Thursday, August 17, 2006

You are looking for something that isn’t here

‘You are looking for something that isn’t here’ .

Mike emptied his web site and left these words, which have rung in my mind.
Then Julia from Bulgaria introduced me to some stories by Paulo Coelho and a few days later I found, ‘The Pilgrimage’ by him. As I read the first few chapters I realised I’d read it before, though it had made little impression,

‘You are looking for something that isn’t here’

The pilgrimage of San Tiago had some attraction to me. I liked mountains, long walks and the pilgrims’ symbol was the scallop shell (I’d made a living diving for scallops many years ago). Against it was the fact that I was not much of a Christian.
I skimmed on looking for something and found:

‘I began to talk to everything along the road: tree trunks, puddles, fallen leaves and beautiful vines. It was an exercise of the common people, learned by children and forgotten by adults. And I received a mysterious response from those things, as if they understood what I was saying; they, in turn, flooded me with the love that consumes. I went into a kind of trance that frightened me…….’

Later he writes:

‘…The language I’d invented was forgotten; it was not the right language for communicating with other people or with God. The Road to Santiago was “walking me”…..’

And:

‘The cross is empty….You showed us that the power and the glory were within every person’s reach, and this sudden vision was too much for us’

‘You are looking for something that isn’t here’

The way that can be spoken of is not the way.
It has no coordinates and no language to describe it but sometimes we know.
We know when we are lost in Shangri-La (to give it a name which is of course not it’s real name).

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