The book “By the river Piedra, I sat down and wept” had kept me busy this weekend. The book is a narration by a girl from Soria, Pilar.
Pilar starts with – BY THE RIVER Piedra I sat down and wept. There is a legend that everything that falls into the waters of this river – leaves, insects, the feathers of birds - is transformed into the rocks that make the riverbed. If only I could tear out my heart and hurl it into the current, then my pain and longing would be over, and I could finally forget. Pilar, a girl from Soria, leaves her place to Zaragoza to live a life that she thought was her life, while her childhood friend traveled around to give lectures on spiritualism.
The book is all about love and its endurance. Pilar describes all the pain she had been through with lines
Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of the suffering.
How true these lines are. When she was fighting with herself after he proposed, he told her “I admire you. I admire the battle you are waging with your heart” and taught her the exercise of the Other. When she had done the exercise of the Other and had the Other at the corner, she had to wait for him to choose between two kinds of love. He helped her regain faith. He helped her discover that she had been on an exile thus far and only after expelling the Other, she had found herself. He helped her find her lost life. As Paulo Coelho says in one of his books, when Pilar had nothing to lose, she was given everything (life, love, faith). When she ceased to be who she was (the Other), she found herself.
We have seen many movies, read many romantic novels where the hero woes his girl and wins over her heart. This book has got the same storyline, but how the man wins over her heart is admirable. He takes her to the place he always wanted to be with her. He chooses his destiny with her by his side, at the place where he wanted to choose between the two kinds of love. The man of this book talks about the other kind of love when he talks to Pilar. He is right, there are only two kinds of love – the one that Virgin had for her son and the other that Pilar and her man shared. This is what my next blog post is most likely to be on.
The book explains how love can never be an obstacle to follow one’s dream and destiny. The book says, to love is to smile through all the struggles together hand in hand. Just like how Pilar crosses the dark tunnel with her hand on her man’s shoulder, life is to be traveled together, no matter how difficult the path is. When her man tells her that he had given up the gift of Virgin back to her and has planned to live the rest of his life with her at Zaragoza, Pilar was not happy. She was disappointed because she had never dreamed of living a life with him, in a house in the mountain with white curtains. She had always dreamed of living a life with him, performing miracles, curing the sick, bearing few of the stones that people had to hurl at him wherever he went to spread the feminine face of the God.
Pilar started her narration when the woman told her “Legend says that the River Piedra is so cold that anything that falls into it – leaves, insects, the feathers of birds-is turned to stone. Maybe it would be a good idea to toss your suffering into its waters”. By hurling her suffering into the waters, Pilar has turned all her suffering into stone, thereby carving a message on the stone, for the world to see, read and understand that Love is eternal.
PS: A book beautifully written with a poetic narration. This is the first book where I found philosophy and love. This now features is my list of favorite books.