LESSONS LEARNT from “THE ALCHEMIST” Part 1
Today we studied “The Alchemist” in the Year 11 ESL class and shared Morrocan Mint Tea, Chai Lattes, Almonds & Dates, in a haze of sandalwood incense and shaded by lush palm trees in the courtyard outside our window. What a beautiful experience! The students loved it and really felt the magic of the fable as I read to them and gesticulated dramatically.
Lessons we learnt today:
- Follow your personal legend until you achieve it or you will never find peace or happiness.
- When you strive for your personal legend the whole universe conspires to help you achieve your dreams.
- Look for the omens (signs) that you are on the right track. This is the language of the soul of the world.
- Don’t give up despite obstacles and difficulties.
- Listen to to your heart and follow your dreams and you will find your treasure.
These were some of the main teachings of the book which was a worldwide phenomenon, well before ‘The Secret’ and such. The story embraces all faiths and all cultures to deliver a message that’s ultimately empowering and all encompassing in a charming, deceptively simple fable format that has you thinking profound thoughts about life and philosophising long after you’ve turned that last page, wanting more.
I got my students to complete a creative response first which was to write the next chapter and continue the story with surprising results. They struggled with the simple style at first, but once they found the Shepard Santiago’s voice they enjoyed the task. I decided to have a go at emulating the style and relished the opportunity to write in this, my beloved style.
Here’s my start anyway at fan fiction:
The boy’ heart began to beat faster in rhythm with his horse’s hoofbeats as if they were one. A broad smile spread across his face and his eyes sparkled like one who has found his personal legend. Soon he would be reunited with Fatima and his life would be complete. The hawks above soared and swooped in a loveheart formation as they lead him home to Al-Fayoum. He laughed as he recognised the omens that lead him to his destiny.
As he rode into the oasis and headed towards the well the children of the oasis ran after his horse cheering wildly. The women of the oasis smiled with their eyes and gently lowered their heads.
When he reached the well he jumped off his horse and rolled to a stop at Fatima’s feet. She dropped her jug and looked down, holding out both hands. He took her hands and kneeled on one knee.
“I’m back for you Fatima. Do you still want me? He whispered.
“Of course I do,” she said as she unfastened her scarf and smiled widely, a tear of joy rolling down her cheek. “I knew you would come back. Maktub. It was written. You are a man of the desert now. I am your woman and this is your home now.