Archives for December 2007

Ithaca and 2008

By Paulo Coelho

One of the great classics of all literature, Homer’s “Odyssey,” tells of the return of the hero Ulysses to the island of Ithaca, where his wife Penelope has been waiting for him for over ten years. Ulysses undergoes all sorts of challenges but eventually returns home.

Many centuries later, another Greek poet, Konstantinos Kavafis, dealt with this homecoming in a different manner, creating one of the most beautiful metaphors of this journey in search of our dreams. While the drama of the “Odyssey” centres on the difficulties in arriving and in the suffering of the beloved wife, in Kavafis’ poetry exactly the opposite is asked of Ulysses: he should enjoy the journey and experience all that needs to be lived.

As we now are getting ready to 2008, please keep in mind that the journey is the real thing. I wish you all a wonderful 2008. Focus your attention in your dreams, but enjoying the beauties of the path. Below, the poem by Kavafis:

When you leave for Ithaca,
may your journey be long
and full of adventures and knowledge

Do not be afraid of Laestrigones, Cyclopes
or furious Poseidon;
you won’t come across them on your way
if you don’t carry them in your soul,
if your soul does not put them in front of your steps.

I hope your road is long.
May there be many a summer morning,
and may the pleasure of seeing the first ports
bring you great joy.
Try to visit the markets of Phoenicia
and buy the very best.
Go to the cities of Egypt
and learn from a people with so much to teach.

Don’t lose sight of Ithaca,
for that’s your destination.
But take your time;
better that the journey lasts many a year
and that your boat only drops anchor on the island
when you have grown rich
with what you learned on the way.

Don’t expect Ithaca to give you many riches.

Ithaca has already given you the voyage;
without Ithaca you would never have parted.

Ithaca gave you everything and can give you no more.

If in the end you think that Ithaca is poor,
don’t think that she has cheated you.
Because you have grown wise and lived an intense life,
and that’s the meaning of Ithaca.

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Edií§í£o nº 162 : Conto de Natal

Conta uma lenda medieval que no paí­s que hoje conhecemos como íustria, a famí­lia Burkhard – composta de um homem, uma mulher, e um menino – costumavam animar as feiras de natal recitando poesias, cantando baladas de antigos trovadores, e fazendo malabarismos para divertir as pessoas. Evidente que nunca sobrava dinheiro para comprar presentes, mas o homem sempre dizia a seu filho:
– Vocíª sabe por que a sacola de Papai Noel ní£o se esvazia nunca, embora haja tantas crianí§as neste mundo? Porque embora ela esteja cheia de brinquedos, í s vezes existem coisas mais importantes para serem entregues, os chamados “presentes invisí­veis”. Em um lar dividido, ele procura trazer harmonia e paz na noite mais santa da cristandade. Onde falta amor, ele deposita uma semente de fé no coraí§í£o das crianí§as. Onde o futuro parece negro e incerto, ele traz esperaní§a. No nosso caso, quando Papai Noel vem nos visitar, no dia seguinte estamos todos contentes de continuarmos vivos e fazendo nosso trabalho, que é de alegrar as pessoas. Jamais esqueí§a isso.
O tempo passou, o menino transformou-se em rapaz, e certo dia a famí­lia passou diante da imponente abadia de Melk, que acabara de ser construí­da.
– Meu pai, lembra-se que há muitos anos vocíª me contou a história de Papai Noel e seus presentes invisí­veis? Penso que certa vez recebi um destes presentes: a vocaí§í£o de tornar-me padre. O senhor se incomodaria se eu agora desse meu primeiro passo em direí§í£o ao que sempre sonhei?
Embora precisassem muito da companhia do filho, a famí­lia entendeu e respeitou o desejo do filho. Bateram na porta do convento, foram acolhidos com generosidade e amor pelos monges, que aceitaram o jovem Buckhard como novií§o.
Chegou a véspera do natal. E justamente naquele dia, um milagre especial aconteceu em Melk: Nossa Senhora, levando o menino Jesus nos braí§os, resolveu descer í  Terra para visitar o mosteiro.
Orgulhosos, todos os padres fizeram uma grande fila, e cada um postava-se diante da Vigem, procurando homenagear a Mí£e e o Filho. Um deles mostrou as lindas pinturas que decoravam o local, outro levou um exemplar de uma Bí­blia que havia demorado cem anos para ser manuscrita e ilustrada, um terceiro disse o nome de todos os santos.
No último lugar da fila o jovem Buckhard aguardava ansioso. Seus pais eram pessoas simples, e tudo que lhe haviam ensinado era atirar bolas para cima e fazer alguns malabarismos.
Quando chegou sua vez, os outros padres quiseram encerrar as homenagens, porque o antigo malabarista ní£o tinha nada de importante para dizer, e podia desmoralizar a imagem do convento. Entretanto, no fundo do seu coraí§í£o, também ele sentia uma imensa necessidade de dar alguma coisa de si para Jesus e a Virgem.
Envergonhado, sentindo o olhar reprovador dos seus irmí£os, ele tirou algumas laranjas do bolso e comeí§ou a jogá-las para cima e segurá-las com as mí£os, criando um belo cí­rculo no ar, igual ao que costumava fazer quando ele e sua famí­lia caminhavam pelas feiras da regií£o.
Foi só neste instante que o Menino Jesus comeí§ou a bater palmas de alegria no colo de Nossa Senhora. E foi para ele que a Virgem estendeu os braí§os, deixando que segurasse um pouco a crianí§a, que ní£o parava de sorrir.
A lenda termina dizendo que, por causa deste milagre a cada duzentos anos um novo Buckhard bate na porta de Melk, é aceito, e enquanto está ali é capaz de alegrar o coraí§í£o de todos que o conhecem.
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Edición nº 162 : Cuento de Navidad

