“Be careful with your memories” (Memory & salt) by Paulo Coelho (Cuidado con los recuerdos: “Recuerdos y sal”)

Memory and Salt

I arrive in Madrid at eight o’clock in the morning. I will only be here a few hours, so it’s not worth phoning friends and arranging to see them. I decide to go for a walk alone in my favourite places, and I end up sitting smoking a cigarette on a bench in the Retiro Park.
‘You look miles away,’ says an old man, joining me on the bench. ‘Oh, I’m here,’ I say, ‘but I’m sitting on this same bench with a painter friend of mine, Anastasio Ranchal, twelve years ago in 1986. We are both watching my wife, Christina, who has had a bit too much to drink and is trying to dance the flamenco.’

‘Enjoy your memories,’ says the old man. ‘But don’t forget that memory is like salt: the right amount brings out the flavour in food, too much ruins it. If you live in the past all the time, you’ll find yourself with no present to remember.’

Paulo Coelho



Cuidado con los recuerdos! Un cuento de Paulo Coelho

Recuerdos y sal…

Llegué a Madrid a las ocho de la mañana. Me voy a quedar apenas algunas horas, no tiene sentido telefonear a los amigos o arreglar algun encuentro. Resuelvo entonces caminar solo por lugares que me gustan y termino fumando un cigarrillo en un banco del parque Retiro.

 “-Usted parece que no está aqui” me dijo un anciano, sentándose a mi lado.

-Estoy aqui respondí. Solo que hace doce años atras, en 1986. Sentado en este mismo banco con un amigo pintor, Anastasio Ranchal. Los dos estamos mirando a mi mujer, Christina, que bebió mas de la cuenta y trata de bailar flamenco.

-Aproveche dijo el anciano. Pero no se olvide de que el recuerdo es como la sal: en la cantidad adecuada le da sabor a la comida; pero si se exagera, estropea el alimento. Quien vive demasiado en el pasado, gasta su presente en recordar.

Paulo Coelho


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow , what a gift of wisdom from a passer by . Makes you think if twas meant to be I wonder ?


    1. Yes, sometimes it works like that… we should pay attention to those moments or “coincidences” that happen in our lives.


  2. LindaP says:

    What an eye opening perspective!


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