I’m like a walking dead. And thus, this is the book I needed. Or so I thought.
The despair of the author at the beginning made me feel that I was not alone. I’m in search of the same “thing” he was searching. The thing that makes can make me feel alive. Somehow.
What made me excited about it is the simple reality of what I’m also going through.
My routine is slowly killing me.
I’m gradually losing myself. To what? To my work and everything that surrounds me everyday…
I was very inspired at first especially at the mention of how the author’s fate changed when someone believed on his craft. And from that he became a well-acclaimed author. But what I must take note from it is the fact that even if he was not convinced with his own works at first, what mattered most is that he created something. And that something was the main reason he is where he is now.
I only started feeling a bit off when the book started with the journey via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Maybe because of Coelho’s powerful use of words, I was able to feel the same tiredness felt by the people on that journey.
What made me feel more off was the arrival of Hilal in the story. Maybe, I’m not still open minded. What shall I think of a 21-year old woman trying to get the affection of someone twice her senior? I’m intimidated by her hardheadedness. Until the end of the book, I still don’t get her. Honestly.
Another one thing I can’t totally understand in the book is the concept of Aleph itself. Considering the fact that it is personal and understood to be a true-to-life story, maybe Aleph only happens to people with the Gift.
And unfortunately, I’m not one of them.
Anyway, I don’t subscribe totally to the idea that I have a past life. It just made me curious what could I have been before?
But there’s also a thing I can relate to. It’s is the feeling you have when you meet another person and you got an inkling that he is not just someone who would pass you as a stranger. In an inexplicable way, you just know that he is someone who will change your life. I don’t know. I just experienced that too.
All in all, Aleph began with an extravagant promise of hope for those who are lost with the idea of who they are and what they want in life. But for me, in ended with a feeling of confusion? I’m totally lost.
Maybe, the book was trying the whole time to convince us to get out of our comfort zones and challenge our routine. And just like what it emphasizes at the end, we need to roam the world and find again the treasure we already had which we had lost or forgotten in some parts of our life.
By the way, here’s my own list of top ten quotes from the book (though I had highlighted a lot):
1. Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.
2. No life is complete without a touch of madness.
3. Men and women with immense willpower are generally solitary types and give off a kind of coolness.
4. To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life.
5. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.
6. However, if God so wishes, those who once knew love will find each other again.
7. If only she would meet a single man who could make her happy and not interrupt her brilliant career, who could hold her in his arms at sunset and always light the sacred fire whenever she needed help. She deserves it.
8. I feel like a sranger in my own skin.
9. Tell yourself that the thing that hurts you so much has become a gift.
10. Like the children we will never, ever cease to be.