Archives for August 2011

El canalla

IN ENGLISH HERE: The creep
EM PORTUGUES AQUI: O pulha

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Se trata de la persona que más intenta destacar mientras somos adolescentes, cuando luchamos para cimentar nuestras identidades, nuestros sueños, nuestro lugar en el mundo. Entonces, nos asaltan las dudas sobre lo que debe hacerse, y de repente, ahí­ está el canalla: él es siempre el lí­der, el que se cree más atractivo, más inteligente, más capaz de enfrentar los desafí­os del futuro.

En el caso de los chicos, normalmente se impone por su fuerza bruta o por comportarse como un “listillo”, como si supiese más que el resto del mundo.
En el caso de las chicas, es siempre la que parece atraer las miradas de todos los hombres, ser invitada a todas las fiestas, y estar siempre más elegante.

Todos nosotros, durante este importante rito de pasaje que es la adolescencia, pusimos a prueba nuestros valores fundamentales… a excepción del canalla. Mientras sufrí­amos el desprecio, la inseguridad, o la fragilidad, él se mantení­a al margen.

Cierto dí­a, una vez adultos, se nos ocurre reencontrar a nuestros amigos de juventud en un restaurante, adonde todos acuden con sus mujeres o maridos. El canalla aparece, normalmente también casado(a).
A todos nos interesa saber cómo le ha ido en la vida: ¿Adónde llegó ése a quien envidiábamos y admirábamos secretamente?

La primera sorpresa es que el canalla no llegó a ninguna parte. Mejor dicho, pudo dar un paso, o dos, con cierto éxito, pero inmediatamente la vida fue implacable con su arrogancia: el mundo de los adultos es bastante diferente de aquél en el que vivimos nuestra juventud.

Al principio de la cena, parece que volvemos al pasado, pero muy pronto comprendemos que él fue apenas un instrumento para que pudiéramos crecer. Después de algunos tragos de alcohol, vemos al canalla replegado, intentando probar una fuerza que ya no existe, pensando que aún creemos que sigue siendo el lí­der de todos nosotros.

Nosotros sonreí­mos, confraternizamos con todos, pagamos la cuenta, y salimos con la impresión de que el canalla tomó el camino equivocado.
Pensamos: “Esta persona lo tení­a todo para que le fuera bien en la vida, pero no lo consiguió”.

Todos nosotros hemos tenido un canalla en nuestras vidas. Menos mal.

Brucia La Terra ( 1:47 min)

Brucia la luna n’cielu / E ju bruciu d’amuri
Focu ca si consuma / Comu lu me cori
L’anima chianci / Addulurata
Non si da paci / Ma cchi mala nuttata

Lu tempu passa / a non agghiorna
Non c’e mai suli / S’idda non torna

Brucia la terra mia / E abbrucia lu me cori
Cchi siti d’acqua idda / E ju siti d’amuri
Acu la cantu / La me canzuni
Si no c’e nuddu / Ca s’a affacia
A lu barcuni

Brucia la luna n’cielu / E ju bruciu d’amuri
Focu ca si consuma / Comu lu me cori

Monday song…(thanks Thelma)

20 SEC REading: Joy and love

A believer approached Rabbi Moche of Kobryn and asked:
‘How should I best use my days so that God will be contented with my actions?’

 
‘There is only one possible option: to live with love,’ replied the Rabbi.

 
Minutes later, another follower approached him and asked the same question.
‘There is only one possible option: try to live with joy.’

 
The first follower was taken aback.
‘But the advice you gave me was different!’
 
‘Not at all,’ said the rabbi. ‘It was exactly the same.’
 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

Character of the week: Michael Corleone

I don’t feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.

Your enemies always get strong on what you leave behind.

All families have bad memories. Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.

Times change. These days, we learn from the philanthropists like the Rockefellers. First you rob everybody, then you give to the poor.

There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Senator Pat Geary: I despise the way you pose yourself. You and your whole fucking family.

