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  • Writer's pictureAnca


One day, by the end of summer, when the nights are heavy with the smell of jasmine, a man sat on the porch of his house and looked at the cloudless sky and the myriad shiny dots sparkling above him. 

It had become his habit to sit and contemplate the air, the sky, the grass, the dust and any moment was an eternity. And yet, the life of the village and of the people were further and further away. In vain was his wife trying to entice him to culinary delicacies and bodily delights, her husband was growing roots as a tree in the garden. 

One day, he entered her chamber and with a gentle smile he told her. 

"My dear, I have not been a good husband to you lately. All my life I tried to  live in harmony with people and nature and yet, there is something missing in my life. Last night, I had a thought that I need to find Truth."

"Then you must go and find her." said his wife in a calm and resigned voice and returned the smile with a hint of sadness.

She packed him a satchel and gave him a little package wrapped in a linen cloth. 

"It is for you, but promise me you will open it only after you found Truth, and not before."

And so he left on his journey. And he went through new towns and villages, through countries where he could not understand the language, or where the habits of people were strange to him,  through luxurious places and through desolate places. Years have passed and the man had seen the world a few times over.

He reached a shore by the ocean and he sat down on a stone. In front of him, the water stretched endlessly and behind him was the country he left. And as he sat there, he thought of his wife, his house and his land. And a gentle smile bloomed on his face. 

He reached at the bottom of his satchel and found there, the little linen package given by his wife. Her face came to his mind as he stroked the seam of the material. He timidly brought it to his chest and hugged it. As he did that, the linen cloth unwrapped and the content of the package was revealed. 

It was a little notebook and in its folds a pen. He examined the objects and took the pen in his hand. And as a hand of destiny was upon him, he started writing. He wrote without stopping, of all the things he had seen and all the things he had thought. And he wrote of dreams and of nightmares, of people and of places until his entire book was filled. 

But he was not finished. Resigned, he fell asleep with the book on his chest. The next morning he woke up covered with sand and he clutched at the little notebook. He took it carefully and packed it in his satchel. And he turned away from the sea and went back in the land. 

The salty sea air made him feel thirsty and the sand dried his skin and throat. as he was walking back, he saw a hut he did not notice before. The town seemed far away and he thought he could at least quench his thirst. He knocked and heard noises inside. A few moments passed until the door opened and an old woman looked serenely at him. The man nodded and asked for water and the old woman invited him in. 

He sat down,  he drank, he ate and when the moment came to bid his goodbye he said. 

"Thank you for your kindness and hospitality. I remain in your debt. May I ask you what is your name that I shall use it in my prayers and blessings?"

The old woman chuckled. 

"You, young people, need to name every thing and everyone. My name is Truth. There! You know it now. Go and talk about me." 

The man looked incredulously at the woman as if now he was seeing her for the first time. Her hair was gray and loose, hanging in greasy strands. She was short and stocky and her eyes were so hazy that they did not have a color but reflected every color. She had old and patchy clothes and her feet were barely covered by the worn slippers she wore.

"I left my home searching for you. I found you! I need to know everything you can tell me. Please, teach me!" said the man and dropped to his knees begging. 

The woman closed the door and took again a seat at the table. And she talked and talked. Days turned  into weeks and weeks turned into months until an entire year had passed. The old woman stood up from the table and went back to the door. The man was now ready to leave. He bid his goodbye and as a last thought he added:

"I am about to go back in the world. People will ask where I have been. I want to tell them I found you, I found Truth.  I want to tell them what you told me. What do you want me to tell them about you?"

The old woman looked at the sea and spoke. 

"Tell them that I am young and beautiful."

Back on his porch, the man was looking at the cloudless sky and the myriad shiny dots sparkling above him. 

little boy looking at book page with mountains
The Search for Truth

The air was heavy with the smell of jasmine. 


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