Cuenta una leyenda que, en el paí­s que hoy conocemos como Austria, era costumbre que la familia Burkhard (compuesta por un hombre, una mujer y un niño) animase las ferias navideñas recitando poesí­as, cantando baladas de antiguos trovadores, y haciendo malabarismos que divertí­an a todo el mundo. Por supuesto, nunca sobraba dinero para comprar regalos, pero el hombre siempre le decí­a a su hijo:

-¿Tú sabes por qué el saco de Papá Noel nunca termina de vaciarse, con la de niños que hay en el mundo? Pues porque, aunque está lleno de juguetes, a veces también deben entregarse algunas cosas más importantes, que son los llamados “regalos invisibles”. A un hogar dividido, él lleva armoní­a y paz en la noche más santa del año cristiano. Donde falta amor, él deposita una semilla de fe en el corazón de los niños. Donde el futuro parece negro e incierto, él lleva la esperanza. En nuestro caso, cuando Papá Noel nos viene a visitar, al dí­a siguiente todos nos sentimos contentos por continuar vivos y por poder realizar nuestra trabajo, que es el de alegrar a las personas. Que esto nunca se te olvide.

Pasó el tiempo, el niño se transformó en un muchacho, y cierto dí­a la familia pasó por delante de la imponente abadí­a de Melk, que acababa de ser construida.

-Padre, ¿recuerda usted que hace muchos años me contó la historia de Papá Noel y sus regalos invisibles? Creo que cierta vez yo recibí­ uno de estos regalos: la vocación de hacerme religioso. ¿Le contrariarí­a mucho a usted si en este momento diera el primer paso hacia lo que siempre he soñado?

Aunque la compañí­a de su hijo les hací­a mucha falta, los padres comprendieron y respetaron su deseo. Llamaron a la puerta del convento, y fueron recibidos con generosidad y amor por los monjes, que aceptaron al joven Buckhard como novicio.

Llegó la ví­spera de la Navidad y, justamente ese dí­a, se obró en Melk un milagro muy especial: Nuestra Señora, llevando al Niño Jesús en brazos, decidió bajar a la Tierra para visitar el monasterio.

Sin poder disimular su orgullo, todos los religiosos hicieron una gran fila, y cada uno de ellos se iba postrando ante la Virgen, procurando homenajear a la Madre y al Niño. Uno de ellos les mostró las bellas pinturas que decoraban el local, otro les llevó un ejemplar de una Biblia que habí­a requerido cien años de trabajo para ser manuscrita e ilustrada, y un tercero recitó de corrido el nombre de todos los santos.

Al final de la fila, el joven Buckhard aguardaba ansioso. Sus padres eran personas simples, y sólo le habí­an enseñado a lanzar bolas a lo alto para hacer con ellas algunos malabares.

Cuando le tocó el turno, los otros religiosos querí­an poner fin a los homenajes, pues el antiguo malabarista no tení­a nada importante que decir, y podrí­a dañar la imagen del convento. Sin embargo, también él sentí­a en lo más hondo una fuerte necesidad de ofrecerles a Jesús y a la Virgen algo de sí­ mismo.

Avergonzado, sintiendo la mirada recriminatoria de sus hermanos, se sacó algunas naranjas de los bolsillos y comenzó a arrojarlas hacia arriba para atraparlas a continuación, creando un bonito cí­rculo en el aire, al igual que solí­a hacer cuando él y su familia caminaban por las ferias de la región.

