BrainTeaser | Sherma E Benosa

Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.

If Living Were Like Reading a Novel

They say life is like a book that must be read page after page in order for it to be fully understood and appreciated. I agree (that is, if we’re talking about a book of novel, not a reference book). But remembering that I have nasty habits when reading a novel, I can’t help but wish that it isn’t so.


Most of the time, I behave like a normal reader, patiently reading page after page, making guesses as to how the story might end.


But there are times when I would forego several paragraphs or pages that I find uninteresting, and move on. Sometimes, I can completely understand the book even without having to go back to that part I’ve ignored. But there are times when only after I have gone back to the part I missed that I get to fully understand the succeeding events.


There are also times when, even if I’m still in the middle part of the story, I would already turn to the last page, and read the ending. And then, before going back to the page where I’d left off, I would make guesses as to what might have happened somewhere between that page and the last page, that the story ended the way it did.


Crazy, isn’t it?


But that isn’t all. There’s another habit of mine which some friends find annoying: correcting typographical errors. Honestly, I also don’t think highly of this habit, but whenever I see an error in any printed (published) material I’m reading, I cannot help but correct it. Several times I tried to let go of the errors, but my thoughts kept coming back to them and my fingers would not let go of my pen that I eventually went back to the errors and marked them.


Many of the books in my collection bear my “finger prints.” In fact, my father’s bible which I am using, a 1982 Ilocano version published by the Philippine Bible Society, has not escaped my “vicious hands.” Uh-oh!


Now, imagine how my life would be like if I lived it the way I read books. Disaster!


Good thing that, in this regard, I seem to be better at living my life than at reading a novel. For, though I often anticipate the future and feel giddy about what lies ahead, and I sometimes look back to the past, I don’t spend so much of my time wondering and being afraid of what the future might bring. Nor do I waste my time regretting an event that had happened in the past, which I can no longer change.


Most often, I look forward to tomorrow just to make sure that what I am doing now would lead me to the person I would want to become. And I look back to yesterday simply to appreciate the present and to highlight the lessons I’ve learned — or should learn.


Unlike a book that can be read whichever way by an impatient — and shall I say, crazy imp like myself — every life event must be experienced in succession. One cannot jump to future events without first living in the now; nor can one live fully in the now without having lived in the past.


And finally, unlike a printed material that can be proofread even after it was published, life is not something that can be revisited again and again so that every slip-up, however small, can be fixed.


No man, after all, is sin free. One can only sincerely apologize for the mistakes he can no longer right, and try hard not to commit them a second time.


For when a leaf has fallen off a branch, there’s no way one could put it back on for it to continue living. All one can do is sweep the fallen leaf off the ground.  .


//Sherma E. Benosa; 16 August 2007 


6 comments on “If Living Were Like Reading a Novel

  1. Pingback: Book Reviews

  2. manjari
    April 2, 2008

    You really breathe life into your writing. It pulses. It’s as if, reading along, that I am face to face with this soulful, wistful woman. I look forward to reading all of your archives!

  3. brainteaser
    April 3, 2008

    Hello Manjari! Oh dear… you humbled me. I am speechless. I can only say thank you.

    Please come back often. 🙂

  4. Michelle
    April 4, 2008

    Living life while trying to constantly correct mistakes, or keep from making them in future was my futile life for many years. I am happy to say I have learned a better way – a much more fulfilling life in Jesus.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I’ll be back for more enjoyable reading. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Images and Lines « BrainTeaser

  6. Pingback: Fallen Leaf « Photo.graphic Thoughts

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