Monday, June 11, 2012


"She had understood perfectly what Dr. Igor meant, just as she understood that, although she had always felt loved and protected, there had been one missing element that would have transformed that love into a blessing: she should have allowed herself to be a little madder.

Her parents would still have loved her, but, afraid of hurting them, she had not dared to pay the price of her dream, the dream that was buried in the depths of her memory, although sometimes it was awoken by a concert or by a beautiful record she happened to hear. Whenever her dream was awoken, though, the feeling of frustration was so intense that she immediately sent it back to sleep again.

Veronika had known since childhood that her true vocation was to be a pianist.

This was something she had felt ever since her first lesson, at twelve. Her teacher had recognised her talent too and had encouraged her to become a professional. However, whenever she had felt pleased about a competition she had just won and said to her mother that she intended giving up everything and dedicating herself to the piano, her mother would look at her fondly and say: 'No one makes a living playing the piano, my love.'

'But you were the one who wanted me to have lessons.'

'To develop your artistic gifts, that's all. A husband likes that kind of thing in a wife, he can show you off at parties. Forget about being a pianist, and go and study law, that's the profession of the future.'

Veronika did as her mother asked, sure that her mother had enough experience of life to understand reality. She finished her studies, went to university, got a good degree, but ended up working as a librarian.

'I should have been madder.' But as doubtless happens with most people, she had found this out too late."

- Paulo Coelho, 'Veronika Decides To Die'

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