Fue sólo entonces cuando el Niño Jesús empezó a aplaudir de alegrí­a en el regazo de Nuestra Señora. Y fue sólo a este muchacho a quien la Virgen Marí­a le extendió los brazos y le permitió sostener durante un tiempo al Niño, que no dejaba de sonreí­r.

La leyenda termina diciendo que, por causa de este milagro, cada doscientos años, un nuevo Buckhard llama a la puerta de Melk, y es admitido, y mientras permanece allí­ tiene el don de alegrar el ánimo de todos los que lo conocen.

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Édition nº 162 : Conte de Noí«l

Une légende médiévale raconte que dans le pays que nous appelons aujourd’hui l’Autriche, la famille Buckhard – composée d’un homme, une femme et un petit garí§on – animait les fíªtes de Noí«l en récitant des poésies, chantant des ballades des vieux troubadours et jonglant pour divertir les gens. Évidemment, il ne restait jamais d’argent pour acheter des cadeaux, mais l’homme disait toujours í  son fils :

« Sais-tu pourquoi la hotte de Papa Noí«l ne se vide jamais, alors qu’il y a tellement d’enfants dans ce monde ? Parce que bien qu’elle soit remplie de jouets, il y a parfois des choses plus importantes í  livrer, ce qu’on appelle les “cadeaux invisibles”. Dans un foyer divisé, il tí¢che d’apporter l’harmonie et la paix dans la nuit la plus sacrée de la chrétienté. Lí  oí¹ manque l’amour, il dépose une graine de foi dans le cÅ“ur des enfants. Lí  oí¹ l’avenir paraí®t sombre et incertain, il apporte l’espoir. Nous, quand Papa Noí«l vient nous rendre visite, nous sommes tous contents le lendemain d’íªtre encore en vie et de faire notre travail, qui est de donner de la joie. N’oublie jamais í§a. »

Le temps passa, le petit garí§on devint grand, et un jour la famille passa devant l’imposante abbaye de Melk, qui venait d’íªtre construite.

« Mon père, vous souvenez-vous qu’il y a des années vous m’avez raconté l’histoire de Papa Noí«l et de ses cadeaux invisibles ? Je pense que j’ai reí§u un jour l’un de ces cadeaux : la vocation de devenir príªtre. Cela vous dérangerait-il si je faisais maintenant le premier pas vers ce dont j’ai toujours ríªvé ? »

Bien qu’elle eí»t grand besoin de sa compagnie, la famille comprit et respecta le désir du fils. Ils frappèrent í  la porte du couvent et furent accueillis avec générosité et amour par les moines, qui acceptèrent le jeune Buckhard comme novice.

Arriva la veille de Noí«l. Et justement ce jour-lí , un miracle particulier se produisit í  Melk : Notre Dame, portant l’enfant Jésus dans ses bras, décida de descendre sur Terre pour visiter le monastère.

Très fiers, tous les príªtres firent une longue file, et un í  un se postèrent devant la Vierge pour rendre hommage í  la Mère et í  l’Enfant. L’un montra les beaux tableaux qui décoraient l’endroit, un autre apporta un exemplaire d’une Bible qu’on avait mis cent ans í  écrire í  la main et í  illustrer, un troisième prononí§a le nom de tous les saints.

Au bout de la file, le jeune Buckhard attendait anxieusement. Ses parents étaient des gens simples, et ils ne lui avaient appris qu’í  lancer des balles en l’air et í  jongler.

Quand vint son tour, les autres príªtres voulurent clore les hommages, prétextant que l’ancien jongleur n’avait rien d’important í  dire et qu’il risquait de ternir l’image du couvent. Cependant, au fond de son cÅ“ur, il ressentait lui aussi l’immense besoin d’offrir quelque chose í  Jésus et í  la Vierge.

Timidement, sentant le regard réprobateur de ses frères, il retira quelques oranges de sa poche et commení§a í  les lancer et í  les rattraper dans ses mains, créant un joli cercle dans l’air, comme il le faisait quand lui et sa famille se promenaient dans les foires de la région.

í€ cet instant seulement, l’Enfant Jésus se mit í  battre joyeusement des mains dans les bras de Notre Dame. Et c’est vers le jongleur que la Vierge tendit les bras, lui permettant de tenir un peu l’enfant, qui ne cessait de sourire.

La légende se termine en disant que, depuis ce miracle, tous les deux cents ans, un nouveau Buckhard frappe í  la porte de Melk, y est accepté, et que, tant qu’il s’y trouve, il peut réjouir le cÅ“ur de tous ceux qui le rencontrent.

