'We used to sit until late at night in a café in Lourdes. I was a pilgrim on the sacred Road of Rome and still had many more days to travel in search of my Gift. She was Brida O'Fern and was in charge of a certain stretch of that Road.' -- Paulo Coelho
'It is necessary to run risks, follow certain paths and abandon others. No one can make a choice without feeling fear.' -- Paulo Coelho
'But how will I know who my Soulmate is? By taking risks. By risking failure, disappointment, disillusion, but never ceasing in your search for Love. As long as you keep looking, you will triumph in the end.' -- Paulo Coelho
Brida by Paulo Coelho, like By the River I Sat Down and Wept and The Witch of Portobello, explores the feminine side of religion.
There are two types of people, those that build and those that plant.
Builders may take many years to plan and design what they are going to build. They start building a wall, but there is the ever present danger they may have walled themselves in, built their own prison, like those who live in gated communities who think they are keeping the world out but in reality are locking themselves in.
Gardeners plant seeds, tend their seeds. Each seed is unique, hidden within its germ plasm is the history of the university stretching back generations. The seed has evolved, buffeted this way and that by life's mysterious and existential forces. When we plant our seed and watch it grow, we do not know what will happen, will there be enough sun, enough rain, will it be too hot or cold, will it get eaten by pests or succumb to disease or get strangled by weeds.
Our garden, like our seeds, grows and changes, with the seasons, with the years. No one is exactly like another.
Once we have built our building, what then, when our task is done. With our garden, our task is never done, we continue to grow and change and evolve with our garden.
There were four paths a medieval pilgrim could travel.
One, the Road to Santiago or The Way of Saint James, Paulo Coelho describes in The Pilgrimage.
Another was the Road to Rome, which Paulo Coelho alludes to in Brida .
Brida was inspired by an Irish lady Brida O'Fern who Paulo met at Lourdes. Brida O'Fern had travelled the Road to Rome, she had travelled it in Ireland. When Paulo Coelho met her, she was a guardian of part of the Road to Rome. Brida is her story.
When Brida seeks out her Magus in a forest in Ireland, she has already learnt something of astrology, tarot and numerology. She is 21, nice looking, the Magus at least twice her age, but he knows he has found a Soulmate and accepts her and agrees to become her teacher. He tells her that what she has learnt are mere languages, there are many languages that speak magic to the heart.
Brida asks him what he means by magic. He tells her magic is a bridge to cross into the other worlds.
Or in other words, magic is a means to cross the transition zone.
In response to her question how do we cross that bridge, he goes on to tell her that we all have our own way, everyone has their own way.
If we are lucky in life, we meet our Soulmate. We know when we meet our Soulmate, we lose control, we achieve a happiness we could not dream of, but we also risk everything and have to be prepared to risk everything.
If we do not meet our Soulmate or pass our Soulmate by or fail to recognise our Soulmate, we will be condemned to the worst kind of torture humankind invented for itself: loneliness.
A very magical book, beautifully written.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5838926]
The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5849563]
The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5849550]
By the River I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5584996]
The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5528715]
Paulo Coelho by Juan Arias [see BCID 5777683]
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse [see BCID 5830417]
How to Know God by Deepak Chopra [see BCID 5802814]
The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra [see BCID 6006060]
The Journey to the East by Hermann Hesse [see BCID 6011793]
Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda [see BCID 6011796]