Monday, March 16, 2009


The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who daily knelt beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned.

At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus. But this was not how the author of the book ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, the Goddesses of the Forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

"Why do you weep?" the Goddesses asked.

"I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.

"Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus," they said, "for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand."

"But..... was Narcissus beautiful?" the lake asked.

"Who better than you to know that?" the Goddesses said in wonder, "After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!!"

The lake was silent for some time. Finally it said:

"I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected."


Veronica Franco said...

I somehow don't think you get the gist of the tragic story: Narcissus was a FAIL. The story is a metaphor for failure. Don't love urself or u will fall in the pool and turn into a hideous David Hasselhoff or Jersey/Geordie Shore like monstorsity. And you might get laid in the process ..

Raquel Santos said...

Thank you so much for sharing this tale. It was such a beautiful catharsis how in the end I could realize that we have the tendency, or maybe it´s a fatality, to only see but the reflections of ourselves in this big mirror called reality.