Category Archives: ENGLISH

Quote of the day

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“To yield to the mere process of disintegration has become an irresistible temptation, not only because it has assumed the spurious grandeur of ‘historical necessity’, but also because everything outside it has begun to appear lifeless, bloodless, meaningless, and unreal. (…)

Comprehension does not mean denying the outrageous (…). It means, rather, examining and bearing consciously the burden which our century has placed on us – neither denying its existence nor submitting meekly to its weight. Comprehension, in short, means the unpremeditated, attentive facing up to, and resisting of, reality – whatever it may be.”

Hannah Arendt – The Origins of Totalitarianism (Preface to the First Edition, summer 1950).

Words that still resonate.

Leave your shadows behind

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that hour.

on the long path to spring,

when darkness clears

and the trees drop their skeletal shadows in the snow

like a bad memory,

like baggage one no longer needs

to carry.

when the frost glistens with a gazillion different suns

in a myriad different eyes

and the crows’ croaking falls

silent

silent…

that hour.

like a letter from someone you love,

a letter you never thought

was coming.

when you

leave your shadows behind

and walk into the light.

that hour.

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New Year’s Eve 2020

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You can tell by the fireworks.

To this day,

people’s hearts are set to the clocks

in their homelands,

far away.

They go off at different times,

then the smoke clears and the sky

remains mysterious and quiet until the next

full hour.

You can tell by the fireworks.

To this fateful day,

the last of 2020,

when the cheer is inaudible,

they still explode to the clocks

of faraway homelands.

Falling in Love

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In the dead of night –

In that longest of nights

he came to me,

all aglow.

An illumination of love.

I was ready to let go,

having run out of things to hold on to.

“The world has done violence to your spirit”,

he spoke through my sleeplessness,

and his voice was husky.

“But fear not. I have defeated the world.”

I lay with him on the threshold and –

breath by long, quiet breath –

I bore him children

of peace.

The colors of healing

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Healing is a feline

treading stealthily around the concrete monoliths

of the neighborhood –

slow and lazy

and clandestine.

A striped tow of light,

sheaves of color falling from the trees,

pigment dripping

from the November

sky

and gathering in little pools

of gold

in your heart

to glitter in the dark

of winter.

Questions

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Setting: Catholic religion class at school.

Characters: New teacher – a man. A bunch of 9-year-olds.

Open discussion about covenants. (Based loosely on recollection, don’t shoot the messenger!)


Girl in my daughter’s class, with genuine curiosity: Why are all the priests men? Why are there no women priests?

Teacher, gently: Well, you see, Jesus was a man, and his apostles were men, and…

Several girls in my daughter’s class: But his mother was a woman!

Teacher, full of kindness: Yes, but she could not have brought Jesus into the world without a heavenly Father…

Red-haired girl: He couldn’t have been born without a mother, either.

Teacher, softly: Yes, you’re right… but, maybe, you know, if some priests were women, then the men in church would stop paying attention to God and stare at the pretty priest…

My daughter, mumbling to herself: But the same can be true the other way around. If the priest is handsome…

Boy seated next to my daughter, searching for a solution: Maybe men are just uglier than women!

Red-haired girl: But if the women were really ugly, could they be priests then?

My daughter, musing after class: What if all the priests were women? Then there wouldn’t be any male priests to tempt… 🙂


(Ah, the dilemmas, quandaries and predicaments that arise when children are allowed to think freely. 🙂 Which, thankfully, they are.)

The Pond

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How the landscape changes

With the moving seasons…

No rebirth without dying

Water and cut grass

Shoulder-high saplings

And all the encounters with pain.


The piercing shrieks of white gulls 

Plunging, and us happy to disintegrate

Why is it that in nature

The lost are found, and dying

Is grand and mollifying and fearless

Like an embrace?


Blessed solitude that transcends

Loneliness and need

Feeding, soothing, nursing

The lightness of your being and

The fullness of your light.


Critters, short-legged, short-lived

Going about their business

Without 

Bitterness.

September reading

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here I am,

sitting on a bench next to autumn

absorbing the last of the scorching sun

and watching the ants

move like clockwork

in a playground we call our own.

here they are,

mapping the maze

with staccato precision.

I am reading a poem,

like every other year.

later, I’ll get up to go home,

pass the picket fence with the tiny

porcelain cats,

walk into a heap of crunchy leaves,

and stomp out

all regrets.

Spirituality, modernity and Brownian motion

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Just a thought…

So many of us feel depleted, drained, stressed out. Our beings flogged from within, our lives – our biggest gift – turned into empty chases. Pursuing a zillion things that we can grab and touch and display, but which aren’t real. We live in societies that prioritize task efficiency, competition, action, and the accumulation of stuff over family, over time with friends, music, celebration, inner peace, or the contemplation of beauty.

The spiritual, once a central component of daily life – that umbilical cord to the divine – has been all but banished, relegated to the periphery, exiled to the realm of the exotic, the archaic, and the ‘oppressive’. The daily recalibration of prayer has fallen from grace and with it we have fallen – literally – from grace. From the grace of communing with the universe and with each other, the grace of transcending and accessing our higher purpose. From peace and vitality.

We bet everything on the card of desire, sleepwalking through life in a state of sterile and destructive arousal, as if remote-controlled via our most basic reflexes and deprived of the light of transfiguration. Do not be fooled that we no longer worship. We do. We worship the idol of self – the crumbling ‘natural man’ – while cutting ourselves off from our spiritual potential – the human person inhabited by holiness, true love, generosity, and joy. 

The unhappiness that brings. 

And how freely available the healing can be.

Old woman praying in the fields at midday, as church bells toll in Rebrisoara, Romania
(Source: infobistrita.ro. Photo taken by Marian Ros in Rebrisoara)

P.S. For more (and better!) on our aimless restlessness, our addiction to illusion and distraction, and our loathing of Eden – take a listen here: https://entitledopinions.stanford.edu/fatidic-power-literature. An episode I stumbled upon today – no kidding – after writing this blog. There are very few coincidences in life.

Discoveries

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Venus – that ancient

goddess of carnal desire – 

has a poisonous atmosphere that might,

just might,

hold the life of a microbe.


Immediately,

the microbes here on Earth

began to show signs

of restlessness.

fighting each other for supremacy

and claiming poison

as their territory.

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved