Category Archives: Society

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.)

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

The Racket

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Once in a blue moon,

beauty settles into my soul

like a swallow in its nest:

gracious and quiet and fertile.

Mere seconds later,

hordes and hordes of selfish people

with steel-toothed hounds and motorized wheels

come rushing by,

hurling themselves at the air, at the landscape, at other people’s souls,

a merciless stampede

raising the dust;

an unleashed army of carnal restlessness, a cacophony of hubris and outrage,

charging headlong, chasing the next empty minute, the next self-righteous cause,

cutting open words they don’t understand

and letting them bleed to death.

In their tow, the bee is sucked out of its flower,

the sweetness of honey is said to become unpalatable

and cross-pollination impossible.

I let them pass,

envy not their rapid advancement,

their heedless lack of regrets.

In God’s love, I am nourished.

Copyright 2020. A. Sepi. All rights reserved.

Watch for timelessness instead

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Watch for timelessness instead

a watch is a little

glass prison

for time –

 

where the seconds

serve a life sentence

without the possibility

of parole.

 

people like to wear

captive time

around their wrist.

when all the seconds are numbered and can never escape,

they call the watch good.

 

measuring

heartbeats,

counting down

to the end.

 

I’d like to start a petition

to free time

I’d like to see it

fly

and watch

for timelessness instead.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

River Revival

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Trying to stay in shape during social distancing.

A river, a grove, a few less trodden paths on a sun-flooded morning. Glimpses of real beauty. And a little piece of heaven.

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

Ballad

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We’re so fucking great

Masters of our fate

We’ll conquer the stars

We’ll colonize Mars

 

Make a million bucks

Drive SUV trucks

We’ll upgrade our lives

We’ll get trophy wives

 

Your pocket’s your Savior

Be snide to thy neighbor

C’mon, be a winner

The pauper’s the sinner

 

Forget all the ancients

Make profits off patients

We’re so fucking bold

We’re breaking the mold

 

A virus so small

Is breaking us all.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

The Days

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The Days

Remember these days

these brief days

when we walked in groups of one

we gave thanks to the ones who toiled

and our lives touched each other even though our hands didn’t.

 

Remember these days

these brief days

when daddy was no longer at work (yay!)

because people mattered more

than production:

we discovered we had lungs (so fragile)

and the air became breathable.

 

Remember these days

these brief days

with the deafening chants of birds, their speeches, their courtships, their pleas

finally audible,

and how we watched them build nests from our dining room window,

the whole family gathered around the table for once,

the playgrounds locked, quiet,

the streets devoid of the screams of neglected children;

the strange intimacy.

 

Remember these days,

these brief days

when we looked at each other with fear and awe

and doubt and hope and kindness

– but we looked! –

and were on the verge of rediscovering

humanity;

 

A book and a stroll meant the world to us,

we sang on balconies

while deer with unnatural eyes and glistening antlers

wandered into Nara and took the empty metro nowhere.

 

Remember these days

these brief days

when the trees stood erect and reached into the sky while the stock markets fell

(not the other way around)

when the river exhaled a soft haze at dawn before the buzz began,

the buzz of a thousand and one insects.

 

Remember the days

when the engines of destruction stood still for a minute

while food continued to grow out of the dark soil

and we were afloat in the poetry of necessity.

 

Remember these days

for they will not last forever

and maybe, one day, who knows,

they shall be missed.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

 

Covid-Spring

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the heavy, menacing tread of the lone jogger,

the scented solitude of the wild cherry blossom

down by the water.

 

a silence overpowering, thunderous.

undaunted gulls shrieking about trivial things,

ripping through it –

ear-piercing, alive.

 

two-dimensional human shapes in the distance

revealing the magnitude of the landscape:

floodplains and clouds huddling over and thickets and brown grasses and beavers

hidden from sight

the musical chirping of warblers,

the regular knocking of woodpeckers.

a sprig, a bursting bud, a thin green leaf timidly exploding

as spring self-isolates amid

this prodigious heaving and gasping,

this fear of inhaling

punctuated by the scampering dogs.

 

industrious zeal grinding to a halt.

 

how slow the river flows.

how pale the grey sands.

it feels like Good Friday without the church bells.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved