Monday, November 26, 2012

The searcher - Jorge Bucay

This is the story of a man I would define as a search engine ...
A searcher is someone who seeks, not necessarily someone who finds.
It isn’t either someone who necessarily knows what he is looking for. It's just someone for whom his life is a quest.
One day, the searcher felt he had to go to the city of Kammir. He had learned to ignore these rigorous feelings coming from an unknown location in himself. So he left everything behind.

After two days of walking along the dusty road, he saw Kammir in the distance. Just a little before reaching the village, he was struck by a hill on the right path. It was covered with a wonderful green and there were plenty of trees, birds and lovely flowers.It was completely surrounded by a kind of small polished wooden fence.
A bronze door was inviting him to enter.
Suddenly, he felt that he had forgotten the village and succumbed to the temptation to rest for a moment in that place.
The searcher entered the gate and started walking slowly among the white stones that were distributed randomly among the trees.
He let his eyes pose as butterflies in every detail of that multicolored paradise.
His eyes were those of a searcher, that is perhaps why he discovered that inscription on one of the stones:

Abdul Terach, lived 8 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days

He was startled a bit when he realized that the stone was not just a stone: it was a tombstone.
He was pained to think that a child so young was buried in that place.
Looking around, the man realized that the stone next to it had also an inscription. He read it. It said:

Yamir Kalib, lived 5 years, 8 months and 3 weeks

The searcher was terribly shocked.
That beautiful place was a graveyard, each stone was a grave.
One by one, he began to read the tombstones.
All entries were similar: a name and the exact lifetime of the deceased.
But what hit him with the horror was to prove that the child who had lived longer exceeded only eleven years old ...
Seized by a terrible pain, he sat down and began to cry.

The caretaker of the cemetery was wandering around and came closer to the searcher.
He looked him mourn in silence for a while and then asked if he cried for a family member.
'No, no family,' said the searcher. What happens in this town? What terrible thing is in this city? Why are there so many dead children buried in this place? What is the horrible curse on these people, who have been forced to build a cemetery for children?
The old man smiled and said:
- Can you calm down? There is not such a curse. What happens is that here is an old habit. I'll tell you ...:

"When a boy or a girl turn fifteen, his or her parents buy him or her a book like this one I have here, to have it hang around the neck. It is a tradition among us that from then on, every time you enjoy something intensely, you open the book and write on it:

On the left, what you enjoyed.
On the right, how long did the joy last.

He met his girlfriend and fell in love with her. How long did this enormous passion and pleasure to meet her last? A week? Two? Three weeks and a half ...?
And then the excitement of the first kiss, the wonderful pleasure of the first kiss ... How long? The minute and a half of the kiss?Two days? A week?
What about pregnancy and birth of first child ...?
What about the wedding of friends?
And the most desired travel?
And the encounter with the brother who returns from a distant country?
How long did the best of these situations?
Hours? Days?

So, we write down on the book what we enjoy... every moment.

When someone dies, it is our tradition to open his or her book and sum the enjoyed time and write on his tomb. Because that is for us the only true time lived.

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