Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho -- Magical!!

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it…..”

I finished this book in two weeks. It’s a nice change from the two Neil Gaimans books that preceded it. Paulo ( I should mention they have the same first name as my son ) Coelho is such a breath of fresh air. The Alchemist is the first Paulo Coehlo work that I have read and I’m very satisfied with it. Each page tells me a lesson about life and about faith. I still have one more of his books for reading and I’m already excited on what I can find and learn. I am partial to magical stories because they make my dreams more real and it makes me feel hopeful and happy.

The alchemist tells about the adventure of a shepherd boy named Santiago. He had decided to be a shepherd so he could travel and learn about places and people. He loves his sheep, his book and his own time under the sun. His life was simple and in predictable pattern until he had a dream. A dream that happened twice and made him wondering. From then he met a King disguised as a pauper who told him to follow his Personal Legend. He realized that his personal legend is to find his treasure in Egypt’s pyramids. In following his Personal Legend he was able to go to Africa, to the dessert and to Egypt. Through this travel he learned a lot from the people and from nature. He learned the language of the world. Through his travels he met good and bad people. He met his love in a oasis in the dessert and was challenged more than ever to go and further pursue his dream. He met the alchemist and learned from him. He was able to communicate with nature. Until at the end he came finally to the pyramids of Egypt. There was a twist at the end though. The pyramid was only able to give him the location of his treasure.

The dilemma of the story is about following Personal Legends. For some dreams maybe too big or just too hard to achieve that we just give up and turn our back to it. But by turning our back we begin a life of misery and a constant nagging of “what-ifs” in the back of our minds. The boy in the story went for his dream even though the dream is bigger that him. He believed that if he wanted something very bad, the universe will conspire to help him achieve his dream. It sounded so easy, one might say. But I had my share of the same story. One of my biggest dreams before was to be able to go and live in Canada. I have seen through my relatives’ stories how good it is to live there. But I have a good job, a family and we live fine. It’s just too hard and expensive to go there. Until the biggest challenge of my life happened. My dream of going away has returned and it’s all I wanted. I prayed and I cried thinking of how and when. Maybe I have wanted it enough that the universe did conspired to help me achieve it. My aunts in Canada called and promised to help me. My colleagues at work asked me if I wanted to go to this agency for immigration. But it wasn’t that easy…it is also true that as you near your dream, the harder it takes to reach it. It has caused me nights of sleeplessness, constant crying and praying. I was already in the land of my dreams and I still have to establish my right to live here. It was hard starting from nothing. Hoping for the kindness of other people to trust me and give me a chance to prove myself worthy of being a part of this new world.
Here in the land of my dreams…. I am happy and content. I can continue dreaming… and maybe… if I wanted it bad enough……magic will happen.


Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

hi em! truly inspiring story! hope your dream will come true! All the best! :)

thanks for visiting! i've added u in my WS buddies blogroll! Happy week! :)

Jean Chia

EM said...

Thanks Jean! I wish the same to your dreams!

Thanks for adding me. I am also interested on your food adventures so I will add you to my picks!

Salutations to you!!!

juleste said...

I have read Paulo Coelho’s "The Alchemist" in 2003 before I began my stint in graduate school, for the 3rd time. I thought I've finally found my treasure. I was wrong. For it was the continuation of my journey.

I've started my (graduate) school hopping in 1993 in a well established university. It was a dream came true for me to be accepted there. But something happened and I dropped the course.

In 1996, I went to a technical school. All I needed were 4 units to get an associate degree but for some strange reason, I again lose interest.

In 2001, I entered in another grad school thinking that I was equipped to be in a highly technical field of studies. I lasted for a semester and sadly quit.

In 2003, I went back to my college alma mater and enrolled in another graduate course. Inspired by Santiago, I knew nothing will stop me for finding my treasures. I was wrong. I finished just two semesters. I thought I was done. For in 2004, I was in for an adventure of a lifetime.

My journey led me to treasures of different kind. The treasures are called Uno and Jed. Plus the journey itself, the discoveries I've made and the wisdom that I've acquired.

Now its 2008 and I'm back in gradschool, the one I left in 2004 to continue my search for the other treasure.

There are times I'm not as courageous as Santiago. Most of the time I feel that the needs of my love ones are more important than my dreams.

Sometimes I want to give up the search, the journey. But I know that if I do, its like giving up my dream, avoiding my personal legend, ignoring my destiny.

So I'm moving on. Marching to the beat of my gradschool dream.

I have other dreams too. And to realize them is like moving a mountain from one place to another. I can always look back at Santiago for inspiration. Or wish for an alchemist to help me make it when I'm down or about to give up.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this inspiring book. PC is an awesome writer. Aside from TA, I have "The Fifth Mountain" but unfortunately both books were borrowed by some co-workers and they still have to find their way back to me.

I guess that's part of the books' journey to realize their personal legend.

EM said...

Wow Jules! That is one comment worth posting about! I can't help but admire your determination and perseverance. You can do it, I know you can. You are born to succeed!

God bless!