she can be the phoenix
rising from the ashes
the knees uncurling
to stand again
the heart— all beaten
give her a crown of thorns
she’ll be pain’s forebearer
she can be the phoenix
What do you prefer to do first: read the book or watch the movie adaptation?
Mine would be the latter. The book ─ in most cases, if not all ─ will give you a much better experience. But as much as possible, I try to watch the film first. This way I get to enjoy the cinematography without prior judgments.
But that’s just me. I still believe that whether it is a book or a movie, each has its own singular merits. Instead of pitting these two against each other, we should search within ourselves how we can appreciate both mediums.
Below are some noteworthy reasons why people choose to read the book first before watching the movie (or vice versa):
- A book allows you to be part of the story as it gives a personal insight into each character’s thoughts and feelings.
- It gives you the power to create the character/setting/mood that is unique to your own mind.
- More. A book gives you more detail, more background, more focus, more depth that some movie adaptations tend to leave out due to constraints in time or limitations in dialogues.
- A book allows you to take your time to savor every scene.
- A movie lets you experience the story without prejudice and expectations.
- It allows you to get to know the characters or see the places portrayed in the book.
- Visualization. It brings to life all the elements of the book that were confined in a reader’s imagination ─ from the concrete details of each character/setting to the intangible aspects such as emotions.
- A movie lasts about two hours at most. It’s time efficient.
-to make a small movement, typically a repeated one, with your your hands or feet
-an act that often reflects discomfort, restlessness and impatience
I guess this word sums up my month. I have been fidgeting with my blog and posts — making two steps forward yet taking two steps back.
But while I am feeling uneasy with my virtual life here, the real world has been kinder to me. The best news of all is that I have found the drive to read my pile of books again. So far, I have ticked off two from my TBR list:
As for writing, I’ve decided to continue sharing that old poems from IG that I haven’t shared here in WordPress. Since I am not in a creative mode yet, I’ve decided to focus on tinkering with my website.
First, I’ve added two new widgets: Goodreads and Instagram. Second, a new profile picture is up — one that shows (slightly) a face. Haha. For a long while, I’ve been hiding my avatar behind a book. I guess now it’s time to slowly reintroduce the fidgety little girl behind this blog. 😁
Hope you are all doing well on your side of the Earth. Have a great day! 💛
“Break the glass, please, and free us from all these damned rules, from needing to find an explanation for everything, from doing only what others approve of.”― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
I shared a shortened version of this quote in my recent post, Book Review: By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho. I love the simplicity and the reality of this line, and it is something that strikes a chord within me. I hope we all find courage in our hearts to be who we are, do what we want, and go wherever we want to be. Carpe diem!
Short Synopsis: Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings… and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts.
Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade. But in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, a most special relationship will be reexamined in the dazzling light of some of life’s biggest questions.
What I Liked:
- Coelho delivers a love story with added depth. On the surface, it is about two childhood sweethearts reunited. But as the story unfolds, it becomes an intricate weave of life and love, faith and spirituality, fear and trust, mistakes and forgiveness, fighting for one’s dream and surrendering to one’s destiny — all these and so much more. The book is a retelling from Pilar of how she ended up weeping for this nameless man, but I love how it didn’t have to go way far back to establish the story. There were no unnecessary backstory of their early lives or past loves. You just have to be in the moment and watch how these two characters navigate through uncertainties.
- It’s a character-driven book that brims with food for the thought and for the soul. Like the rest of Coelho’s works, this one leaves points to ponder on each page. It raises questions that require self-examination and at the end, you not only discover something about the characters but also about yourself.
- I love how the story includes two of the subjects that I am fond of: stories of apparitions and mountain climbing. I am not a very religious person but I grew up in religious family and community. During my childhood days, we used to have a collection of postcards of several saints. I would read their stories at the back, stare at their young photos and wonder if one day, an angel or the Virgin Mary herself would appear before me. The stories of Francisco, Jacinta and their cousin Lucia particularly stuck with me for a long time, and it feels good to be reminded of them again. As for mountain climbing, I love how Coelho relates finding our purpose in life to it. Most of the times, we have no idea what lies ahead and the path we are treading can be lonely and cruel. To the common spectator, every step is ordinary and the same. But to the mountain climber, it means courage and braving the unknown.
What I didn’t like: None. Only the fact that I did not get to read Pilar’s letters by the river. I would have loved be spoon-fed more of Coelho’s wisdom and beautiful words. Yes, no doubt!
“You have to take risks, he said. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”
“Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment help us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments — but all of this is transitory it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.”
“And happiness is something that multiplies when divided.”
“Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow.”
“Our universe require that we avoid getting glasses fall to the floor. But when we break them by accident, we realize that it’s not very serious.”
“It’s one thing to think that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”
“Go and get your things,” he said. “Dreams mean work.”
Final Thoughts: By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is the first book of Coelho’s And On the Seventh Day trilogy. It’s a series that is linked by concept rather than characters, wherein human frailty and strength are explored in a span of one week. This novel is about distinguishing who we are, who we want to be and who we are destined to be. It’s about carving own path and accepting the challenges that come with it. It tells a story that is worth every second of your time. I promise.
