“Before adolescence , memory is more interested in the future than the past”
On February 19th, 1950 — 51 years ago — a young man, a month shy of 23, boarded a train. This man was going to Aracataca to sell a house, his familial home, with his mother. The young man was in deep contemplation. He knew his mother would ask him about his education; he had quit college. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer but he had other aspirations. He wanted to be a writer.
This young man is still alive today — he is now a fully grown and is still in his profession.
The man is the Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Allah Almighty Blessed this man and gave him his dream.
In his autobiography Living To Tell The Tale [which I am still reading] he transports us to a world in the fifties and in South America. As I have been reading I am filled with envy; sure, we have internet and cable but haven’t we transformed experiences to mere seconds of illusions? — We have bettered our lives yet like the second law of thermodynamics decreased something important in us as well. The almost twenty-three old Marquez going by steamer and train to Aracataca has had more colourful stories to tell than I and it is no exception that the “hardships” of the old world are a major contribution to it. Though I am also immersed in the colourful world of technology it is certain that we have urbanized ourselves into such a state that even leaving our towns or walking across the street is now a rare event. Thus with progress also comes retogression.
I must admit that Marquez’s magic lies in the history of his family and region. From youth he had encountered great, eccentric characters and places that some of us can only imagine while reading a novel. What I admire about Marquez? He never gave up. His parents were not devious to hurdle him with physical obstacles at every turn but their probing did make our young soon-to-be future laureate uncomfortable. His perseverence was striking and though writers were not a tribe ousted in South America, we can see earlier on in the book that either they were admired or as one shopkeeper states a strange bunch. But the vivisection on writers is not to rest — either strange or can be populars [those who write for the government] it seems just as Today that the profession of being a writer was not really considered an “academic” thing. However, Marquez set out to do what he liked to do: what he had a passion to do. As one gentleman commented seeing him strive against the expectations of his parents:
“thought this was splendid proof of an overwhelming vocation: the only force capable of competing with the power of love”
Well Marquez certainly had fears and as Wikipedia states struggle for seven years until getting published. He definitely had fears — the prospect of losing one’s dreams was always there. But passion weighed more than fear and balanced the scales in every aspect. To say that one is fearless when driving ahead with one’s passions may be inaccurate — a falsehood if one is permitted to say — to follow instructions governed by expectations is easier done [though not less stressful] than pursuing an “unorthodox” passion. Most of us do not have a starting point really. We have ideas and we begin with them not knowing exactly what will happen and letting fate’s probability just do the calculation for us. I believe Marquez was the same and other great writers as him. We are not clairvoyant in nature nor are we eternally confident yet determination is the supplement that allows adequacy to reach zeniths.
We should do what we are passionate about. It enriches us and we must follow our dreams or at least try. Better to duel it out than just lying awake but feeling like a corpse. Better to struggle or try than just give in to a sorrowful routine. Our DNA synchronizes with the most stimulating chemicals — our souls revolve around the globe-star of passion. As Marquez stated:
“Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.”
So, let’s makes our lives memorable in the best possible way. Being energetic and productive for the sake of ourselves is a blessing indeed.