Tuesday, September 6, 2011

When You Want Something...

.... all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
                                              ~Paulo Coelho

Logging out of  amazon.com: as difficult as looking at this picture

Did you ever notice how difficult it is to sign out of amazon.com? Or is it just me? It's like navigating the Amazon Rainforestit's steamy (well, yes, it can be) and rich with broad-leafed verdure and slithery, fidgety creatures that come at you from all angles. I'm hypnotized by all the newness (and oldness) it has to offer. I could get lost in it for hours, days, even monthsnot that I want to—and I begin to feel like I've picked up some exotic virus as I try to weave myself out of its knotty green web. I need a fine-honed machete to carve my way out of that habitat. Fortunately, unlike a rain forest, it has a help button.

I am looking forward to this:

Paulo Coelho's Aleph will be released on September 27, 2011. You can pre-order a copy at amazon.com.

An excerpt from Aleph, as printed in Coelho's blog:

I see that Hilal is starting to feel uncomfortable.
‘I’m not interested in what our relationship was in a past life. We’re here in the present. In Novosibirsk, you made me forgive you and I did. Now I’m asking you a favour: tell me that you love me.’

I hold her hand.
‘You see this river?
“ Well, in the living room in my apartment at home is a painting of a rose immersed in just such a river. Half of the painting was exposed to the effects of the water and the elements, so the edges are a bit rough, and yet I can still see part of that beautiful red rose against a gold background.
“I know the artist. In 2003, we went together to a forest in the Pyrenees and found a dried-up stream and we hid the painting under the stones on the stream bed.
‘The artist is my wife.
“When I met her, I was convinced that our relationship wouldn’t work out, and for the first two years, I was sure that one of us would leave.
“ In the five years that followed, I continued to think that we had simply got used to one another and that as soon as we realised this, we would each go our separate ways.
“ I thought that a more serious commitment would deprive me of my “liberty” and keep me from experiencing everything I wanted to experience.’
‘I understand and respect what you’re saying,’ Hilal says. ‘But in the restaurant, when you were talking about the past, you said something about love being stronger than the individual.’
‘Yes, but love is made up of choices.’
We are both gazing at the river.
‘Silence is also an answer,’ she says.
I put my arms around her, so that her head is resting on my shoulder.
‘I love you,’ I tell her.
‘I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and are transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth.
‘I love you like a river that gives water to the thirsty and takes people where they want to go.
‘I love you like a river which understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows.
‘I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy.
‘I receive your love and I give you mine.
“Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father for a child, not the love of God for his creatures.
“But a love with no name and no explanation
‘Like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course, but simply flows onwards.
‘A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return; it is simply there. I will never be yours and you will never be mine; nevertheless, I can honestly say: I love you.’
Maybe it’s the afternoon, maybe it’s the light, but at that moment, the Universe seems finally to be in perfect harmony. We stay where we are, feeling not the slightest desire to go back to the hotel, where Yao will doubtless be waiting for me.
"I love you like a river which understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows."  Oh my, I'm so looking forward to this.


  1. wow - that does my eyes in - funny but I've never been able to get into Paulo

  2. That optical illusion reminds me of swirly black and white blouse I used to wear until someone said it made their eyes hurt. Then I thought about all the other people who might have thought the same thing, but were too polite to say anything, and never wore it again, lol! Sorry, that just popped into my mind. What an intro to that book! And that video has piqued my interest. I haven't read any of his books but I like his creative writing in the excerpt - may just be something I'd like!

  3. David- He's not for everyone. Have to admit, when I picked up The Alchemist I had trouble with the sparse writing and simple ideas, but I ended up loving the story, the allegory.

    What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good fable. And while it's not for all, I do think there's at least a little something in it for everyone. ;)

  4. Linda- As a good friend, I would have mentioned the ill-patterned blouse. But I'm glad I'm not the one who had to. ;)

    I think you'd like Coelho's book. You might want to start with The Alchemist. You could borrow it... wait, don't you still have two of my books? Ok, I'll swap you for at least one of mine? (If it's my book to begin with is that still a swap? Vay, I think that black and white spiral is getting to me.) :)

  5. I couldn't get into Coelho either, but I kept reading The Alchemist because so many people had said it was great. I never did find that to be true.

  6. 'so when we feel weak all we have to do is wait a little'...that kind of faith i could use on a day such as today...this is lovely...ps - LOVED the alchemist :)

  7. Towanda- Coelho has his adoring admirers and harsh critics--both groups probably of the same size--so I'm not surprised to see the same division here. ;)

    Thanks for joining the conversation. :)

  8. EcoGrrl- It does come in handy, doesn't it? There were parts of that book that were little thought-rousing gems. If I weren't so lazy I'd go and pull it off my bookshelf for direct quotes... but I'm already settled in for the night. ;)

  9. it might be more interesting watching that when i'm well medicated but when that happens i'll forget to watch it. so it goes.

