Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The reader has the floor

Author: Paulo Coelho

Anabel (Mérida, Spain)

I don’t know if it is all written down, I don’t know if people write their story when they are born, or before, or while they are alive. But I am convinced that everything that happens in our life has a meaning, and that is why each moment has to be lived intensely. Because it is today that enables us to move ahead, break the ties, let life flow in all its freedom, and understand that loving the moment is what makes us happy. Loving what we see, what we touch, what we don’t understand, loving the unknown, what makes us anxious, the deep and the shallow, but loving nevertheless.

Beba (Islamabad, Pakistan)

Life is absolutely temperamental, and it eventually leads us down paths that we were not absolutely certain or enthusiastic about following. But what would become of us without these surprises? I make a toast to all that is absurd and marvelous that we will continue to come across at each step that lies ahead.

Iris (upon arriving at Santiago de Compostela)

When I reached Obradoiro Square, I wondered: why did I have to face so many difficulties? I joined the endless line to kiss the statue of the saint and it all struck me as absurd, except for catching up with some pilgrims that I had met on the way. Yes, it was all absurd, except the joy of having surmounted my limits and feeling a better person. Just as well that I did not walk like the others. Just as well that I decided to stop whenever the sun set, avoiding thinking about whether I was near a shelter or whether there was food available. Just as well that I ate a plate of lentils that upset me and obliged me to sleep at the foot of a mountain, in a place that I would never have known had it not been for that problem.

Just as well that I overslept and ending up having to spend the night under a star-filled sky. Just as well that I began walking when I felt like it and stopped when I wanted to, without anyone telling me is that was right or wrong. Just as well that I was alone, and so the moon treated me in a very special way. Just as well that I took the wrong turn four hundred times and ended up knowing places that nobody knew. On one of these detours I spent the whole day sitting in front of the door of a convent thinking about my vocation

It was because of so many absurd things and so many “just as well’s” that the whole thing was fun. Because before this my life had a goal, and from now on I will go on walking just for the pleasure of walking.

Maximiliano (Veracruz, Mexico)

Before a storm everything is silent and calm, although we can feel the smell of raindrops. Some days ago I was with a friend and his sister in Porto de Tuxpam. It was Carnival, everyone was having a good time, and right at the climax of the party the sky became filled with clouds, then lightning fell closer and closer, and the rain started. Everyone ran for shelter.

All of a sudden, as if there had been some mysterious communication among the people, we all returned to the street and discovered that the storm only contributed to the world being more fertile and the climate milder. Joy returned, although nobody quite understood why they were so joyful.

One of the most sublime moments that anyone can experience is to live through a storm.

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