Break your glass and fly

In Paulo Coelho’s novel “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept”, there is a scene where the couple were dining in a restuarant. They were lovers in their childhood and they just met again in the story. In the period of time where they were seperated, the guy moved around the world in search for knowledge and wisdom, and thus he takes the role of a teacher, leading the young woman to realize new aspects of life.

While they were dining, he suddenly asked her to drop the glass of water on the table to the ground and break it. She didn’t understand what he is up to at first and refused to do it. Why would she do that? What an insane idea? and What would be the consequences of such more?

The conversation go on and on. Finally, she did it. The waiter came and cleaned up the mess without any real bad consequences. The only thing she learnt is to be more daring.

The idea behind breaking the glass is breaking all those rules of familiarity that strangle us. Life imposes on us many rules that we fear to break either because we are so familiar with and used to, or because we fear the bad consequences that might not happen in the first place. There are people in life who just can’t make any unfamiliar move. Fear grounds them where they can’t give a logical explanation to their resistance of changes. Changes that are not only limited to their behaviour but also to the way they percieve life and grow with it.

Natasha discusses in this post, why gay people tend to be more creative than others. They dominate the creative industry around the world, from fashoin, entertainment, media and art, and constantly push the world into new creative ideas.

The reason she presents, which I find very logical, is nothing to do with their genes, or same sex attraction, it really lies in where they were forced to break the norm that is defined by society.

Their nature is different than the majority, and thus realizing this difference, they are forced to see the world in other perspectives. Breaking such a major rule in their life, it becomes easier for them to move on and break other rules. When they don’t have real glasses forbidden their mind movement, they can enjoy their freedom and create.

Other people are forced to break their own glasses in different ways. They don’t have to be homosexuals to do so. For instance, I believe that Paulo Coelho himself broke his own glass at a young age when he was subjected to a mental hospital. At that time, he wanted to pursue a career in music as a lyrics writers, which wasn’t really acceptable with his parents and therefore they seek phsycology to treat him. Such a painful experience must have forced him to break his glass and fly in the world of freedom.

Struggle and pain can force people to grow. Fear restricts us from growing. We can always fight our demons and learn new experiences. It is only a piece of glass. Breaking it won’t kill us, it would only make us stronger.


  1. hmm i wondered how long ur abstinance on this topic will last. well while u see it[breaking away] in positive light it is normally seen with decadence,heresy and immorality since societies are intrinsically xenophobic in order to maintain their constituency as an independent entity with their own set of values.that applies to athiesim for example there is a strong correlation between being agnostic and atheist and being at the cutting edge of science. so rules confide us and limit us but people are more comfortable with rules it takes a lot of worry and independent thinking away from the person and hence a small price to pay for.


  2. Fear of change and consequences rule our lives..We were raised this way:to think carefully before we jump, weigh the positive and negative before each move so not to regret it later so we spend a lot of time in a stand still compare to people who just can’t wait for a new adventure and opportunity to try..I feel sometimes that culture has a lot to do with our ability to break free and fly??Nice subject 🙂


  3. Very good & important ponderings, Observer! I remember someone saying that it is much worse for a heart to be silenced, than broken…You can live with not everyone agreeing or liking you, but it is SO much harder when you don’t like or are true to yourself…I think my major “breaking glass” was when I decided to start being open with that I am clairvoyant/spiritual in a corporate environment 😎 What about you?Greetings,Kristina


  4. no_angel, yes, you are right. Society try to impose on us certain definitions that we have to abide with. Once you break your glass, you would feel, once i read a page in a paulo novel, i feel instantly more wise :), he has this effect on me! i adore him for that!noura, maybe it is due to decades of wars in this part of the world, we have built up a culture of fear that holds our evolvement now! Hope we break free soon!I am glad you liked the subject.Kristina, it is a wise saying, it is better to have a broken heart than a silent one, i loved it 🙂I am glad you broke your glass, i did as well, but dont feel comfortable sharing it, maybe i need still to break more glass 🙂


  5. 🙂 Not being comfortable sharing something does not necessarily mean you need to break more glass, some things we just like to keep to ourselves!Cheers!Kristina


  6. Well, I like your post but I hope I didn’t misunderstand it. So correct me if I am wrong.what is being suggested is that all of us are born bisexual but it takes alot of courage and glass breaking for ppl to admit and engage in same-sex activities and that’s why gays are being misunderstood, because they DARED and took the courage to accept the nature that humans can engage in homosexual activites.


  7. hamza, lol, you completly misunderstood me :). I haven’t implied that all people are bisexuals at all. Eventhough Freud suggests this, I disagree. Maybe the majority are, in different degrees, but this is another discussion.The gay example is because gays grow up to learn certain values from society to be true where it contradict with their inner nature (which is a far better truth than anyone can tell them), and thus they start to see things from a different perspective defying all other rules people claim to be right. It is like for instance you being told that all jews are bad, then you get to know some jews who are good people, you start see things from different perspective. If a small thing in your set of beliefs turned out to be wrong, it forces you to question you other set of beliefs. Aka breaking your glass, and look further…


  8. I love this what you say. I work in a women’s centre in uk and so much good has been achieved for all women because gay women have fought harder and thought harder because they were forced to do it by their circumstance of being ‘different.’ Few people see it that way though.I think when we are forced to confront the ways in which we are different and unique we eventually are led back to our unity. The eternal paradox!


  9. Hello, just dropping by to say that Paulo Coelho has read your post and will publidh it in his blog < HREF="" REL="nofollow">Paulo Coelho’s blog<>on the 17th of September. In case you mind, do not hesitate to write me on paulabraconnot@gmail.comBest!Paula


  10. Is this for real?!?! Paulo Coelho read my blog?! If this is true, it would be the best news ever! He is my FAVOURITE writer! I adore him! Thanks Paula for the news. I will keep on checking his blog.


  11. Dear Observer,I was reading paulo’s blog, and i came across this article you wrote. I must admit, its rather lovely. I love his work as well, but its always great to be reminded of certain moments in his books, and to read people’s interpretations of it. Its so often that the fear of something causes us to fail, not the actual ‘something’ itself. Many people are influenced by society negativity, and are not encouraged to persue what they dream of because its not considered to be a reliable or stable job. Or its just not the norm in society. I realised along time ago, through personal experience, that if you live your life, trying to please others, you just end up sad and regretful. Dare to dream. Dare to make a difference in your own life. And always, do what makes you happy. Do what you love.lots of loveYajna


  12. Yajan, welcome to my blog.I love highlighying those moments of Paulo’s books and see people’s opinion on them as well. It is true that our fear usually prevent us from achieving a lot in this life.I have posted other articles about other Paulo’s books at this site if you like to read 🙂


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