We’re both part of the same hypocrisy, senator, but never think it applies to my family.

Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.This is business and this man is taking it very personal

It’s dangerous to be an honest man

Never let anyone know what you are thinking.

Never hate your enemies, it affects you judgment.

All my life I kept trying to go up in society. Where everything higher up was legal. But the higher I go, the crookeder it becomes. Where the hell does it end?

My father is no different than any other powerful man — any man who’s responsible for other people, like a senator or president.
Kay: “You know how naive you sound…senators and presidents don’t have men killed.”
Oh, who’s being naive, Kay?

I offered you something better. Something in the legitimate world. You turned me down. Now you both come to me with this bad blood. What do you expect me to do? Am I a gangster?
 
 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

The lion and the cats


Illustration by Ken Crane

 
A lion came across a group of cats having a chat. “I’m going to devour them,” he thought.

But then an odd feeling of calm came over him. And he decided to sit down with them and pay attention to what they were saying.

– Good God! – said one of the cats, without noticing the lion’s presence. – We have prayed all afternoon! We asked for the skies to rain mice on us!

– And so far nothing has happened! – said another. – I wonder if the Lord really exists.

The skies remained mute. And the cats lost their faith.

The lion rose and went on his way, thinking: “funny how things are. I was going to kill those animals, but God stopped me. And even so, they stopped believing in divine grace. They were so worried about what was missing that they did not even notice the protection they were given.”
 
 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

Haven’t you ever lost someone?

A man was walking along the road to Damascus. He recalled his lost love and his soul grieved.
“Pity on those who know love,” he thought. “They will never be happy, with the fear of losing the one they love.”

At that moment he heard a nightingale sing.

– Why do you act like that? – the man asked the nightingale. – Don’t you see that my beloved, who loved your song so much, is no longer here by my side?

– I sing because I am happy – answered the nightingale.

– Haven’t you ever lost someone? – the man insisted.

– Many times – answered the nightingale. – But my love still remains all the same.

And the man went on his way feeling more hopeful.

 
 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

Aleph: publication dates

ALEPH in Farsi for free download: CLICK HERE

The list is far from complete, but these are the confirmed dates so far. There are some languages (like German, Russian, Japanese, for example) where “The Valkyries” is being release this year, so ALEPH will be published in 2012

Disclaimer: it is not me who decides the publication dates!

Nerds invadem meu abrigo anti-atomico

Azaghal, Portuguesa, Andrés Ramos (Amigo Imaginário) e Eduardo Spohr visitam o abrigo anti-atí´mico do escritor e amigo Paulo Coelho. Filmagem de Andrés Ramos. #nerdtour

From the Prayer Book of Medieval Chivalry

The Prayer Book of Medieval Chivalry says:

“The spiritual energy of the Path uses justice and patience to prepare your spirit.

“This is the Path of the Cavalier. An easy and at the same time a hard path, because it makes you abandon all useless things and relative friendships.
That is why at first one feels very hesitant about following it.

“This is the first lesson of Chivalry: you will erase what you have written in the book of your life until now: worry, insecurity, lies.
‘And instead of all this you will write the word courage.

‘Beginning the journey with this word, and following with faith in God, you will reach the place you have to reach.”
 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

Obrigado, thank you, gracias, merci

On the very first day it was published in Croatia, ALEPH went to #1 (see here), repeating the same feat as in Brasil, Portugal, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey

August 8: ALEPH will be published in South America ( 12 countries), Central America ( 7 countries) and Mexico. Then, in 2 weeks time, in Holland.
Therefore, it will be impossible to continue to update you on the performance of the book.
But I would like to thank my readers for their strong support. The book is having this outstanding performance without me giving interviews. The only promotion so far is that of word-of-mouth, the best any author can have.

