How long did you live?
Instead of a regular blog article, I decided to share with you today, a short story written by the Argentinian author Jorge Bucay.
I’ve read ‘The Seeker’ for the first time a couple of years ago when I was studying Spanish, before moving to Tenerife. It was written in a difficult Spanish (for me), but just a couple of sentences into the story, I was hooked.
It took me 2 hours to fully decipher and understand this beautiful masterpiece, and the whole time – tears were rolling down my cheek (and if you don’t know me too well, you should know that this doesn’t happen too often…)
Since then, I’ve read it probably a hundred times, and each time it reminds me… what are we here for… in this life.
And today… This beautiful, short story, is my gift to you…
The Seeker – Written By Jorge Bucay
This is the story of a man I would define as a seeker. A seeker is someone who looks for something, but not necessarily someone who finds it. Nor is he someone who necessarily knows what he is looking for. He is simply someone for whom life is a quest.
One day, the seeker felt he should go to the city of Kammir. He had learned to listen to these feelings coming from an unknown part of himself, so he left everything and started his trip.
After two days of walking by the dusty roads, he spotted in the distance the city of Kammir. Just before reaching the town, a hill at the right of the path caught his eye. It was a wonderful padded green hill and had a lot of trees, birds and lovely flowers, completely surrounded by a small polished wooden fence. A bronze door invited him to enter.
Suddenly, he forgot about the city and surrendered to the temptation to rest there for a while.
He crossed the doorway and began walking slowly through the white stones as they were distributed randomly among the trees. He rested his gaze in every detail of this colorful paradise. His eyes were those of a seeker, and perhaps that is why he found on one of the stones, this inscription:
Abdul Tareg, lived 8 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days.
He was a bit moved when he realized that the stone was not just a rock but a tombstone. He was sad thinking that a child so young was buried there.
Looking around him, he noticed that the next stone also had an inscription. He leaned closer to read it, and it said:
Yamir Kalib lived 5 years, 8 months and 3 weeks.
He was terribly shocked. This beautiful place was a graveyard and every rock, a tomb. One by one, he began to read the headstones. All had similar inscriptions, a name and the exact lifetime of the deceased.
But he was terrified when he discovered that the person who lived longest was barely over 11 years old. Overcome with a terrible sorrow, he sat and began to cry.
The caretaker of the cemetery passed by and came over. He looked at the man crying in silence for a while and then he asked him if he was crying for a family member.
No, no family – replied the seeker. What happened to these people, and what terrible thing is there in this city? Why are so many dead children buried here? What is this horrible curse that is on these people, which forced them to build a cemetery full of children?
The old man smiled and replied:
“Calm down. There is no such curse. What happens is that we have an old custom here. When a young man turns 15, his parents buy him a notebook, like the one I have here, around my neck. And it is a tradition among us that from there, every time you enjoy something intensely, you open the book and you write down what you enjoyed on the left side, and how long it lasted on the right side.
You and your girlfriend fell in love? How long did this enormous passion and pleasure last? A week? Two? Three and a half weeks?
And then …the excitement of your first kiss, the first kiss that was a wonderful pleasure, how long was it? Was it a half minute kiss? Two days? A week?
What about the pregnancy and the birth of your first child?
And the wedding of your friends?
And your most desired trip?
And reuniting with a brother who had been away in a foreign land?
How long did the enjoyment of these events last? Hours? Days?
So we write down in the notebook each time we enjoy each moment.
When someone dies, it is our tradition, to open the notebook and add the time enjoyed, and then it is written on the grave. Because that is, for us, the length of time they truly lived.”
This is my mission in life now…
To empower people to live a long life full of happiness, health, wealth and wisdom.
And you can help…
If you ever were touched by a poem, a short story, a quote or even a bumper sticker… would you take a moment and share them with us… here… in the comment box below?
Ready To Design Your Own Life?
Join me, wednesday June 28th in The Netherlands, in my newest adventure: the Life Design Masterclass.
Living by design means living according to a plan in order to achieve your purpose in life.
Take the first steps in creating an empowering and effective Life Plan.
And that’s not all. I will also be launching my new book “Living by Design: 28-Day Journey to Create the Life of Your Dreams”
Can’t wait to meet you there!
Let’s inspire each other to live a full and joyful life…
And until we meet…
Live fully, be awesome… Nisandeh Neta