Our personal legend

I am cur­rent­ly read­ing O Alquimista (The Alchemist), in its orig­i­nal Por­tuguese ver­sion. This read­ing is in itself a vic­to­ry since I start­ed learn­ing Por­tuguese a year ago. The author, Paulo Coel­ho, is accused of using too sim­ple a lan­guage. How­ev­er, that makes me hap­py, because I don’t always press my fin­ger on the words to get a def­i­n­i­tion (ah ! the won­ders of electronics!).

I’ve prob­a­bly read this nov­el in the past, I’ve read so much in my teens, or would I have seen a trans­po­si­tion of it on the screen ? This nov­el has sold mil­lions of copies, after all. Or is it the fact that the sub­ject fol­lows the same path as those new-age philoso­phies that coloured the end of the 20th century ?

Todas as pes­soas, no começo da juven­tude, sabem qual é sua Len­da Pes­soal. Nes­sa época, tudo é claro, tudo é pos­sív­el, e elas não tão têm medo de son­har e dese­jar tudo aqui­lo que gostari­am de faz­er na vida. Entre­tan­to, à medi­da que o tem­po vai pas­san­do, uma mis­te­riosa força começa a ten­tar provar que é impos­sív­el realizar a Len­da Pessoal.

“Every­one, in their youth, knows their per­son­al leg­end. At that moment, every­thing is clear, every­thing is pos­si­ble, and we are not afraid to dream and desire every­thing we would like to do in life. How­ev­er, over time, a mys­te­ri­ous force grad­u­al­ly tries to prove that it is impos­si­ble to real­ize one’s per­son­al legend. »

And the goal in life, of course, is to sat­is­fy this leg­end. That is well said, it makes you dream and hope. This lit­tle tale, of which I have only read a quar­ter so far, per­fect­ly reflects our innate desire to sur­pass our­selves, to cross bor­ders as best we can. Every­one has their own sto­ry, their own way of telling their lives through their actions, words, and experiences.

Quite often, despair or sad­ness over­whelms us for not hav­ing achieved the desired goal. Many peo­ple make waxwings that are not well pre­pared for great adven­tures. The fall is then sudden.

Obvi­ous­ly, we won­der what this leg­end is. First of all, should­n’t we take off this dress too short and trans­par­ent with which this word is dressed ? A young Syr­i­an child, trapped in adult gun­fire with blind anger in his eyes, does he real­ly see a leg­end ? When he is shot in the head, his sto­ry ends with­out hav­ing begun. A young Indi­an girl sprayed with acid on her face will tell you the same thing. Leg­ends are for the bour­geoisie, fairy tales for mor­tals who dream of Hol­ly­wood eternity.

We all know, how­ev­er, that our hap­pi­ness lies not in the real­iza­tion of this or that, but in the bal­ance, we achieve in our jour­ney, no mat­ter what it may be, in the most vol­un­tary self-sac­ri­fice pos­si­ble. Hap­pi­ness is not about judg­ing, qual­i­fy­ing the path we take, nor is it about paving it with asphalt of good inten­tions. In the face of death, we can only dream and it is only through this vol­un­tary humil­i­ty that we can con­tin­ue on our path.

So, yes, our per­son­al leg­end makes you dream. It is good to tell your­self this kind of sto­ry, to tell your­self back­ward, to remem­ber what you said and did, what you dreamed. It is also wise to look for­ward, to real­ize what remains to be done before the final bor­der. And it is impor­tant to under­stand what we have for­got­ten, to remem­ber those petals of desire that adorned our hearts. It is essen­tial to sit down for a while, every morn­ing, to under­stand what moti­vates us to live.

Nev­er should we for­get, how­ev­er, that the true Leg­end goes beyond the indi­vid­ual, beyond the plan­et on which we stand. If our des­tiny is to live an adven­ture, it would make more sense if it were shared, sung and direct­ed towards one of those suns that illu­mi­nate our insignif­i­cance and igno­rance. The mag­ic is there. Let’s start by warm­ing up and lov­ing each oth­er around our first star. Then let us look at the moon, at the moons, neb­u­lae and black holes, pro­ton stars, cir­cu­lar Jupi­ter­ian storms, Sat­urn­ian hexag­o­nals and then let us be silent, let us return to the fire, in the warm cir­cle of the liv­ing. Let’s love each oth­er. We’ve already said all that, haven’t we ? So what ? So what ?