ESPANOL

En el primer dí­a de su publicación en Croacia, ALEPH fue directamente al #1 (véase aquí­) repitiendo la misma hazaña que en Brasil, Portugal, Hungrí­a, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turquí­a.
8 AGOSTO: ALEPH será publicado en Sur América (12 paí­ses), Centro América (7 paí­ses) y México. Y en dos semanas más, llegará a Holanda.
Por lo tanto, será imposible hacerle seguimiento al rendimiento del libro.
Pero me gustarí­a agradecer a mis lectores por su firme apoyo. Es gracias a ustedes que el libro está teniendo este éxito sin que yo haya dado entrevistas. La única promoción hasta ahora ha sido boca a boca, la mejor que un autor puede tener

HERE:
ALEPH PUBLICATION DATES
ALEPH (The video): WINNERS

Any journey is a pilgrimage


What is the appeal of traveling and what do you receive from traveling? Are they reflected to your work? Please let us know what does traveling means to you
(Eduard, Twitter)

I’m a pilgrim writer and that inevitably appears in the way my characters deals with space.
I’m in constant movement and very often I find that my characters need to equally find themselves in a journey.
I believe that we are constantly experiencing transformation and that’s why we need to let life guide us.

Every day is different, every day can have a magic moment, but we don’t see the opportunity, because we think: ‘Oh this is boring I’m just commuting to work.’
How many interesting people you are missing, just because our parents told us “don’t talk to strangers”?

You must get as much as you can from any journey, because – in the end – the journey is all you have. It doesn’t matter what you accumulate in terms of material wealth, because you are going to die anyway, so why not live?

You have to look at life itself is a pilgrimage. Therefore, start moving, start talking to strangers!

 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

1 MIN LECTURA: Las palabras son lágrimas escritas

EM PORTUGUES AQUI >>> As palavras sí£o lágrimas escritas
IN ENGLISH HERE>>> Tears are words that need to be written
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extracto del libro ALEPH

La conversación continúa, el tiempo pasa rápidamente y necesito terminar la charla. Elijo al azar, entre 600 personas, a un hombre de mediana edad, con un grueso bigote, para que haga la pregunta final.
“”No quiero hacer ninguna pregunta “”dice””. Sólo quiero decir un nombre.
Y menciona el nombre de una pequeña iglesia en Barbazan-Debat, que queda en medio de la nada, a miles de kilómetros de donde me encuentro, y donde un dí­a coloqué una placa agradeciendo un milagro. Es el nombre de la iglesia a la que fui, antes de esta peregrinación, a pedir a la Virgen que protegiera mis pasos.
Ya no sé cómo continuar la conferencia. Las siguientes palabras fueron escritas por uno de los presentadores que integraban la mesa:

“Y de repente el Universo parecí­a haber dejado de moverse en aquella sala.
Sucedieron tantas cosas: yo vi tus lágrimas. Vi las lágrimas de tu dulce mujer,cuando aquel lector anónimo pronunció el nombre de una capilla perdida en algún lugar del mundo.

“Tú perdiste la voz. Tu rostro sonriente se tornó serio. Tus ojos se llenaron de tí­midas lágrimas, que temblaban en la punta de las pestañas, como si quisieran disculparse por estar ahí­ sin haber sido invitadas.

“Ahí­ también estaba yo, sintiendo un nudo en la garganta, sin saber por qué. Busqué entre el auditorio a mi mujer y a mi hija, son ellas a las que siempre busco cuando me siento al borde de algo que no conozco.
Ellas estaban allá, pero tení­an los ojos fijos en ti, silenciosas como todo el mundo, procurando apoyarte con sus miradas, como si las miradas pudiesen apoyar a un
hombre.

“Entonces procuré fijarme en Christina, pidiendo socorro, intentando entender lo que estaba pasando, cómo romper aquel silencio que parecí­a infinito.
Y vi que también ella lloraba, en silencio, como si ustedes fuesen notas de la misma sinfoní­a, y como si las lágrimas de ambos se tocaran a pesar de la distancia.

