Thursday, April 25, 2013

The farmer's wife

There was something very fragile  about this woman, and powerful at the same time. It was one of those small family farms, and the farmer and his wife were probably the last generation to be running it. She was very nervous about the inspection, embarrassed with the disorder in the papers. Yet, she tried to stay alert and cooperative. Her eyes were brimming with tears, every time the inspector pointed out some lacks and leaks but she spoke in her own defense if needed. 

Her husband sat further away from the table, mostly silent, making odd comments sometimes. His sense of humour was slightly coarse and sexist so I do not think it made much sense in translation to the official from Brussels.  I felt the irritation towards  this man that he was letting his wife handle everything  on her own and pretended not to notice when  she went to other room  to get herself together.

They were a middle aged couple, and probably had their way of working things out and dividing tasks. But I felt some strange satisfaction when  leading inspector ( a young woman)  invited the man firmly to come closer, to listen to the results of the report at the table. 

I exchanged a few words with the wife at the end.  She praised my language skills and I expressed my admiration at the efforts farming must take. She gladly talked about her family and the farm.  I could see a woman who  is busy and tired,  makes ends meet but will be probably never well off, who is proud of her land and family, but regrets the children won't follow in her footsteps. 

Was she a typical woman-farmer? It would be arrogant of me to be making generalizations  about her, after an hour of being on the farm, but one thing I could say  was that she seemed to be the kind of person who makes an effort to do her best what ever the circumstances are. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A call to poetry

I believe we are called to fill our life with poetry. Poetry doesn't mean escaping from life, settling down on some sentimental cloud as I used to fear. No, poetry brings you closer to  life because it can name your experiences more precisely and sharply that any  lengthy sentences could. And sometimes it takes you further than the horizon of the everyday, it gives you a strikingly new perspective. That's also being close to life, to its flow  and going forward. Poems bring awareness. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Carry them all

At Good Friday liturgy, in the center of the Easter Triduum, I was struck by the words of the "Prayer of the Faithful":

 Enable those who do not acknowledge God
To find the truth
As they walk before you in sincerity of heart 

That is just a small excerpt from the longer prayer that expresses care and respect not only for the Church, but all those who are outside. It struck me, that here in one of the most solemn and intimate days in the life of the Church, all the people who are far away are recalled. This is so true for me, because even entering the space and place that many people  would not understand or claim, if they are in my life, in what ever way, even if for the fact that we are the part of the same humanity, I carry them with me in a way.