Wednesday 4 November 2009

The Zahir extract

Have you ever come away from someone feeling somehow dirty, 'less than', exhausted and empty? Have you noticed coming away from someone and feeling fully alive, vibrant and joyous? Here's an extract from a book I read on holidays that does give some food for thought...

"'Marie, let's suppose that two firemen go into a forest to put out a small fire. Afterwards, when they emerge and go over to a stream, the face of one is all smeared with black, while the other man's face is completely clean. My quetion is this: which of the two will wash his face?'

'That's a silly question. The one with the dirty face of course.'

'No, the one with the dirty face will look at the other man and assume that he looks like him. And, vice versa, the man with the clean face will see his colleague covered in grime and say to himself: I must be dirty too. I'd better have a wash.'

'What are you trying to say?'

'I'm saying that, during the time I spent in hosptial, I came to realise that I was always looking for myself in the women I loved. I looked at their lovely, clean faces and saw myself reflected in them. They, on the other hand, looked at me and saw the dirt on my face and, however intelligent or self-confident they were, they ended up seeing themselves refelcted in me and thinking that they were worse than they were. Please, don't let this happen to you.'"
From The Zahir by Paolo Cohelo

Note Now have a second look at the tee-shirt in the mirror.

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