Sunday, May 24, 2009

By The River Piedra (Through page 51)

So I've read through the first quarter of the book (I didn't have as much time this week as I'd hoped). Below are my thoughts and some prompts about what I've read so far. Feel free to comment on these or add your own about this section.

- The first chapter was captivating. You want to know why this girl is writing and crying by the river, telling her story and hoping the current takes her pain away to the sea. For some reason the man she loved (and was with just a week ago) was no longer with her. And so the story begins from there.

"Perhaps love makes us old before our time - or young, if youth has passed. But how can I not recall those moments? That is why I write - to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance. So that when I finish telling myself the story, I can toss into the Piedra. That's what the woman who has given me shelter told me what to do. Only then - in the words of one of the saints - will the water extinguish what the flames have written.

All love stories are the same."

I wonder what happened…

- How happy was I when Pilar pulled an out-of-character move and decided to run off with this boy for the weekend? I could relate. I remember driving four hours to visit Mr. First for a weekend and to have our first dates. I'd said no several times before I finally gave in and had a great time. (In turn he spontaneously decided to drive us for six hours total so I could finally see Niagara Falls that weekend.) Have you ever done anything out-of-character for someone you liked?

- Pilar has been fighting with her heart during this whole trip. Her problem? She thinks too much! She wants to believe that her childhood friend really loves her, but she’s afraid to trust and just go with it. So she questions his motives. Some say to love is to have faith and, of course, we learn that Pilar has lost her faith in her religion. Do you think faith and love go hand in hand?

- My favorite passage so far is on page 42:

He laughed. “I admire you. And I admire the battle you’re waging with your heart.
“What battle?”
“Never mind,” he said.
But I knew what he was talking about.
“Don’t kid yourself,” I said. “We can talk about it if you like. You’re mistaken about my feelings.”
He stopped fooling with his glass and looked at me. “No, I’m not mistaken. I know you don’t love me.”
This confused me even more.
“But I’m going to fight for your love,” he continued. “There are some things in life worth fighting for to the end.”
I was speechless.
“You are worth it,” he said.

*Swoon* I want to be worth it for someone someday. What’s your fave passage?

- So this worldly guy has some sort of secret activity going on tied in with his religious teachings. What do you think he's doing on the side? Miracles? Did he ultimately choose his work over love?

Sidenote: I really liked what he had to say in his lecture: You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.

Note to self: take more risks. Thus far, I've regretted the times I never took the chance much more than when I simply asked, "Why not?" and just went for it.



  1. Perhaps its time to see Niagra Falls again.

    I have a problem with seeing the falls...I always imagine some brave and/or foolhardy sould climbing into a barrel and going over in the raging flood. I just shake my head and think, "who?? and why????"

    Anyway, thats way off topic... kind of. Hope you had a nice weekend.

  2. I wish I would have had a chance to grab the book. Oh well, I'll jump in on the next one, hopefully.


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