I am sitting in my hotel room overlooking Lake Geneva in Switzerland right now. It is late. I was going to write whilst on the airplane, but as the seating was apparently arranged as an off-shoot of a Sardine can design contest, I thought the rather rotund gentleman sitting next to me might be offended by my fingers as they whizzed across the keyboard clicking away madly.
Now, just a bit of a warning for regular readers of my letters. When I look back at my letters to you all, I notice that most of them are written with a bit of cheek, after all, life is meant to be lived and living it with a smile is far better than the alternative...at least that is what I think. My letters have never been meant to be massively deep literary pieces. They are meant to be a fun way that each of you can vicariously share my experiences on the island. But once in a while, I encounter something that strikes me so much that I feel that it should be shared. This is the case this this chapter in the "Letters from the Village."
What stimulated this letter was that I have been reading a marvellous little book that was given to me by a friend. The book is titled ‘Cuentos para Pensar,’ and it consists of a series of short stories that, as the title suggests, are stories to think about. The one that really caught my eye was called El Buscador (the explorer), but even before I got to that story, I was mesmerised by the introduction.
In the introduction, author Jorge Bucay begins by saying that “Todos los que hemos vivido buscando la verdad, nos hemos encontrado en el camino con muchas ideas que nos seduheron y habitaron en nosotros con la fuerza suficiente como para condicionar nuestro system de creencias.” This, more or less, means that we are all looking for the truth, and our mental models can cause us to create our own beliefs about what the truth is that we are looking for. I started thinking about this and realised that this little book is going to be more than just another way to practise my Spanish.
We all are looking for the ‘truth.’ And we all have our own ideas of what that ‘truth’ might be. Fair enough, but one of my mental models is that there are some ‘truths’ that are applicable to everyone (well almost everyone…I do know some people who believe that their version of the truth is the only one that is right). I kept reading…
The story of the explorer was enchanting. The explorer encountered a village where all the headstones in the cemeteries were noted by the number of years, months, weeks, and days that each person lived. I could go on and on about the story, but the underlying message was that many of us – regardless of how many years we have been on the planet – don’t actually really ‘live.’ A very powerful message…for all of us. For me it means I need to take another look at what is in my 'bucket' and do something about it.
And if all this isn’t enough to think about, click here. Seriously...it is well worth looking at.
And if you click here, you might actually be able to see the drawings.
La Playa N&B
La Isla N&B
La Cala N&B
the view of the sea from the terrace in the moonlight
copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, James B. Rieley