I have told you some time ago about Happy people read and drink coffee, a book that impressed me deeply. A book that inspired me, a book that brought me joy as well as sadness, emotions, love and happiness.
Now, as I came across the second volume, I have decided to continue to find the journey of Diane and to delight myself with the ending of her story.
As I was reading this book, I found out how she tried to build a new life as getting back from Mullrany, a place where she tried to escape a love, but where she found another one. When back in Paris, after buying the coffee shop from her parents, she feels free. She meets Olivier, a kind man who seems to be very fond of her. She dedicates her life to the ownership of the coffee shop and spends time with her best friend, Felix. But as perfect as everything seems to be, her life is far from being so. And everything seems to go lower and lower when she meets Edward again at a photography exposition where she went with Olivier. All her feelings have come out, all her memories resurrected. And things seem to be even darker for her when she finds out that Abby, Edward’s aunt and the woman who offered her such a warm welcome and a happy staying, is seriously ill with no chances of recovery. She decides to come back to Ireland to see her, thinking that the past is buried and that she is strong enough to overcome her past feelings for him. But things seem to be more and more difficult to bear when she gets there to find out that Edward has a five year old son who came out of the blue and who seems to have taken over and change his life irrevocably. Now, besides the struggle of fighting her feelings for Edward, she must also overcome the memory of her daughter when she sees his son. She must be stronger then ever in order to resist.
As reading this volume, I have realised how fragile life is. I found it much more intense then the first volume. At some point you realise that no matter how much you try to escape your destiny, you will end up exactly in the right place at the right time, regardless of the fact that you are happy about it or not. And also I have learned from this volume, that no matter how much you would want it, you can never have it all. Life always takes something from us to give what we need. It is like a balance that the universe is trying to keep. I liked very much a quote from the book who said that each decision that we take implies losses, implies leaving behind slices of life that we were used to. And it is true. Every time we choose something in the detriment of another thing. We choose sleep over reading that nice book we were planning too, eating salad over that nice juicy meat we were craving for, visiting an old friend instead of travelling to Bahamas, spending the money over the most fashionable blouse instead of dressing the same dress that we are so comfy in but which is way out of fashion. It is all about choices. And this is what Diane has done also. She gave up the possibility of being with Edward to come live her dream of being the owner of the coffee shop. She left her quiet life in Mullrany for respecting the memory of her husband and daughter. But the decisions she took put her in front of the fact that she must face her demons. She must admit that she is still in love with Edward, and that for Olivier she only feels affection. It is like when you are dying and the medicine is perfectly at your disposal, but you do not want to take it.
As I opened the first pages of the volume, I have seen the quote with which the author decided to start: “The end of a normal mourning it doesn’t mean in any way forgetting the one who left, but your aptitude to situate him in the right place into an ended story, the aptitude of living again through the day to day activities, the projects and desires that give value to the existence”. I find this quote very suitable for the situation of Diane, and maybe the one of each and every single one of us who has experienced a such kind of tragedy. When we finally try to move on, we feel that we are betraying someone, that we are being disloyal as our entire life has been connected to the one that we left behind, that somehow we have to be loyal, even if that person will never stand beside us, even if that person would have wanted us to be happy and live our lives. It is somehow a psychological double fear of living. We are afraid to move on, to leave our own life because we are afraid of change, but on the other hand we are afraid of loneliness, as loneliness is what we are not use to. And things are being even more difficult when we have built our entire universe around a person. You kinda ask yourself: if the universe is infinite, how could my universe come to and ending? I know it may sound silly, but I think it describes perfectly the feeling of helplessness that we have when we are suddenly left alone.
Getting back to Diane, she has fled herself into a life full of coffee and cigarettes, she has deprived herself of any life that she had. From the facts that I have found in the book, I have come to the conclusion that she thought she didn’t deserve a life without them. Her parents were always telling her that she is not capable of sustain herself and that she has always been under the protection of Colin. Somehow she herself was convinced that this was the whole truth and that her life has come to an ending after his death. And this thought has destroyed her.
And in the end, I would like to say that love changes us all. Love makes us be better, stronger, but at the same time it can destroy us if we are not careful enough not to fall into the trap of letting ourselves getting to deep into that love. Cause once the love is gone, we are only left with ourselves. And if we are not self sufficient, no one can be that for us.
© picnicontheshelf, October 21, 2018