Book Quotes: Aleph by Paulo Coelho


Balot Aleph

“I love you,” I tell her. “I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and are transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth.

“I love you like a river that creates the right conditions for trees and bushes and flowers to flourish along its banks. I love you like a river that gives water to the thirsty and takes people where they want to go.
“I love you like a river that understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows. I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, and the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy.
“I love you like a river that begins as a solitary trickle in the mountains and gradually grows and joins other rivers until, after a certain point, it can flow around any obstacle in order to get where it wants.
“I receive your love, and I give you mine. Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father for a child, not the love of God for his creatures, but a love with no name and no explanation, like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course but simply flows onward. A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return; it is simply there.”



Omikuji: Fortune on Paper

On a chilly afternoon of February, I visited the Sensouji Temple in Asakusa, Japan. Foreigners and locals alike flocked the temple. 

One thing that caught my eye was this — people swarmed the several stations which featured these wooden compartments. 
It was a “fortune box” which the Japanese called Omikuji!

Omikuji, according to Wikipedia, are random fortunes written on strips of paper. It is said that the fortune cookie was derived from this old Japanese tradition. 

Before you take your fortune, you are to donate 100 yen (approx. PHP49) and drop it in a donation box among these wooden compartments. Noone is there monitoring you so this is purely honesty system. 
After which, you pick up the wooden cylinder full of sticks inside. It has a small hole enough for one stick to come out when you shake it. You are to pray for your wish while you shake the cylinder several times. When a stick comes out, there is a marked character engraved on the stick. There will be a corresponding compartment with the same character as that engraved on the stick. That compartment holds your fortune!
Here’s mine: 
When spring comes, willows are in bud. Just like flowers bloom in old branches, something happy will come. There is still frost and snow, but brilliant happiness is in it. Your fortune is always good, never be destroyed. 
Your wishes will be realized. A sick person will recover. The lost article will be found. The person you are waiting will come but late. Building a new house and removal are good. Making a trip has no problem. Marriage and employment are all good. 
Oh, how I love my fortune. And yes, some of them are quite true.