Excerpts from The Zahir, Paulo Coelho

Few excerpts from The Zahir written by Paulo Coelho:

One day, a journalist comes to interview me. She wants to know what its like to have my work known all over the country, but to be entirely unknown myself, since normally its only the singer who appears in the media. We meet again at a party, where there’s no pressure of work, and I manage to get her into bed the same night. I fall in love, but she’s not remotely interested. When I phone, she always says she’s busy. The more she rejects me, the more interested I become, until at last, I manage to persuade her to spend a week end at my house in the country.

We spend three days alone, contemplating the sea. I cook for her, and she tells me stories about her work and ends up falling in love with me. We come back to the city, she starts sleeping at my apartment on a regular basis. One morning she leaves earlier than usual and returns with her type writer. From then on, without anything being said, my home becomes her home too.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I sit down at the typewriter, just to show Esther that I am typing, honestly trying to work.

And suddenly, the miracle happens. I look across at the woman who has just made some coffee and is now reading the newspaper, whose eyes look tired and desperate, who is her usual silent self, who does not always show her affection in gestures, the woman who made me say ‘yes’, when I wanted to say ‘no’, who forced me to fight for what she, quite rightly, believed was my reason for living, who set me off alone because her love for me was greater than even her love for herself, who made me go in search of my dream; and, suddenly, seeing that small quiet woman, whose eyes said more than any words, who was often terrified inside, but always courageous in her actions, who could love someone without humbling herself and who never ever apologised for fighting for her man, suddenly, my fingers press down on the keys.

The first sentence emerges. Then the second.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Zahir: something, which, once touched or seen, can never be forgotten and which gradually so fills our thoughts that we are driven to madness.

I accept the Zahir, and will let it lead me into a state of either complete holiness or madness.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The acomodador or giving up point: There is always an event in our lives that is responsible for us failing to progress: a trauma, a disappointment in love, even a victory that we did not quite understand, can make cowards of us and prevent us from moving on. As part of the process of increasing his hidden powers, the shaman must first free himself from that giving up point and, to do so, he must review his whole life and find out where it occurred.


About Manali Shah

Postmodern. Spiritual. Feminist.

Posted on January 13, 2009, in Excerpts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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