By the River Piedra

“By the river Piedra I sat down and wept. There is a legend that everything that falls into the waters of this river–leaves, insects, the feather of birds–is transformed into the rocks that make the riverbed. If only I could tear out my heart and hurl it into the current, then my pain and longing would be over, and I could finally forget.” Paulo Coelho

What would his colleagues, wife and little girl think of him, seeing Tugevus himself weep by the bank of the river Piedra? This was the bottom thought in the mountain of his suffering. At that moment by the river, he did not care. He felt ridiculous a bit at first, carrying a shoulder bag with all kinds of stones he plans on tossing into the waters of the river. But the inner child’s voice who believed in that legend helped him to go forward. He allowed the feelings he always hid and never dared to expose surface, right on top of that mountain inside his head. He thought of the insecurities of his marriage, and how he doubts the reasons behind that beautiful wife of his choosing to be with him, because he believes she deserves better than him. He deeply thought about that and let himself sink in that bitter feeling of insecurity, how else would a person let go and move on from what he suffers of without allowing himself to completely feel it? Falling to the lowest point leads to the highest jump. A single tear dropped, then he was ready to throw a pebble from his bag into the waters.

He then thought of his constant self-doubt in his performance where he works, although a lot would disagree with that but he felt it anyway. He got used to the drill of letting himself sink in that feeling in order to let go, like it was not the first time he did that Self Discovery. The thought of his physical appearance also rushed after the previous one, although women would find it absurd, and his fear of becoming like his father after that. He wept when he remembered his abusive father, his helpless mother, and the children who were trapped in that home which used to be his, or the victims of his home, as his brain would project it to him. He did not expect to confront himself with those memories, because he promised himself not to ever bring it up, or even spend a fraction of a second to disturb himself by thinking about it. He objectified all his insecurities as those stones he tossed. His bag was getting light-weighted as he tossed more and more stones into the river which symbolized every little thing that created the mountain inside his head. Anxiety avalanche soon began to fall rapidly down that mountain. A deep feeling of peace spread all around his body reaching his hands and feet. He smiled when he saw that his bag was empty.

He felt powerful again, like the Tugevus people thought of him to be, not what he thought of himself. He smiled as his inner child asserted to him that all of his insecurities are soon going to be the riverbed, not the inner mountain of misery. He promised, no self-doubt, a better person on the inside, no more lies. He promised, not to bury deep anguish but let it out like a virus in his blood is supposed to exit from his body. His smile extended as he got up the bank of the river Piedra, and headed back home.

© 2011 Alia Sultan

8 thoughts on “By the River Piedra

Add yours

  1. I loved this book!!

    This book reminded me of the pain and suffering can be overcome, but also the feelings and what we show to others according to the experience also changes, and is a constant struggle against your own self.

  2. do i actually need to tell it…. or silence may be the wand of this magic you do to me… i loved it.. simply awesome.. keep writing..please

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