The Road We Follow

            In life we have many choices and roads to follow, with every step we take, we unleash a chain of events that lead us closer to where we are supposed to be. Every single human just like a character in a novel explores a path towards life and space aiming to arrive to its destination or a pleasant state. In the novel Unending Rooms by Daniel Chacon the many collective stories found, narrate this very path for self-fulfillment and traveling. The characters much like all of us follow a path and learn from it making it highly significant within his/her life.

            One of the major themes in the collective story novel just like life itself is the search for self-actualization. Mostly all of the characters within the various stories explore a path towards this space in life, sometimes getting to where they desire or the place where they are really supposed to be, and even sadly the place that holds them back and releases them only after they have learned a major lesson. Within the novel the short story El Regalito, narrates the story of such characters path and many options that can potentially lead him to his premature death or his happy future. The Tourist, a 36 year old, high school teacher from Wisconsin, decided to have an extended stay in Mexico were he eagerly hoped to find a beautiful wife to marry. Going back home to a place no one wanted him made him depressed and refused to leave without the love of his life (Chacon, P.52).

            On the way to a small church party for a priest The Tourist stops to buy a small hand made cross as a gift after much talking and arguing with the poor vendor he looses his bus. Later we find out that if he were to have taken that bus he would have met a beautiful girl, left the cross on his seat, only to walk out of the bus (after missing his stop), the girl telling him he forgot his bag, then get killed by a speeding car (Chacon, P.58 &61). If the tourist had taken that option he would have never had the life he deserved and leaving the beautiful girl dying alone and heartbroken. On the other hand, The Tourist missed the bus then took another and arrived safely to the church, after the party they all decided to go to a bar. On that very same night that one beautiful girl and her friends went to the bar where both of these two characters met. This very night both characters decided to travel that road together, were they would be happy and create a whole new life with each other, fulfilling their life desires.

            In the Buddhism philosophy the concept and practice of being in the moment is preached. “Actually, being in the moment means being mindfully aware of what is going on right here and now, in our experience, and this includes any thinking we do about the past or future. A lot of the time we are like robots, automatically living out habitual patterns of self-pity, anger, wish fulfillment, fear, etc” (WildMind 2010). The story called Page 55 makes a metaphorical comparison of life being like a book and how we tend to read that book is the way we live and look at life. That maybe our lives are like books people may view them as not as important, oversee some lives, or not worth it but within us all there is a great something worth more than anyone can ever imagine. The characters realization in this story is that he wants to enjoy life more to the fullest, to understand it, to not go through it so fast without really seeing. He doesn’t want to live his life like he is reading a boring book skipping the pages not understanding what he is reading nor enjoying it.

            In the short story Soul Library, the characters life and his path reflect absolute learning from this travel and have utter most significance in his life though he needs to learn to live and enjoy the chaos his newfound wisdom has brought him. A mystic called Swedenborg, Cayte, et al, believe that all we learn, see, hear, taste, feel, and experience through every second of the day is recorded and stored in a library with entries called “soul entries”. That when we die we become spiritual bodies with the makeup of these entries (Chacon, Pg. 103).

After much searching, our old character goes on a visit to Tepotztlan, Mexico, were on one night an old man reading his mind gives him a pellet to help him get to the soul entries. After some nights, the old man eats this pellet and goes through a life journey remembering every single detail he has ever learnt and gaining wisdom he thought was lost. He remembered every world ever read, every person ever met, everything he had ever came across. He remembers his true love Nora, who got away. The character sadly undergoes insanity from so much knowledge and cannot seem to quiet his mind. He does not want to die no more, he wants to live forever, acknowledging he cannot change memories but rather sits and cries for Nora. He cannot learn anymore (his passion) only collected and organize the things in his entries (Chacon, Pg. 111). The character walked the path he wanted to follow even though wisdom and knowledge brought him no happiness; he arrived to his stop, only to learn all and nothing at all.

The path of life and space within this world and inside all of us is filled with many paths and ways some sad, some gray, some sunny, and some just basic normal streets. Every chance we take, every action we do is as strong and beautiful as the flapping of a butterflies wings causing an effect so potent it leads us to a new path as fast as the speed of light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Chacon D. Unending Rooms. New York: Black Lawrence Press, 2008. Print

Wildmind. 2010. Bodhipaksa Being “in the moment”. Wildmind,

 

Buddihist Meditation. April 2012. Retrieved From: http://www.wildmind.org/background/moment

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