Friday, October 3, 2008

Favourite Lines from "Eleven Minutes"

I would like to add some of my favourite picks from the book, "Eleven Minutes" by Coelho; most of them are quite valuable as well:

"Really important things are planned by the soul long before the bodies see each other."

“At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”

“When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.”

“I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.”

“(Don’t) listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.”

“If I can walk on my own, I can go wherever I like.”

“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.”

“Despite her apparent freedom, her life consisted of endless hours spent waiting for a miracle, for true love, for an adventure with the same romantic ending she had seen in films and read about in books. A writer once said that it is not time that changes a man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone’s mind is love. What nonsense! The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin. Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person’s whole life, from one moment to the next. But there was the other side of the coin, the second thing that could make a human being take a totally different course from the one he or she had planned; and that was called despair. Yes, perhaps love really could transform someone, but despair did the job more quickly.”

“Humans can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.”

“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feeling and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”

“Considering the way the world is, one happy day is almost a miracle.”

“That’s my one great virtue: I refuse to deceive myself of you. Because it’s not worth it, because you don’t merit a lie.”

“As if everything had been ordained by fate, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, as if she had known this man all her life or had already lived this moment in dreams and now knew what to do in reality…”

“If he was the man she wanted him to be, he would not be intimidated by her silence.”

“Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.”

“I’ve learned that waiting is the most difficult bit, and I want to get used to the feeling, knowing that you’re with me, even when you’re not by my side.”

“Now she was searching once more for her reason for living, or, rather, for the kind of utter surrender by which a person offers his or her heart and asks for nothing in return.”

“Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone. From that point onwards, things change, the man and the woman come into play, but what happens before–the attraction that brought them together–is impossible to explain. It is untouched desire in its purest state. When desire is still in this pure state, the man and the woman fall in love with life, they live each moment reverently, consciously, always ready to celebrate the next blessing. When people feel like this, they are not in a hurry, they do not precipitate events with unthinking actions. They know that the inevitable will happen, that what is real always finds a way of revealing itself. When the moment comes, they do not hesitate, they do not miss an opportunity, they do not let slip a single magic moment, because they respect the importance of each second.”

“Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.”

“And that was now her great joy: to say to reality that she didn’t need it, that she was not longer dependent on what happened in order to be happy.”

“Anyone who is in love is making love the whole time, even when they’re not. When two bodies meet, it is just the cup overflowing. They can stay together for hours, even days. They begin the dance one day and finish it the next, or–such is the pleasure they experience–they may never finish it. No eleven minutes for them.”

“Every human being experiences his or her own desire; it is part of our personal treasure and, although, as an emotion, it can drive people away, generally speaking, it brings those who are important to us closer. It is an emotion chosen by my soul, and it is so intense that it can infect everything and everyone around me. Each day I choose the truth by which I try to live. I try to be practical, efficient, professional. But I would like to be able always to choose desire as my compassion. Not out of obligation, not to lesson my loneliness, but because it is good. Yes, very good.”

“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility. Anyway, if my love is real (and not just a way of distracting myself, deceiving myself, and passing the time that never seems to pass in this city), freedom will conquer jealousy and any pain it causes me, since pain is also part of the natural process. Anyone who practices sport know of this: if you want to achieve your objectives, you have to be prepared for a daily dose of pain or discomfort. At first, it’s unpleasant and de motivating, but in time you’ll come to realize that it’s part of the process of feeling good, and the moment arrives when, if you don’t feel pain, you have a sense that the exercises aren’t having the desired effect.”

“The world enjoys suffering and pain. There’s sadism in the way we look at these things, and masochism in our conclusion that we don’t need to know all this in order to be happy, and yet we watch other people’s tragedies and sometimes suffer along with them.”

“As I say, it’s the human condition. Ever since we were expelled from paradise, we have either been suffering, making other people suffer or watching the suffering of others. It’s beyond our control.”

“Why was it that in God’s holy world men were only interested in showing her pain. Sacred pain, pain with pleasure, pain with explanations or without, but always pain, pain, pain…”

“‘I felt that pain is a woman’s friend.’ ‘That is the danger.’ ‘I also felt that pain has it’s limits.’ ‘That is the salvation. Don’t forget that.’”

“That’s why I’m telling you: don’t get used to it, because it’s very easy to become habituated; it’s a very powerful drug. It’s in our daily lives, in our hidden suffering, in the sacrifices we make, blaming love for the destruction of our dreams. Pain is frightening when it shows its real face, but it’s seductive when it comes disguised as sacrifice or self-denial. Or cowardice. However much we may reject it, we human being always find a way of being with pain, of flirting with it and making it part of our lives.”

“Pain and suffering are used to justify the only thing that should bring only joy: love.”

“I need to love–that’s all, I need to love. Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.”

“Always making plans for the future, and always being surprised by the present.”

“Original sin was not the apple that Eve ate, it was her belief that Adam needed to share precisely the thing she had tasted. Eve was afraid to follow her path without someone to help her, and so she wanted to share what she was feeling. Certain things cannot be shared. Nor can we be afraid of the oceans into which we plunge of our own free will; fear cramps everyone’s style. Man goes through hell in order to understand this. Love one another, but let’s not try to possess one another.”

She made this promise because she knew love’s traps all too well, and knew how easily they can change a woman’s mind.”

“In all the languages in the world, there is the same proverb: ‘What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.’ Well, I say that there isn’t an ounce of truth in it. The further off they are, the closer to the heart are all those feelings that we try to repress and forget. If we’re in exile, we want to store away every tiny memory of our roots. If we’re far from the person we love, everyone we pass in the street reminds us of them.”

“The only thing she could do now was to shed a few tears, feeling rather afraid of herself, an intelligent young woman, who had everything going for her, but who tended to make wrong decisions. She just hoped that this time she was right.”

I guess people who have not read this novel till now, will feel like reading this, inspired by the lines above. Wishing you all happy reading !!

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