Thursday, December 14, 2017

Carpe Diem #1327 A Perfect Life ...?

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this episode will be a bit strange, because it's about the question "Do I Have a Perfect Life?" Today's novel is one of the novels I haven't read fully yet. Of course I had to read it while preparing this month in which we are inspired through the novels written by Paulo Coelho, but I couldn't complete my reading because of circumstances.

Today's quote I have taken from Coelho's novel "Veronika Decides to Die". Yes it's about the questions someone asks him or her self according to their life ... Veronika decides to die is about committing suicide. As you all know Jane Reichhold also decided to die by committing suicide. She no longer could cope with her illness, fybromyalgia. So the theme of this novel comes very close to our, to my, feelings and thoughts.
To me being suicidal or having suicidal thoughts isn't strange, because I know what it is. Several years ago, at the beginning of this century, I had a severe burn-out and I had suicidal thoughts, so this episode comes as close to me as is possible.


Let me give you a brief overview of this novel:

Veronika is a beautiful young woman from Ljubljana, Slovenia who appears to have the perfect life, but nevertheless decides to die (commit suicide) by overdosing with sleeping pills. While she waits to die, she cancels the suicide letter she starts to her parents while suddenly provoked by a magazine article.

The magazine article wittily asks "Where is Slovenia?", so she writes a letter to the press justifying her suicide, the idea being to make the press believe that she has killed herself because people don't even know where Slovenia is. Her plan fails and she wakes up in Villete, a mental hospital in Slovenia, where she is told she has only a few days to live due a heart condition caused by the overdose.

Her presence there affects all of the mental hospital's patients, especially Zedka, who has clinical depression; Mari, who suffers from panic attacks; and Eduard, who has schizophrenia, and with whom Veronika falls in love. During her internment in Villete she realizes that she has nothing to lose and can therefore do what she wants, say what she wants and be who she wants without having to worry about what others think of her; as a mental patient, she is unlikely to be criticized. Because of this new-found freedom Veronika experiences all the things she never allowed herself to experience, including hatred and love.

In the meantime, Villete's head psychiatrist, Dr. Igor, attempts a fascinating but provocative experiment: can you "shock" someone into wanting to live by convincing her that death is imminent? Like a doctor applying defibrillator paddles to a heart attack victim, Dr. Igor's "prognosis" jump-starts Veronika's new appreciation of the world around her.

An excellent story I think and it brings me thoughts about nature. The story in this novel you can compare with the circle of life. And maybe that's an inspirational idea for your Japanese poetry.

Circle of Life
eternal circle
lotuses blooming and decaying -
ancient wisdom grows

© Chèvrefeuille

And that's so true, but it is not in the same feeling as the story above, but ... well it's the circle of life. Here is the quote from "Veronika Decides to Die" for your inspiration:

[...] "An awareness of death encourages us to live more intensely." [...] (Source: Veronika Decides to Die - Paulo Coelho

A very short quote, but a quote with a lot of layers. My thoughts immediately went back to our first Theme Week (2016) about "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying". And a quote by Sogyal Rinpoche returned to me:

[...] "Everyone of us will once face death, that idea makes us sad and anxious, but it is inevitable, but as you can face your mortality than that will keep your life in balance". [...]  (Sogyal Rinpoche form "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying".)

phoenix spreads its wings
after the dark cold winter night
finally spring

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't that the same as meant in the quote from "Veronika Decides to Die"?

Well ... much to think about ... This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 21st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

PS. If you like to read the exclusive CDHK e-book created after the theme week about "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" than you can find it on 

PPS. I have created an account on