho has gotten in the craft of storytelling. Through the narratives of the different people who knew her, the intricately beautiful life story of Sherine Khalil, who preferred to be called Athena, was relayed to the readers in a subtle manner that highlights just how much we may know a person, yet not know him/her at all.

The Witch’s style very much suited the objective of finding out that which we never knew was missing in the first place – who we really are. Coelho’s words made me realize that people may say that they fully know what they really want to achieve in their lives, yet not understand that they had just been deceiving themselves into believing they actually know.Only a person will know who he really is, but what he knows about himself will not always remain true

For my part, I began to understand that whether I know where my feet are taking me or not is immaterial in this daily joyride of my existence. Indeed, every step taken is already the destination for the previous one. What is important is to savor every moment, for happiness is such a fleeting experience that lingers only long enough to be recognized.

Anyway, I found two among the numerous quotables in the book’s pages that best sum up what the Witch had taught me:

“In order to forget the rules, you must know them and respect them.” – Nabil Alaihi

“Desires are never satisfied, because once they are, they cease to be desires.” – Deidre O’Neill

In essence, only a person will know who he really is, but what he knows about himself will not always remain true because man is not, and never will be, a stagnant piece of creation.

1 comment:

aart hilal said...

Hello!
I also loved this book! Do you know Paulo is launching this experiment where he is inviting his readers to adapt the book to the screen?
Check it out : http://paulocoelhoblog.com/experimental-witch/
Have a great day
Aart