RIP

„Sa straluceasca asupra noastra lumina Feței Tale, Doamne”.

Astazi, probabil chiar la ora asta, se desfasoara funeraliile bunului doctor Daniel Sirbat, oftalmologul din Strasbourg care ma îngrijea de multa vreme si în care am avut o mare încredere. Nu ma asteptam, nu se astepta nimeni, sa plece atât de repede… în ultima vreme, luase decizia de a-si inchide cabinetul din rue du Dôme, lânga catedrala. Urma sa se consacre chirurgiei, preluînd pacientii colegilor sai care ieseau la pensie… E mare criza în domeniu, nu stiu exact de ce. Ce s-a întâmplat nu stiu. Inima, poate?

Requiem aeternam luceat eis.

Si tot azi se fac 27 de ani de la ultimul zbor al lui Doru. Cauzele accidentului ramân pentru mine în domeniul speculatiilor si nu astept de la nimeni vreo dezvaluire care sa se apropie cât de cât de adevar. Cât despre cuvintele de pretuire, tot mai rare, ce sa zic? Majoritatea mi se par vorbe-n vânt… dar tot le caut.

Îmi pot închipui foarte usor ce simt cei ramasi în urma unui stâlp al vietii lor, prabusit pe neasteptate.

 

„Can you understand this…?”

„You have been alive a long time. Your eyes have seen any number of forms and colors, your ears have heard so many sounds, and you’ve had any number of experiences. And that’s all they were— just experiences. You’ve eaten delicious foods and all the good tastes were just good tastes, nothing more. The unpleasant tastes were just unpleasant tastes, that’s all. If the eye sees a beautiful form, that’s all it is, just a beautiful form. An ugly form is just an ugly form. The ear hears an entrancing, melodious sound, and it’s nothing more than that. A grating, disharmonious sound is simply so.

The Buddha said that rich or poor, young or old, human or animal, no being in this world can maintain itself in any one state for long; everything experiences change and estrangement. This is a fact of life that we can do nothing to remedy. But the Buddha said that what we can do is to contemplate the body and mind so as to see their impersonality, see that neither of them is “me” or “mine.” They have a merely provisional reality. It’s like this house: it’s only nominally yours, you couldn’t take it with you anywhere.”

„As soon as we’re born, we’re dead. Our birth and our death are just one thing. It’s like a tree: when there’s a root there must be twigs. When there are twigs, there must be a root. You can’t have one without the other. It’s a little funny to see how at a death people are so grief-stricken and distracted, fearful and sad, and at a birth how happy and delighted. It’s delusion; nobody has ever looked at this clearly. I think if you really want to cry, then it would be better to do so when someone’s born. For actually birth is death, death is birth, the root is the twig, the twig is the root. If you’ve got to cry, cry at the root, cry at the birth. Look closely: if there were no birth, there would be no death. Can you understand this?”

From "Advice for Someone Who is Dying"

Cine ajunge în rai si cine nu

„E în cer taticul meu?”

Asta Dumnezeu singur hotaraste. Dumnezeu, care „e un tatic”. (Si tot El stie adevarul ascuns în adâncul inimilor, adaug eu la adresa celor care raspândesc zvonuri, considerându-se proprietari ai adevarului, inclusiv al celui, atât de grav, în ce priveste viata dupa moarte si soarta sufletelor.)

Raspunsul Papei Francisc dat unui baietel care si-a pierdut tatal, un om care a lasat sa-i fie botezati cei patru copii, desi el însusi era ateu.

Daca un barbat a putut creste asemenea copii (baietelul a avut curaj sa vina inaintea unei multimi ca sa-si exprime durerea si nedumerirea), si i-a botezat desi nu era credincios, el  a fost cu siguranta un om bun.

“A boy that inherited the strength of his father also had the courage to cry in front of all of us,” the pope said. “If this man was able to create children like this, it’s true that he is a good man.”

“That man did not have the [gift] of faith, wasn’t a believer. But he had his children baptized. He had a good heart,” Francis added.

“There, Emanuele, that is the answer,” the pope said, according to a translation provided by the Catholic News Service. “God surely was proud of your father, because it is easier as a believer to baptize your children than to baptize them when you are not a believer. Surely this pleased God very much.”

This isn’t the first time Francis has acknowledged that atheists can work for good.

In a 2013 homily, the pope reiterated the Christian belief that eternal salvation is attained through Jesus Christ. But he declared that all humans are created in the image of God, and that all have a duty to do good. This principle of doing good to others is one that unites all of humanity, the pope said, including atheists.

“Just do good and we’ll find a meeting point,” the pope said in that sermon.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-pope-francis-comforted-a-boy-who-wondered-if-his-dad-a-non-believer-was-in-heaven

 

„One can dream”

Author David Grossman, whose son Uri was killed in the 2006 Lebanon War and who on Thursday will be awarded the 2018 Israel Prize for Literature, addressed bereaved Israelis and Palestinians at an alternative Memorial Day event on April 17, 2018. 

Excerpts

„Dear friends, good evening.

There is a lot of noise and commotion around our ceremony, but we do not forget that above all, this is a ceremony of remembrance and communion. The noise, even if it is present, is beyond us now, because at the heart of this evening there is a deep silence — the silence of the void created by loss.

My family and I lost Uri in the war, a young, sweet, smart and funny man. Almost twelve years later it is still hard for me to talk about him publicly.

The death of a loved one is actually also the death of a private, whole, personal and unique culture, with its own special language and its own secret, and it will never be again, nor will there be another like it.

