The spring of love

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return to the earth. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

Forgive me, my brothers, for crying when I say these words, Fr. Zosima says in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, but they take me back to my childhood.

And I remember the small church in the cemetery, in Fagaras… the great Lent, and many children sitting down in the church, listening to Fr. Aurel… And incense.

But Job is naked, his children died and he lost all things.

“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

“Only evil contradicts good, but not the other way around,” Constantin Noica says in his Becoming Within Being.

“One can love a man only when he’s out of sight; as soon as he shows his face, that’s the end of love.” How can we love a naked face from the “dressed” perspective of our being? The face troubles us, takes us out of our comfort; it tells us to do things we don’t want to do. And we don’t want to do them because we are not naked, but dressed in the “clothing” that we have made for ourselves.

She passes by me and I smile to her. She smiles back. We’re in an airport. Our eyes lock for a moment, they dwell within each other, and I feel so alive. An old woman, with fragile steps, but so much present in the void of these full airports.

She reminds me of the Lady in No. 6; I have no idea about her life, but she lives in me and I in her. The Kingdom is at hand.

Only when we are so old, only, we are aware of the beauty of life.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return to the earth.” Blessed be this nakedness, out of which streams love.

Moments in life with Lady Gaga

On the road again, on a bus… A beautiful, sunny day. Three people around me are sleeping. The only one awake is an older man, unmoved, his eyes looking into an absent horizon. And music.

So when I’m all choked up

But I can’t find the words

Every time we say goodbye

Baby, it hurts…

The man is the age of my dad; he just said goodbye to his son, most likely a graduate student. When his father got on the bus, the young man took his phone out of his pocket. “So soon?” I thought. Most likely, though, a coping mechanism: the young man had tears in his eyes.

When the sun goes down

And the band won’t play

I’ll always remember us this way.

Sunny today, but who knows how many storms around me. Does the band still play in the heart of the man who just left his son? He places his jacket on the seat next to him and looks straight ahead, unmoved.

Every time we say goodbye

Baby, it hurts…

I am going to a conference. He’s going home. Both of us have left a “home.”

But all I really know

You’re where I wanna go

The part of me that’s you will never die

Sunny today. Perhaps a storm tomorrow. But let us take our umbrellas and go through it. For truly, The part of me that’s you will never die.

The Wolves – poem by Noemi Marin

On Tuesday, April 9, Noemi Marin will speak of her poetry volume, Aerul Departarii. For this occasion, I translated one of her poems. Here’s a link to the Tuesday event. I’ll join her to speak about C. Noica’s Pray for Brother Alexander.

The mirrors through which I walk my soul scare me;
at times, I am so alone within me,
I do not dare to take a glance to see my face.

I got tired amidst the wolves of soul,
the predators of me;
I attempted to show them
how beautiful I am,
and I know,
and they know,
that I am.

What kind of self-love would I need
to be able to detach my wing,
frozen as it is in the glass of the window.

Sleep comes to wash away the memories,
I listen to the soul in the quiet of the glade,
The wolves leave to pursue another prey.
They, the wolves,
touched me,
and they carry with them
the brilliance of the starry sign
in the night.

Moments of beauty in anonymity

Photo by Bernard Sabolio

I wake up early, and so I witness moments of remarkable beauty. A dawn that still allows the moon to be seen above a cloud, sun rays breaking through the branches of a tree… moments that I would have missed if I had not waken up. Moments that so many other people miss, and not only because they are not awake at this hour, but because they work, they live in other parts of the world, or simply because they see other moments of beauty, which I cannot see.

There is so much beauty in the world that happens in a second, regardless of whether we see it or not. Beauty in anonymity. Of course, there are those private moments that we occasion for one another, in the anonymity of our lives: the caress a grandmother has for a child, the smile of a parent when a daughter takes her first steps, or the serene forehead of your wife while sleeping next to you in the early hours of the day. Moments of which nobody else is aware–perhaps not even those who allow you to have them.

All of these moments we create for one another and we are aware of their unicity: we even desire them to be so. The caress is for me and no one else. But what about a sunset? Or what about a dawn that is not witnessed? For “my” dawn this morning would not have happened if I chose to sleep in. The sun would have still risen, of course, and the moon could still be seen, people may still have rejoiced in it, but that particular moment in which the beauty of the dawn took life in my soul would have missed its conception.

The world is indeed beautiful. And it is beautiful in anonymity, just as a forgiveness that is always there, always with its arms stretch on a cross, waiting for me to come before it so that it can embrace me.

Dostoevsky was right: beauty does save the world. And it does so in anonymity.