' "True love allows you to fulfill your Personal Legend, and reach into the Soul of the World!"
Many of you readers have heard me say (OK, you haven't heard me, but I feel like I talk it instead of write it, so let's pretend you did) that Mark and I are very different people and yet we manage to make it work.
It isn't always easy because I'm a feelings on the outside kind of person and he's a feelings on the inside person....more so than the way some think this to be true of men and women in general.
Sometimes it's hard being married to a good friend who you want to be happy, but who won't admit to having any big dreams and who takes a very practical approach to life. Mark has said more than once that my dreams are enough for both of us, but I like the idea of a couple having shared dreams. It's hard for me to grasp that he's content to have a few private dreams, but doesn't feel the need to chase them the way I do mine.
It's truly a lesson...and one that I keep having to relearn as I try to encourage him when he doesn't want or need any encouraging.
The other day I was working at my cutting table when Mark slipped into my office and started messing around on my computer, I looked up annoyed. "What's the deal? Why are you on my computer?"
Mark asked me if I'd read The Alchemist. I was SUPER IRRITATED. I can't stand interruptions when I'm working and said, "Yeah, probably. How long are you going to be?" He said he was downloading a free audio book and that he thought I'd like it. This took my level of irritation down a notch because I like listening to audio books while I cut and fold paper for wallets, but I was still crabby. I ignored him while he downloaded the book and then as he left my office, I DID have the good grace to call out a thank you.
Today, I began to listen while I was working. In five minutes I was hooked.
How could I not have read or listened to this fable about following your dreams before? It's narrated by Jeremy Irons and as far as I'm concerned, it ranks right up there with Chocolat. And that, my friends, is a bold statement.
The story is good, the message is even better. It's a search for treasure, a spiritual quest, understanding what love is and how if just one of us strives to live up to our full potential all of us benefit. There's a wise old king, a shop with not so sparkly crystal glasses, thieves, a gypsy, dreams, talking elements, treasure, love, an emerald tablet and of course...The Alchemist.
If you do a quick Internet search you'll find numerous reviews, so I'm not giving a full critique here...It's been published in 56 languages, sold more than 65 million copies and should be required reading for all of us.
I love books with messages and you know how much I love fairy tale symbolism. I can spend hours and hours reading and researching a single fairy tale and all of the versions from different cultures. Listening to this was fun because I was constantly shouting out in agreement or laughing when I "got the message". To be clear, the message isn't so thinly veiled in the story, but it is when it's applied to your own life.
The main message is that we must have the courage to follow our dreams or create our own personal legends...and there is one section that made me laugh about how I don't understand Mark's lack of a dream quest...and of how arrogant it is of me to think he needs one similar to mine. Married people might need some common goals, but they don't have to have shared dreams (though it can be nice).
We don't have kids and I always try to get our friends with children to see how hard it is to keep working through a relationship when there are no children. We work though it because we, as adults, want to...not because we feel we have to in order to remain a family. And for me this says a lot because I'm the most ambivalent about marriage person I know, but...if it weren't Mark, I wouldn't have married anyone.
I ask many married friends who imply that a marriage with kids is harder how many times they thought they'd be out the door if it weren't for the kids. This is a real eye-opener for some of them. I know that kids can add to the challenges (and rewards) of a marriage, but I sure get sick of even close friends who act as if Mark and I have it on easy street because it's just us.
We've been a couple for sixteen years and it isn't easy. Not because of high drama and soap opera scenarios, but because well, remember, I'm the most ambivalent about marriage person you know...sharing a life is hard and scary for me. Yet, we work hard on this marriage.
The Alchemist helped me realize that it isn't up to me to push my dreams on Mark...and yet, I can still encourage. Just as he (as he has over and over) encouraged my interests...like finding a download that he thought would be right up my alley and putting it on my computer even as I was being rude and less than pleasant. This isn't the first time he's found the perfect thing for me to read, listen to or even fall asleep by...My rain chime box was a gift because he knows I love the sound of raindrops at night even though he doesn't like chime-ey noises. And now, a few years later, with my new hearing aids, I can finally hear them they way they are meant to be heard. Ping...ping...ping!
Thank you Mark...I appreciate being in your thoughts...and especially when your thoughts manifest as tools for me to use to immerse myself in my dreams.
All of you should know that at itunes you can download the entire book for .95 cents (it's over four hours long) and I so hope you do. I can't imagine not hearing it in Jeremy Iron's deep and soothing voice...and will listen over and over.