“Y durante largos segundos, ya no habí­a salón, ni público, ni nada. Tú y tu mujer se habí­an ido a un lugar donde nadie podí­a seguirlos; todo lo que existí­a era la alegrí­a de vivir, contada apenas con el silencio y la emoción.

“Las palabras son lágrimas escritas. Las lágrimas son palabras que necesitan llorar. Sin ellas, ninguna alegrí­a tiene brillo, ninguna tristeza tiene final.
Por lo tanto, gracias por tus lágrimas.”

Deberí­a haberle dicho a la joven que hiciera la primera pregunta,sobre las señales, que ahí­ estaba una de ellas, afirmando que yo me encontraba en el sitio donde debí­a estar, a la hora correcta,a pesar de nunca haber entendido bien qué fue lo que me llevó ahí­.

:
ALEPH: COMENTíRIOS DE LECTORES (sin censura)
ALEPH ya fué publicado en Mexico, Espana, todos los 17 paí­ses de Latinoamerica y en los 7 paí­ses de Centroamerica

As palavras sí£o lágrimas que foram escritas

(estou dando uma conferíªncia em Túnis, Tunisia, abril de 2006)

A conversa continua, o tempo passa rapidamente e preciso terminar a palestra. Escolho ao acaso, no meio de 600 pessoas, um homem de meia-idade, com um grosso bigode, para a pergunta final.
– Ní£o quero fazer nenhuma pergunta – diz ele. – Quero apenas falar um nome.
E diz o nome de uma pequena igreja em Barbazan-Debat, que fica no meio de lugar nenhum, a milhares de quilí´metros de onde me encontro, e onde um dia coloquei uma placa agradecendo um milagre. É o nome da igreja aonde fui, antes desta peregrinaí§í£o, pedir í  Virgem que protegesse os meus passos.
Eu já ní£o sei mais como continuar a conferíªncia. As palavras a seguir foram escritas por um dos apresentadores que compunham a mesa:

“E de repente o Universo parecia ter parado de se mover naquela sala. Tantas coisas aconteceram: eu vi suas lágrimas.
Eu vi as lágrimas de sua doce mulher, quando aquele leitor aní´nimo pronunciou o nome de uma capela perdida em um lugar do mundo.
Vocíª perdeu a voz. Seu rosto sorridente tornou-se sério.
Seus olhos se encheram de lágrimas tí­midas, que tremiam na ponta dos cí­lios, como se quisessem se desculpar por estarem ali sem serem convidadas.

Ali também estava eu, sentindo um nó na garganta, sem saber por quíª.
Procurei na plateia minha mulher e minha filha, sí£o elas que sempre busco quando me sinto í  beira de algo que ní£o conheí§o.
Elas estavam lá, mas tinham os olhos fixos em vocíª, silenciosas como todo mundo, procurando apoiá-lo com seus olhares, como se olhares pudessem apoiar um homem.

Entí£o procurei fixar-me em Christina, pedindo socorro, tentando entender o que estava acontecendo, como terminar aquele silíªncio que parecia infinito.
E vi que também ela chorava, em silíªncio, como se vocíªs fossem notas da mesma sinfonia e como se as lágrimas dos dois se tocassem apesar da distí¢ncia.

E durante longos segundos já ní£o havia mais sala, nem público, nada mais.
Vocíª e sua mulher tinham partido para um lugar onde ninguém podia segui-los; tudo o que existia era a alegria de viver, contada apenas com o silíªncio e a emoí§í£o.
As palavras sí£o lágrimas que foram escritas. As lágrimas sí£o palavras que precisam jorrar. Sem elas, nenhuma alegria tem brilho, nenhuma tristeza tem um final.
Portanto, obrigado por suas lágrimas.”

