Narcissus and the lake/ Narciso e o lago

narcissus, caravaggio, alchemist
(Narcissus by Caravaggio )

The Alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.
The Alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who daily knelt beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned.
At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.

But this was not how the author of the book ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, the Goddesses of the Forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
“Why do you weep?” the Goddesses asked.
“I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.
“Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”
“But….. was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.
“Who better than you to know that?” the Goddesses said in wonder, “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”
The lake was silent for some time. Finally it said:
“I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”

“What a lovely story,” the Alchemist thought.

( Prologue of “The Alchemist”, celebrating this week 309 WEEKS in the New York Times Bestselling list

————————————

NARCISO E O LAGO

O Alquimista pegou num livro que alguém na caravana tinha trazido. O volume estava sem capa, mas conseguiu identificar o seu autor: Oscar Wilde . Enquanto folheava as suas páginas, encontrou uma história sobre Narciso.
O Alquimista conhecia a lenda de Narciso, um belo rapaz que todos os dias ia contemplar a sua própria beleza num lago. Estava tí£o fascinado por si mesmo que certo dia caiu dentro do lago e morreu afogado.
No lugar onde caiu, nasceu uma flor, a que chamaram narciso.
Mas ní£o era assim que Oscar Wilde acabava a história.

Ele dizia que quando Narciso morreu, vieram as Oréiades – deusas do bosque – e viram o lago transformado, de um lago de água doce, num cí¢ntaro de águas salgadas.
– Por que choras? – perguntaram as Oréiades .
– Choro por Narciso – disse o lago.
– Ah, ní£o nos espanta que chores por Narciso – continuaram elas. – Afinal de contas, apesar de todas nós corrermos atrás dele pelo bosque, tu eras o único que tinha a oportunidade de contemplar de perto a sua beleza.
– Mas Narciso era belo? – perguntou o lago.
– Quem mais do que tu poderia saber disso? – responderam, surpresas, as Oréiades . – Afinal de contas, era nas tuas margens que ele se debruí§ava todos os dias.
O lago ficou algum tempo quieto. Por fim, disse:
– Eu choro por Narciso, mas nunca tinha percebido que Narciso era belo.
»Choro por Narciso porque, todas as vezes que ele se debruí§ava sobre as minhas margens eu podia ver, no fundo dos seus olhos, a minha própria beleza reflectida.

– Que bela história – disse o Alquimista.

(prólogo de “O Alquimista”, celebrando 309 SEMANAS na lista dos mais vendidos do New York Times