28 March, 2010



I cannot see the word "alchemy" and not immediately think of the wonderfully personal novel by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.  It has a common plot of dreamers who seek adventure/treasure out in the world, only to truly find it at home... though there is something whimsical and honest about the book that pulls right at the strings of my heart and has allowed me to read it several times over - gaining a different perspective and different insights each time I turn those worn pages.

The subtitle of the book is "a fable about following your dream", (a fable being defined as a brief, succinct story meant to impart a moral lesson - think The Tortoise and The Hare: "slow and steady wins the race").   I like this idea - a lesson about following your dream.  And note that it isn't plural.  It's not more than one dream.  It's a single dream.  The Dream You Have For Your Life.  Doesn't necessarily mean the same dream throughout all of your years - which is what I love about the book.  Each time I've read it, it seems to mean something different to me depending on what's happening in my life just then.  If it's heartache, I see that in the book.  If it's love, I see that.  If it's needing a sense of direction, that is what is presented to me.  If it's feeling far from family and home, that feeling leaps off the pages.  

One of the definitions of what alchemy is pertains to alchemists looking for (or trying to create) the "elixir of life" - a magic potion that would cure all disease and allow you to live forever.  Now, although dying is something I hope doesn't happen to me for a very long time, I don't think I'd want to live forever.  Doesn't sound very appealing.  But the idea of following my dream forever, whatever that dream may be and in whatever time I have to follow it... well, that appeals to me very much.


  1. I read this book quite some time ago, so I'm taking your review as a reminder to read it again! Thanks!

  2. You are the second person who mentioned that book.

    Your dreams and your pursuit of them can change you, hopefully for the better.