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A Christmas Tale

A medieval legend tells us that in the country we know today as Austria the Burkhard family – a man, a woman and a child – used to amuse people at Christmas parties by reciting poetry, singing ancient troubadour ballads, and juggling. Of course, there was never any money left over to buy presents, but the man always told his son:

“Do you know why Santa Claus’s bag never gets empty, although there are so many children in the world? Because it may be full of toys, but sometimes there are more important things to be delivered, what we call “invisible gifts”. In a broken home, he tries to bring harmony and peace on the holiest night in Christianity. Where love is lacking, he deposits a seed of faith in children’s hearts. Where the future seems black and uncertain, he brings hope. In our case, the day after Father Christmas comes to visit us, we are happy to be still alive and doing our work, which is to make people happy. Never forget that.”

Time passed, the boy grew up, and one day the family passed in front of the impressive Melk Abbey, which had just been built.

“Father, do you remember many years ago you told me the story of Santa Claus and his invisible gifts? I think that I received one of those gifts once: the vocation to become a priest. Would you mind if now I took my first step towards what I have always dreamed of?”

Although they really needed their son’s company, the family understood and respected the boy’s wish. They knocked at the door of the monastery and were given a loving, generous welcome by the monks, who accepted the young Buckhard as a novice.

Christmas Eve came around. And precisely on that day, a special miracle happened in Melk: Our Lady, carrying the baby Jesus in her arms, decided to descend to Earth to visit the monastery.

All the priests lined up and each of them stood proudly before the Virgin trying to pay homage to the Madonna and her Son. One of them displayed the beautiful paintings that decorated the place, another showed a copy of a Bible that had taken a hundred years to be written and illustrated, while a third recited the names of all the saints.

At the very end of the line, young Buckhard anxiously waited his turn. His parents were simple people, and all that they had taught him was to toss balls up in the air and do some juggling.

When it came his turn, the other priests wanted to put an end to all the homage that had been paid, since the ex-juggler had nothing important to add and might even mar the image of the abbey.

Nevertheless, deep in his heart he also felt a great need to give something of himself to Jesus and the Virgin. Feeling very ashamed before the reproachful gaze of his brothers, he took some oranges from his pocket and began to toss them in the air and catch them in his hands, creating a beautiful circle in the air just as he used to do when he and his family traveled to all the fairs in the region.

At that instant, the baby Jesus, lying in Our Lady’s lap, began to clap his hands with joy. And it was to young Buckhard that the Virgin held out her arms to let him hold the smiling child for a few moments.

The legend ends by saying that on account of this miracle, every two hundred years a new Buckhard knocks on the door of Melk Abbey, is welcomed in, and for the whole time he remains there he warms the hearts of all who meet him.

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Christmas tale : Our Lady’s juggler

By Paulo Coelho

A medieval legend tells us that in the country we know today as Austria the Burkhard family – a man, a woman and a child – used to amuse people at Christmas parties by reciting poetry, singing ancient troubadour ballads, and juggling. Of course, there was never any money left over to buy presents, but the man always told his son:

“Do you know why Santa Claus’s bag never gets empty, although there are so many children in the world? Because it may be full of toys, but sometimes there are more important things to be delivered, what we call “invisible gifts”. In a broken home, he tries to bring harmony and peace on the holiest night in Christianity. Where love is lacking, he deposits a seed of faith in children’s hearts. Where the future seems black and uncertain, he brings hope. In our case, the day after Father Christmas comes to visit us, we are happy to be still alive and doing our work, which is to make people happy. Never forget that.”

Time passed, the boy grew up, and one day the family passed in front of the impressive Melk Abbey, which had just been built.

“Father, do you remember many years ago you told me the story of Santa Claus and his invisible gifts? I think that I received one of those gifts once: the vocation to become a priest. Would you mind if now I took my first step towards what I have always dreamed of?”

Although they really needed their son’s company, the family understood and respected the boy’s wish. They knocked at the door of the monastery and were given a loving, generous welcome by the monks, who accepted the young Buckhard as a novice.

Christmas Eve came around. And precisely on that day, a special miracle happened in Melk: Our Lady, carrying the baby Jesus in her arms, decided to descend to Earth to visit the monastery.

All the priests lined up and each of them stood proudly before the Virgin trying to pay homage to the Madonna and her Son. One of them displayed the beautiful paintings that decorated the place, another showed a copy of a Bible that had taken a hundred years to be written and illustrated, while a third recited the names of all the saints.

At the very end of the line, young Buckhard anxiously waited his turn. His parents were simple people, and all that they had taught him was to toss balls up in the air and do some juggling.

