When I was an adolescent I envied the great ballerinos among the kids on the block, and pretended I had other things to do at parties — like having a conversation. But in fact I was terrified of looking ridiculous, and because of that I would not risk a single step.
Until one day a girl called Marcia called out to me in front of everybody: Come on!
I said I did not like to dance, but she insisted.
Everyone in the group was looking, and because I was in love (love is capable of so many things!), I could refuse no further.
I did not know how to follow the steps, but Marcia did not stop; she went on dancing as if I were a Rudolf Nureyev.
Forget the others and pay attention to the bass, she whispered in my ear. Try to follow its rhythm.
At that moment I understood that we do not always have to learn the most important things; they are already part of our nature.
When we become adults, and when we grow old, we need to go on dancing. The rhythm changes, but music is part of life, and dancing is the consequence of letting this rhythm come inside us.
I still dance whenever I can. With dancing, the spiritual world and the real world manage to co-exist without any conflicts.
As somebody once said, the classic ballerinas are always on tiptoe because they are at the same time touching the earth and reaching the sky.
Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author who has sold more than 100 million books, which include 14 short story collections and the novel “The Alchemist.” He has been a fan of the Internet since the early 1990s. He spends at least three hours a day online, writing e-mails back and forth with his readers and posting photos on Flickr, MySpace and a blog.
Coelho’s online activities also include promoting pirated copies of his own books. Since 2005 he’s been directing his readers to an online site where they can download his books, in languages from German to Japanese, for free. “I always thought that when, at the beginning of your career, you strive to be read, you can’t change your mind later and become greedy about it.”