Have you read By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept? Did you like it as much as I did?
I’m taking my bookmark off Grendel — for now.
Grendel, the murderous monster in Beowulf, tells his side of the story in this John Gardner book. The first few pages speak of Grendel’s anger. He was angry at his mother, humans, their living condition. He was angry at life. I would have continued if he only haunted the moors, went on rampage and made hell on Earth. But by Chapter 2, Grendel’s anger turned into nihilistic ramblings. He began thinking, exploring and questioning the meaninglessness of life.
Then, I was worried.
Knowing my fragile mental and emotional state, I knew I wasn’t ready to take in Grendel’s troubles. I have my own existential crisis to manage. It’s the healthier choice. Me first. Perhaps one day, when life gets a little kinder, I’ll have a better reaction to Grendel’s view that “the world is nothing but a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears” other than nod.
Have you tried switching books? Did you feel guilty for not being mentally/emotionally ready for a certain read? 🥺
“Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.”―Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s collection of 12 short stories, was first published on this day (October 14) in 1892. Here’s one of my favorite lines from one of Holmes’ locked room mystery, Adventure of the Speckled Band.
Do you believe in karma (good or bad)? Have you experienced one?
Readers come in different sizes, shapes and preferences. Aside from a shared love of books, no two readers are alike. Some people are series junkies, others are literary snobs. Some are polygamists, others are genre loyalists. Some are faithful to physical books, others are new gen e-readers. Some read by author, others read by mood. Some skim, others underline. Most often than not, they can be any of the above mentioned at the same time.
I, for one, have my own comfort zone as a reader. As much as I try to make sure to keep my reading attitude open and flexible, there are still some walls that I find hard to take down. Like stepping into the world of paranormal fiction.
A novel could have the goriest deaths in its pages and that would be fine ─ so long as it is done by a human. Ghosts, on the other hand, make me uncomfortable and uneasy. The thought of having them in my mind scares me. And unlike movies, books have a way of staying in our memories much longer.
So what made go out of my comfort zone now? Yesterday, James and I went book hunting in two branches of Booksale (a thrift bookstore) after 6 months of quarantine. It’s like being reunited with your loved ones after years of being separated. But for some reason, I didn’t feel like looking for books that I’d normally take. I had this nagging voice at the back of my head that wanted me to take a horror novel. Long story short, I randomly picked Sophie Hannah’s The Orphan Choir (20 pesos) and Andrew Pyper’s Lost Girls (83 pesos).
I still don’t know where this decision will take me. Or if I can see these books through the end. Maybe, maybe not. That will have to wait. 😊
What’s your comfort zone as a reader? Have you tried reading out of it?
“Wake me up when September ends,” so the song says.
The world felt like it fell into a slumber for the past months. Everything came to halt, a state of inactivity where plans were suspended. Each of us developed our own ways of getting by these COVID days. Some turned to binge-watching, others turned to gardening. Some read, others wrote. Some took the time to clean the dusty corners of their homes, others took the time to cleanse the dusty corners of their minds.
September finally ended. And here we are… awake.
For me, it has been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve had equal parts of ups and downs in life but, overall, I could say that I have slowly learned to adapt and manage my emotions. Work is still work, life is still life. As for my virtual presence here in WordPress, I am guilty of missing out a lot.
Things I’ve written…
Last August, most of my posts were musings about life, writing and my journey as a writer. This month, I wrote pieces that remain incoherent in my drafts. I did manage to share one musing about life and mountains in Monday Musings: Extra Baggage.
Some Mishmash of Random Things:
- The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry
- Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Change
- A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou
Books I’ve read…
Remember Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls that I did not finished in July and I skipped in August to read Albom’s Human Touch? Ta da! It remained unopened this September. It did not bore me, it was in fact getting interesting along the way. It’s just that I am having a reading slump, which leads me to another problem (or is it?): BOOK HOARDING.
I did however listed to audiobooks in LibriVox and treat myself to some good ol’ fairytales such as Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Grimms’ Fairy Tales. I’ve also listened to poetry readings in PoemHunter and fell in love with these poems once again:
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud (Daffodils), William Wordsworth
Places I’ve been…
Early in September, I shared about the most memorable trees I’ve encountered along the trails in When Life Gives You Quarantine, Think Green.
Last week, my friends and I — for the first time — got back on one of those trails after 6 months of hiatus. At last!
Posts I loved…
I’ve been mostly out of WordPress these days but I was able to read some remarkable posts in my feed. Go check these links out.
- A Reading Writer’s top 10 book covers i love (with quotes!) – a treat for book lovers and hoarders alike! Rosema’s Top Ten Tuesdays are always insightful and she shares a lot of interesting books that you could add on your TBR list.
- Jade M. Wong’s [Poetry] Bridge – a beautiful poem by a poet who writes from the heart. This piece speaks of hope in the midst of uncertainty. A must-read.
- Mich’s Who Murders Halloween? – a timely piece for the coming Halloween. This pandemic has completely changed how we view and live life. Mich reminisces the little things that make this occasion fun and the reaper that came to take it all away.
October… will this month be any better? I guess we’ll find that out, one day at a time.