Deveria ter dito í  moí§a que tinha feito a primeira pergunta – sobre os sinais – que ali estava um deles, afirmando que eu me encontrava no lugar onde devia estar, na hora certa, apesar de nunca entender direito o que me levou até ali.

trecho de O ALEPH

1 MIN READING: tears are words that need to be written

EN FRANçAIS >> Les mots sont des larmes qui ont été écrites
EM PORTUGUES AQUI >>> As palavras sí£o lágrimas escritas
EN ESPANOL AQUI > Las palabras son lágrimas escritas
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(I am giving a conference in Tunis, Tunisia, in April 2006)

The conversation continues, time passes quickly and I need to wrap things up. For the last question, I choose, at random, out of the six hundred people there, a middle-aged man with a bushy moustache.
‘I don’t want to ask a question,’ he says. ‘I just want to say a name.’
The name he pronounces is that of Barbazan-Debat, a chapel in the middle of nowhere, thousands of kilometres from here, the same chapel where, one day, I placed a plaque in gratitude for a miracle and which I had visited, before setting out on this pilgrimage, in order to pray for Our Lady’s protection.
I don’t know how to respond. The following words were written by one of the other people on stage with me.

In the room, the Universe seemed suddenly to have stopped moving. So many things happened: I saw your tears and the tears of your dear wife, when that anonymous reader pronounced the name of that distant chapel.

You could no longer speak. Your smiling face grew serious. Your eyes filled with shy tears that trembled on your lashes, as if wishing to apologise for appearing there uninvited.

Even I had a lump in my throat, although I didn’t know why. I looked for my wife and daughter in the audience, because I always look to them whenever I feel myself to be on the brink of something unknown.
They were there, but they were sitting as silently as everyone else, their eyes fixed on you, trying to support you with their gaze, as if a gaze could ever support anyone.

Then I looked to Christina for help, trying to understand what was going on, how to bring to an end that seemingly interminable silence.
And I saw that she was silently crying too, as if you were both notes from the same symphony and as if your tears were touching, even though you were sitting far apart.

For several long seconds, nothing existed, there was no room, no audience, nothing. You and your wife had set off for a place where we could not follow; all that remained was the joy of living, expressed in silence and emotion.

Words are tears that have been written down. Tears are words that need to be shed. Without them, joy loses all its brilliance and sadness has no end. Thank you, then, for your tears.

I should have said to the young woman who asked the first question about signs that this was a sign, confirming that I was where I should be, in the right place, at the right time, even though I didn’t understand what had brought me there.

taken from ALEPH
ALEPH: READER’S COMMENTS (no censorshiph)

Como o casamento

Nasrudin passou o outono inteiro semeando e preparando seu jardim. As flores se abriram na primavera – e Nasrudin reparou alguns dentes-de-leí£o, que ní£o havia plantado.

Nasrudin arrancou-os. Mas o pólen já estava espalhado, e outros tornaram a crescer. Ele procurou um veneno que atingisse apenas os dentes-de-leí£o. Um técnico disse-lhe que qualquer veneno ia terminar matando as outras flores. Desesperado, pediu ajuda a um jardineiro.

– É igual ao casamento – comentou o jardineiro. – Junto com coisas boas, terminam sempre vindo algumas poucas inconveniíªncias.

– Que faí§o? – insistiu Nasrudin.

– Aprenda a ama-las. Mesmo sendo flores que vocíª ní£o planejou ter, fazem parte do jardim.
 
 
 

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20 SEC READING: just like marriage

Em portugues clicar aqui: Como o casamento

Nasrudin spent the entire autumn working his garden. The flowers had blossomed in the spring – and Nasrudin noticed a few dandelions appearing, which he hadn’t planted.

Nasrudin tore them up. But the pollen had already spread and others began to grow. He tried to find a weed killer which only killed dandelions. A specialist told him any type of poison would end up killing all the other flowers. In despair, he went to ask a gardener for help.

– It is like a marriage – said the gardener. – Along with the good things, a few little inconveniences always appear.

– What can I do? – insisted Nasrudin.

– Learn how to love them . Although they are flowers you did not count on, they are still part of the garden.

 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE