The Castle in the Pyrenees

12/10/2012 § Leave a comment


It was another fantastic book by Jostein Gaarder. The story was great but it didn’t affect me too much. The general idea was about religious or superstitious beliefs and paraphysics. It was like making the ends meet even though it was impossible.

The main characters were Sol and Stein. Sol was a religious person who believe in the paranormal stuff, while Stein is someone who believes scientifical explanations, a rational person. They used to be together despite this great of a difference. But one day, during one of their excavations, they met with an unexplainable occurence. From then on, they started to drift apart from each other. Nevertheless, all the years they were away from each other, I believe that they are still bound together.

During one of their so-called excavations, they hit someone while driving beyond speed limits. When they returned to see if they really did hit someone, they didn’t find anything in the area besides a few shards of glass and a rose-pink colored shawl. It was the same shawl that woman, who they saw earlier that day in the highway, owns. It puzzled them and believed that the white van, which passed by them in the opposite lane after hitting something or someone, took the woman’s body. They were anxious the entire time waiting for the police to go after them. Days pass but no reports were aired in the radio with regards to the hit-and-run accident. The police weren’t after them either.

One afternoon, while still on their excavation, they went to explore the area behind the hotel they were staying in. It was a forest-ish area and they were headed for a hut a bit farther from the hotel. Then, the woman in the same gray clothing and rose-pink shawl that they saw in the highway and they believed they had hit, appeared before them. Sol and Steinn believed that she had spoken to them but were told different things at the same time. “You are what I was; I am what you will become.” and “You should have gotten speeding ticket instead.” It was so much of a mystery to them but they could not explain it either.

Not after returning to their little apartment, Sol moved out and returned to her parents place. It would be impossible to live together despite all that have happened. They had no choice but to let go of each other. They didn’t see each other until one day, after thirty years, they find each other standing in the balcony of the hotel they last stayed in.

Two lives interconnected by fate and disturbed by a mysterious occurence, indeed. The story was very interesting but I guess I missed some stuffs in there. There was something in it that keeps me unsettled. It was something that I probably don’t want to believe in or something that I refuse to think about. Besides my personal struggles, the story was indeed amazing.

It wasn’t much of a different approach as the Sophie’s World. The story was organized in a correspondence-like manner. It was modern, at least, a correspondence through emails. Vita Brevis was a letter compiled in a book. I have another Jostein Gaarder book, but I haven’t touched it yet. I wonder how it will be different.

Anyway…I can’t say that I believe or I don’t believe in the supernatural. I just don’t think about it too much. Besides, as most people say, everything is possible. I also think that I have experienced a supernatural occurence myself. It was through a lucid dream and it was a figurative dream. Given that it was a dream, I am really hesitating if that was real or not. I had decided that it was real. Besides it was the night before the last day of my grandfather’s wake, and the only day I attended the wake.

In the dream, I saw a white, luminuous butterfly entered our room from the house and was flying towards me. It landed in my hands since I reached for it. I clasp it and thought that ‘I am too sleepy to move around so if the butterfly managed to escape, at least the powder from its wings will be evidence that I caught it in my hands, and make me believe that it wasn’t a dream.’ I manage to think like that so I partly convinced myself that my mind was awake at that time. When I woke up, my hands were clasping each other, the same position as I remember in my dream, should it really be a dream. However, there were no traces of powder in my hands. In the funeral, there were white butterflies hanging around. So, I made myself think that it was my grandfather’s symbol or something.

Even in the dream, the moment I saw the butterfly, I already knew that it was my grandfather. I didn’t even hesitate that it was a dream. However, the passing of years made me hesitate if it was a dream or not.

Well, so much of my old dream. Here are some things mentioned in the books that I find fascinating.

*  “The world isn’t a mosaic of coincidences. It’s all interconnected.”

*  “I’m the first to admit that two people can be in close proximity even though the physical distance between them is great.”

*  “There is no death. And there are no dead.”

*  “Fear is infectious. Insanity is too.”

*  “But why look back? It’s like moving agains’t the current. Wouldn’t it be better to position ourselves at the other end and take part in the breakneck journey right from the beginning?”

*  “The severance between us was surgical, and there was no anaesthetic.”

*  “Atheism is not believing in the glory of your own soul.” – by an Indian pundit

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