I started reading Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept two days ago. This is my second book from the author, and I have high expectations. When I first read The Alchemist, I was astounded by how the writer compacted most of life’s greatest teachings in one book. And now, for my second novel, I hope that I won’t be disappointed.
With the holidays just around the corner, I only got into page 25 of the book. I was hoping to continue reading it right after my work yesterday, but something happened. Something which made me want to read at the same time rip the said book.
Every day, God gives us the sun – and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven’t perceived the moment, that it doesn’t exist – that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention in their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seems the same to us. But that moment exists – a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.
Yesterday afternoon, I saw his new status in Kakao Story. It went like this:
“나를 사랑해줘서 고마워.”
I can understand it a bit, but went to use a translator to clarify what I thought it meant. Genie Talk and Google Translate came up with: “Thank you for letting me love.”
It may not be the correct translation, but it seems near. I felt something gripped the corner of my heart. “What does this mean? Is he finally happy now?”
My friends teased me of being impulsive and I just proved them right when I went to his name in my Kakao Talk list and sent him a message.
Me: You seem okay now. I hope she makes you happy.
Me: The same time last year, you were so sick. I got so worried about you. Now, I hope you are getting better.
I didn’t know what I was thinking. I just sent him those messages. Now, as I typed this draft, I see myself as a pathetic, bitter person. Then suddenly, my phone beeped.
Love perseveres. It’s men who change.
Him: Who are you?
I forgot that I changed my Kakao Talk’s account name. From 최다해 which was the name he gave me, I changed it to송유리. Perhaps he was surprised to see a message coming from a stranger’s name.
Me: It’s me. Monica.
Him: Oh. She?
Him: I don’t have a gf.
Him: Anyway, I don’t have a gf.
A thousand times I wanted to take his hand and a thousand times I stopped myself.
Me: Oh. I thought…Well, I pray that after a year you are now better.
Him: I’m good. I…
I could have. What does this phrase mean? At any given moment in our lives, there are certain things that could have happened but didn’t. The magic moments go unrecognized, and then suddenly, the hand of destiny changes everything.
Him: I’m going to the army.
Me: What????? When?
Him: In 26 December.
Sometimes an uncontrollable feeling of sadness grips us, he said. We recognize that the magic moment of the day has passed and that we’ve done nothing about it. Life begins to conceal its magic and its art.
Me: Why so soon?
Him: Just. Bye. 잘지내~
Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing what to do is the worst kind of suffering.
May my tears from just as far, that my love might never know that one day I cried for him.
Note: I have placed various quotes from the book in relation to my experience yesterday. This is not a review of the book.