William Shakespeare wrote:
“We are born to die.”
Yes! We are born to die and whatever we do in between is called living. I clearly understand that life is never supposed to be perfect. As early as childhood I have fantasized about how my life was going to be. Nothing grand, except a good job, a family and always, always surrounded by friends and the people I loved and a library filled with books, tons and tons of books. Nothing out of the ordinary and as Samuel Beckett wrote:
“I was not made for the great light that devours, a dim lamp was all I had been given, and patience without end, to shine it on the empty shadows. I was a solid in the midst of other solids.”
And as long as I had books to read I was happy. In my living room I still have a grand library filled with rows and rows of books. But what I don’t have is the loved ones around me. Throughout my life I have immigrated twice. Each time leaving a past and loved ones behind to build what I thought at the time a better life for my kids. And each time I was able to start a new life no matter how difficult it was because I had my loved one beside me. I was strong. “Be strong” is what my late husband told me in the hospital that day. Two little words I often heard afterwards and keep hearing until now. Craig Holden wrote:
“Life, that messy, ill-defined, confusing, unknowable business we wake up into every day. The only beginning is birth, the only end is death, and everything in the middle is just blindly putting one foot in front of the other.”
Yet how do we put one foot in front of the other knowing that everything is already planned for us. That we do not have much say when it comes to our life. We plan, we work hard, we struggle against all odds and before we know it something is taken from us. Something so precious and so dear that we are left with nothing but grief and sadness.
Fernando Pessoa wrote:
“There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful.”
That’s why stories are lovelier. Because in stories even the sad ones sometimes end with a twist. And a great story, a great book:
“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” William Styron
But right now, all I want, all I need is to be able to put one foot in front of the other. All I need is a great story.