Feb 22nd, 2010 3:19:00am
In slightly less than twenty four hours, I have finished two books by the same author: Paulo Coelho’s Like the Flowing River and Veronika Decides to Die. After first reading The Alchemist, I had become a great fan of his writing, because I felt it spoke to me in a way that was deep, profound and understanding of the inner psyche of man. Of me.
The effect his books have on me are quite unlike anything else I have ever experienced while reading. I have enjoyed books. Some have made me think. Others were simply read for pleasure and a desire to escape into a world that was not my own. But his work resonates within me. He has formed characters in such a way that anyone can read and feel the book was written about them, simply because his unflinching insight into the general thoughts and desires everyone experiences is shared through his writing.
However, I have decided not to read his books any longer.
This may seem a strange decision. Did I not just describe the way his books spoke to me? So I shall explain.
The effect his books have is unlike any other, because it inspires me. Ideas flow faster through my mind, sometimes to the point that I have yet to register the thought before moving on to the next one. I feel inspired, invigourated, ready for a challenge, an experience. Something new.
Still not making sense?
The thing is, after reading his writing, I am filled with the intense desire to do something crazy. Something mad, something unexpected. Something that I want to do, rather than all the things that I have to do. I want to run. I want to write. I want to go insane and unleash myself unto the world. I want to stop wasting my time with learning things I know will never serve me later on and learn only what I am interested in. I want to express myself to the people who look at me and show me the doubts they have about who I am, ever-present in their eyes.
I want to show the world myself. Every aspect. I want to go against the rules society has imposed upon us, that we blindly follow despite knowing that they are useless. I want to be against the general consensus and I want to live.
But this is a dangerous desire. Dangerous because it will drive me to insanity. I know it will.
And it will drive me to insanity because I know I do not yet have the freedom nor the courage to do these things. I am old enough to know what I want, but I am young enough to be forced into submission. And my heart, despite yearning to be free, has many years to wait before it can be.
And that is why I can not read his work any longer. Because the feeling they incur in me will drive me to a madness and frustration that I will not be able to bear. The desire has always been there in my heart, a small flame, but his work makes it a roaring blaze, and I fear that it will burn my heart to cinders if I allow it to be that intense for long.
I can not feel this yet.
Who else is out there? Who else, like me, wants escape, but is not yet able to do so? Who else can not yet be? Who else is yet to overcome the restrictions of family and society? Who else is not ready to disappoint them? Who else is also restricted by age, because independence is still years away?
There has only been one period in my life that I did not feel completely frustrated with the things I can not do. Only once that I felt that freedom I craved. Freedom to be myself with no secrets and no restrictions. Only once that I did not feel completely restless and perfectly content with where I was in those moments. But that is another story. Perhaps one never meant to be told. Time will tell.
In the meantime, I carefully nurture the flame of desire, but avoid letting it get too strong, until a time when I can unleash it in all it’s glory, and satisfy it completely and without regret.