  10. I've never read Coelho. I love the trailer, so maybe this will be my introduction.

  11. BP- Fyi...because you may be interested... works by both Kurt Vonnegut and Paulo Coelho have been banned (as harmful) by Iran’s ministry of culture. Just sayin'.

  12. Tim- Go for it! Coelho's The Alchemist is now showing up on high school summer reading lists! ;)

  13. Oh! It's finally letting me comment here. For some reason, every time I try to comment on your blog lately, some funky message would come up about cookies. And now, Ta Da! Anyway, I'm with you. Love The Alchemist for the story. And I think I need to go take a Dramamine now. :)

  14. Taking that opening quotation to heart right now! Thanks!

    Also, I didn't even know it was possible to sign out of Amazon.com....

  15. Seré- "...I think I need to go take a Dramamine now." Says the jet-setting lady who zip lines around the world.

    Welcome back! Book? Updates? Can we find it on the shelves yet??

    Oh, I'll just hightail it over to your place to see for myself. :)

  16. Kathleen- Maybe it's not possible. Maybe I never actually left. Maybe I am forever banished to the amazon gulag! Oh dear god lord baby jesus who art in heaven, where’s the help button?! ;)

  17. I've never read anything by Paulo Coelho. And yes! Why is it so hard to sign out of Amazon?

  18. Wow...that image really freaked me out...flashbacks and all that business.
    Anyway I did like this piece a lot, the 'knotty green web' is very evocative and hits the nail right on the head...
    Coelho is an interesting writer and I have come across a fair bit of hs stuff over the years. I like his rich and evocative descriptors. Almost as much as yours hehe.
    Amazon...hmmm...I got in a bit of..umm....let's say strife a while back with them so I choose not to go there....much. It is indeed a trap, much like the real Amazon, or what is left of it.
    Now turn that thing off...it is really making me regret taking that last trip haha ;)

  19. i have about 13 pages of "save for later" things in my amazon cart that span back about 7 years. every once in awhile i peek through the pages to see what i was interested in back then and find i have no interest in any of it now. anyway, when i get trapped in the 'jungle' i add more stuff that i will never buy because it's fun to look at later, sort of a consumer diary, haha.
    on my last trek into the amazon, i stumbled across the new palahniuk novel, damned. sort of based on the judy blume, 'are you there, god' book, but this girl is in hell itself. anyway, i want that one and so it sits in my cart...

    nice post, and i agree with dan, that picture is wigging me out!

  20. Wow, that trailer is wonderfully clever, but it also made me light headed. Good metaphor for feeling trapped in the Amazon maze.

  21. Dicky- So it's not just me! It's done for a purpose, that's for sure. When I said I couldn't get out of of the amazon jungle I meant it literally and metaphorically--it's true, that "sign off" button goes into hiding until you ask for help! But before I ask for help, I usually find more mossy branches to swing off of. ;)

  22. Dan- Oh dear, I don't want anyone going into convulsions--flashbacks can be sweaty, scary things!

    Strife at Amazon? That's a first me-haven't heard that before, except for the trouble getting out of Amazon. Only you, Dan. ;)

  23. Angela- Sure does pull you right in, huh? I thought so, too. ;)

  24. Id- It's crazy there isn't it? This is why I do not touch the "wish list" button. That would be supremely dangerous. That would be quicksand.

    Though it is interesting that you can go back that many years and gauge your interest, see how its evolved. I'm going to have to take a look at that. Er, maybe not. ;)

  25. I absolutely LOVED this post. I'm in that very river...
    Jayne, you amaze me with your posts. They always take me to some unexpected place. It's like traveling through the unexplored universe;)
    Your writing is brilliant!

  26. Leah- So glad you enjoyed the trip!

    I love where all the rivers lead to in Coelho's writing. Makes me want to jump right in. ;)

  27. Yes, I have trouble letting go of amazong. And googlereader. And twitter. Facebook. Yeah...I'm pretty much just chained to the computer. It's aweful. Glad to have discovered your blog! New follower here.

  28. CQG- Thank you for stopping by here. And all the way from France (where people also get lost in the jungle). As a French girl, that just tickles me (that you're here, not the jungle part). Glad you've joined the conversation. Merci beaucoup! :)

  29. What a great piece of animation.

    The Alchemist was the only Coelho book I have read. It seemed a little self-help, maybe I should give him a second chance.

    The Amazon is a bit of a jungle. ;)

  30. Antares- Isn't it?! Yes, it fairly apparent that Coelho's books are a little self-help. They are light and simple, but a good contrast to the heavier, darker novel. I think it's a good read to throw in the mix. ;)