It is indescribably painful to face that decisive ‘no’. There are moments when it almost sucks into it all the ‘have’ and all the ‘yes’. It is difficult and exhausting to constantly fight against the gravity of loss.

It is difficult to separate the memory from the pain. It hurts to remember, but it is even more frightening to forget. And how easy it is, in this situation, to give in to hate, rage, and the will to avenge.

But I find that every time I am tempted by rage and hate, I immediately feel that I am losing the living contact with my son. Something there is sealed. And I came to my decision, I made my choice. And I think that those who are here this evening — made that same choice.

And I know that within the pain there is also breath, creation, doing good. That grief does not isolate but also connects and strengthens. Here, even old enemies — Israelis and Palestinians — can connect with each other out of grief, and even because of it.

I have met quite a few bereaved families over these past years. I told them, in my experience, that even when you are at the heart of the pain you should remember that every member of the family is allowed to grieve the way they want, the way they are, and the way their soul tells them to.

No one can instruct another person how to grieve. It’s true for a private family, and it’s true for the larger ‘bereaved family’.

There is a strong feeling that connects us, a feeling of a joint fate, and the pain that only we know, for which there are almost no words out there, in the light. That is why, if the definition of a ‘bereaved family’ is genuine and honest, please respect our way. It deserves respect. It is not an easy path, it is not obvious, and it is not without its internal contradictions. But it is our way to give meaning to the death of our loved ones, and to our lives after their death. And it is our way to act, to do — not to despair and not to desist — so that one day, in the future, the war will fade, and maybe cease completely, and we will start living, living a full life, and not just subsisting from war to war, from disaster to disaster.” …………..

„One can dream. One can also admire achievements. Israel is worth fighting for. I also wish these things for our Palestinian friends: a life of independence, freedom and peace, and building a new, reformed nation. And I wish that in 70 years’ time our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, both Palestinian and Israeli, will stand here and each will sing their version of their national anthem.

But there is one line that they will be able to sing together, in Hebrew and Arabic: “To be a free nation in our land”, and then maybe, at last, it will be a realistic and accurate description, for both nations.”

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/full-text-speech-by-david-grossman-at-alternative-memorial-day-event-1.6011820?utm_source=Push_Notification&utm_medium=w

„And no birds sing”

Rachel Carson about her „Silent Spring”: This is a book about man’s war against nature, and because man is part of nature it is also inevitably a book about man’s war against himself.

At that point, Carson was considering The War Against Nature and At War with Nature as possible titles, but settled on Silent Spring in September — a title inspired by Keats, Carson’s favorite poet: “The sedge is withered from the lake, / And no birds sing.”

Four months later, in January of 1962, she reports to Freeman the completion of her Herculean feat:

I achieved the goal of sending the 15 chapters to Marie [Rodell, Carson’s literary agent] — like reaching the last station before the summit of Everest.

Rodell had sent a copy of the manuscript to longtime New Yorker editor William Shawn, who gave Carson the greatest and most gratifying surprise of her life. Struggling to override her typical self-effacing humility, she relays the episode to Freeman:

Last night about 9 o’clock the phone rang and a mild voice said, “This is William Shawn.” If I talk to you tonight you will know what he said and I’m sure you can understand what it meant to me. Shamelessly, I’ll repeat some of his words — “a brilliant achievement” — “you have made it literature” “full of beauty and loveliness and depth of feeling.” … I suddenly feel full of what Lois once called “a happy turbulence.”

In an exquisite letter to Freeman penned later that day — a letter that is itself a literary masterpiece — Carson echoes Zadie Smith’s assertion that the best reason for writing books is “to experience those four and a half hours after you write the final word.” She writes:

After Roger was asleep I took Jeffie [Carson’s cat] into the study and played the Beethoven violin concerto — one of my favorites, you know. And suddenly the tensions of four years were broken and I got down and put my arms around Jeffie and let the tears come. With his little warm, rough tongue he told me that he understood. I think I let you see last summer what my deeper feelings are about this when I said I could never again listen happily to a thrush song if I had not done all I could. And last night the thoughts of all the birds and other creatures and the loveliness that is in nature came to me with such a surge of deep happiness, that now I had done what I could — I had been able to complete it — now it had its own life!

Photograph by Bill Reaves from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project (U.S. National Archives)

Silent Spring was published on September 27, 1962 and adrenalized a new public awareness of the fragile interconnectedness of this living world. Several months later, CBS host Eric Sevareid captured its impact most succinctly in lauding Carson as “a voice of warning and a fire under the government.” In the book, she struck a mighty match:

When the public protests, confronted with some obvious evidence … it is fed little tranquilizing pills of half truth.

How tragic to observe that in the half-century since, our so-called leaders have devolved from half-truths to “alternative facts” — that is, to whole untruths that fail the ultimate criterion for truth: a correspondence with reality.

Carson, who was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, never lived to see the sea change of policy and public awareness that her book precipitated. Today, as a new crop of political and corporate interests threatens her hard-won legacy of environmental consciousness, I think of that piercing Adrienne Rich line channeling the great 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, another scientist who fundamentally revolutionized our understanding of the universe and our place in it: “Let me not seem to have lived in vain.”

Let’s not let Rachel Carson seem to have lived in vain.

Maria Popova

From https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/01/27/rachel-carson-silent-spring-dorothy-freeman/?utm_source=Brain+Pickings&utm_campaign=