When it came his turn, the other priests wanted to put an end to all the homage that had been paid, since the ex-juggler had nothing important to add and might even mar the image of the abbey.

Nevertheless, deep in his heart he also felt a great need to give something of himself to Jesus and the Virgin. Feeling very ashamed before the reproachful gaze of his brothers, he took some oranges from his pocket and began to toss them in the air and catch them in his hands, creating a beautiful circle in the air just as he used to do when he and his family traveled to all the fairs in the region.

At that instant, the baby Jesus, lying in Our Lady’s lap, began to clap his hands with joy. And it was to young Buckhard that the Virgin held out her arms to let him hold the smiling child for a few moments.

The legend ends by saying that on account of this miracle, every two hundred years a new Buckhard knocks on the door of Melk Abbey, is welcomed in, and for the whole time he remains there he warms the hearts of all who meet him.

© Translated by James Mulholland. Copyright free – please be welcome to paste/copy and distribute to your friends.

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Do you think man is intrinsically bad?

In my book, The Devil & Miss Prym a foreigner arrives in a village to tempt a woman. I wanted to explore the fight of good and evil and would like to ask you:
Do you think man is intrinsically bad ?
Love,
Paulo

Will Smith, Coelho, and the power of the Universe

Will Smith explains why he doesn’t want to be considered an icon @ Tavis Smiley Show!
Please visit http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/video/341.html
 
Or Watch it below :
 

Wisdom and Instinct

I do my daily share of blog reading first thing in the morning as I look for inspiration to begin my writing day. I’m usually fed by the minds of those I admire the most. One of my regular stops is on Paulo Coelho’s blog. I enjoy the writings and interviews he shares it in his various sites. Listening to the way he thinks in general is an awesome experience. It urges me to …
 
This article is written by Clary Lopez. Please visit the blog Christmas Blessing to read her answer.

I came across this interesting question …

I came across this interesting question as I read Paulo Coelho’s ‘Like the Flowing River’ today.
 
Why are we born if we all die in the end?
 
That short question got me thinking. On a very simple note, it is true. What is the point of being in the world, living, suffering and working when in the end, it gets us to six feet under? I thought …
 
This article is written by SlayerOeurve. Please visit the blog for you a thousand times over … to read her answer.

Relationships and Love

Love – the illusive and elusive that apparently dangles in front of us, reachable at times yet mostly just out of reach. For it is when we first utter the word “I love you” be it verbally to another, or internally to ourselves that we called upon to ourselves suffering. Why? The moment “I love you” is uttered, we …
 
This article is written by A Student of Life. Please visit the blog My Spiritual Odyssey to read her answer.

LE GRAND PRIX FEMME ACTUELLE

Pour lire plus, s’il vous plaí®t cliquez ici

Alchemist of words

http://www.hp.com/united-states/coelho/2007/index.html

Being the devil isn’t easy

By Paulo Coelho

The devil said to Buddha:
 
‘Being the devil isn’t easy. I always have to speak in riddles so that people won’t notice that I’m tempting them. I always have to appear bright and intelligent to gain their admiration. I have to put a lot of energy into trying to persuade my disciples that Hell is more interesting than Heaven. I am old now and I would like to pass my students on to you.’
 
Buddha knew that this was a trap: if he accepted the proposal, he himself would become the devil, and the devil would become Buddha.
 
‘You think it’s fun being Buddha,’ he replied. ‘But as well as doing everything that you have to do, I also have to put up with the things my students do to me! They place words in my mouth that I never spoke, they earn money from my teachings and expect me to be wise all the time! You would never be able to stand such a life!’
 
This argument convinced the devil that changing roles really wasn’t such a good idea, and Buddha escaped temptation.

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Paulo Coelho interviewed by Europocket.tv

I was recently nominated Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue by the European Comission for the year of 2008.

Here’s the interview : http://www.europocket.tv/index.php?type=INF&lang=en&id=997

Also, you can watch it below :

The Warrior of Light

One of my all time favorite books, one that how many ever times I re-read, I can never get over, is “The Warrior of Light” by Paulo Coelho. He manages to provide extremely inspiring, and insightful reflections throughout the book.
A few that have stayed with me since the time I …
 
This article is written by Himangini Shukla. Please visit the blog Smoking Cafe to read her answer.

Of Authors, Novels, and Incidents

Hebdomadally, I visit the library. They lend novels, and I read ’em. And incidents do happen in-between. I’m going to talk about these things, and you are going to read/listen. ~Hah~
Don’t take for granted that …
 
This article is written by Sarin Gopan. Please visit the blog Yesji’s Realm to read her answer.