Moving is Living

Paulo Coelho

I am at a St. John’s party, with stalls, target shooting and home-cooked food. The only curious thing is that from a certain angle of the street of two-stores houses, we can see the tallest buildings in the world; the rural festivity is happening in the middle of New York.

Suddenly, a clown begins to imitate my gestures. People laugh, and I also think it’s funny. In the end, I invite him for coffee.

“Commit yourself to life”, says the clown. “If you are alive, you must wave your arms, jump, make a noise, laugh and talk to people, because life is exactly the opposite of death”.

“Dying is staying always in the same position. If you are very quiet, you are not living”.

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  1. committed to life says:

    I jump. laugh, wave, talk with people, and do the clowning bit as well… and I am eating nice dates with sugar almond .I AM ALIVE !

  2. nika marie says:

    when I was little and my parents use to ask me what do you want to be when you grow up I use to say “I want to be a clown” and everyone would laugh! :D

  3. aditya says:

    “”If you are very quiet, you are not living”

    that is a clowns' understanding of life, nothing wrong with it, i too love clowns, so much so that i love even clowning around. This is one perspective, which may be diffrent from say that of a Zen master or that of someone who is heavily into Zazen.

    all these 'understandings' are like the various 'understandings' of the bild men with elephant. life is a sum total of all understaing. neither a clowns take is wrong nor is that of a zazen chap, they are not wrong, just incomplete. no defination is complete.

    movement is life and in stillness is appreciation of life, combination of two where one is fully participating in movements, one is fully into life at the periphery of one' existance and one is till as a calm lake at one's core; that my dearest seems to be the door ! to love and laughter and hence god !


  4. jojo1402 says:

    Before, if a clown had approached me and imitated my gestures, I would have envy his capacity to do so, not in fear of how I would react but in giving what he has to give, ready to accept what would be in return, capable of assuming the consequences of living what is there for him. Before, if a clown had approached me and imitated my gestures, I would have flee or confronted, or have thought that he knew that deep inside I was lost, thinking I was a “crazy” person with nothing to say relevant, etc … Today, if a clown approaches me and imitates me, I would recognize how lucky “we are” to follow our paths. I would trepass another fear and accept to play the game of life, trying that experience, because freedom is the path that I am engaged in. I committed myself to life, to my soul. I promised to bring that soul to the outdoor world, make it free, because I understood that by loving and making free that soul, I would live for eternity

  5. Kealan says:

    Death is not the end…

  6. nagualero says:

    what a classic story, absolutely loved it!!

    someone told me something similar in at the board of the sahara desert, he was an old tuareg. and i quote: (he was smilling from ear to ear..)
    ” we nomads seem to be always smiling.. you foreigners tell us.. one of the reasons for this is that we always keep moving… we dont dwell in the same place we bury our bodily wastes…

  7. Irina Black says:

    Life is made up of little things-Moving is one of them.

  8. Karen says:

    The clown is right.
    Commit to life – laugh, cry, shout, sigh, fall silent, grieve, celebrate.
    Take the risk to live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That is what he is saying. Risk all the emotions, all the experiences.
    A clown is not stupid.
    A clown LIVES, beause he knows that living is the only risk we were given to take.

    N. Kazantzakis.

    But then I think, dearest Paul from Austria, that we need to hear and listen the .. whispers of love, being humans. ;]
    Love, Thelma.

  10. Aha, I have to make some big noise now. Apart I laugh very loudly, and else…I have pretty strong voice, so in faculty was asked to talk or read, because everybody could hear… Now I remember also in high school , the Physics class.The teacher said each hour that I have to go to the blackboard , because my hand writing was just perfect. I was bored, and once I tried to escape. So I went late to school, my plan was that if I was not there teacher must ask another student to write. I arrived, and for my happiness saw a mate writing on the blackboard. I sit down , smiling, but teacher turn to me, than thanks to the one who was writing, and soon ask me to take her place at the blackboard.
    Than, I was also responsible with the map. Each hour of Geography had to go to take the map and bring it in class room.
    Were just examples of movement…
    Else, I cant stay in bed only if I have high fever. I just must move.

  11. Ca says:

    Querido Paulo,

    Muito obrigada!!!
    Este post deu muita energia pro meu dia!!
    Estou completamente de acordo que a vida é que sejamos ativos a cada dia!!
    este site é uma luz na minha vida!!Muito obrigada!!

    Meu amor, meu respeito e minha gratidí£o…


  12. Josephine says:

    makes me think of when Roberto Benigni won his Oscar for “la vita est bella” and how he climbed up on the chairs and waved with his arms! :-)

  13. Life is the opposite of Death!
    Breath and movement are the signs of life…
    The circle is the .. movement of the Universe, the Music of the Spheres.
    The beat of our heart keeps rhythm. we are the … music! We need other Worlds to become a Symphony sounding in Harmony and radiating our Light, the diamond's prism, the Rainbow's colours.
    We move as the tide, ebb and flood, due to the attraction of the Moon and the Sun the life giver, in eternity.

  14. Ksenija Lea says:

    This is very beautiful and useful story.

  15. nika marie says:

    This morning while talking with my friend on the phone, he said to me “I want to run move do something”! It made me smile I felt the same way.