Friday, December 30, 2011

The Bridge Across Forever

I finished this book during a train ride.

Unfortunately, the euphoria after reading this book dissolved almost completely on hearing about Richard Bach's divorce with Leslie. On one level, it seems like personal context of two individuals, but the book shares something so intimate that you become part of their lives in their journey that it is impossible to ignore.

All the more so, considering the fact that the content of the book is literally and simply the story of their lives together. Does this make the content of the book invalid? I do not know whether soul mates exist or not or if there exists "that one person" just right for you. But the journey Richard and Leslie make is beautiful. They truly savor their moments together and it is a joy to behold. That can be a take away from their life together.

I should also admit to a lot of disappointment finding out about the personality of Richard. My introduction to him had been Jonathan Livingston Seagull not knowing anything about the author. This had given way to a towering respect to the unknown face and hands that had penned these words. To confront the fact that he had a flirtatious attitude changing women at whim to find his "soul mate" was to wake up to a stark reality that dismissed my dream world about this person who could craft Jon out of thin air. In any case, it is a honest account and there is a lot to learn from his experience.

All the more, there is so much drama in the book that it could have made a top class fiction thriller. Quite an adventure it definitely is! I am glad I was able to read the book without earlier knowledge of their eventual parting.

Having said that, it is near impossible to retrospectively not look at the content of this book in light of their separation. What he has written is true, and what they went through is beautiful. Soul mates? That one person? I will leave that to the whims of the Universe. My experience, and even my knowledge falls far short of these vistas.

May be it is one of the beauties of life that there is no such thing as permanent joy or permanent sorrow.
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