Thursday, January 7, 2010
I know I might be preaching to the choir with this post, but I have to say that reading The Alchemist was a transformative experience for me.
I first read the book back in college, at a time when getting laid, drinking with friends, and “finding myself” were very much priorities. Looking back, I have a feeling that the real message of the book was probably muddled by a good deal of post-adolecent angst and a perverse (naïve?) confusion only a classical liberal arts education can generate.
Some years later I reread the Alchemist at a time when getting laid, drinking with friends, and “finding myself” reemerged as priorities. The experience was completely different. Coelho's narrative was now crisper, mode defined, and less allegorical. I no longer saw a boy tending to his flock and traveling the world in search of a treasure he has only seen in his dreams.
Suddenly, I understood what I had to do. Where I had to be. And, more importantly, who I didn't want to be.