martes, febrero 20, 2007


Right now, in this very instant, there's someone shouting in the street. I go to the window and I see a middle-aged, tall, very short haired, and soft featured man, with an icon in his hand praying in front of the chapel.
Right beside my house there is a chapel that never opens its doors. It has two small windows and there's a tiny altar inside. There's a couple of seats, but I've never seen it open in the three years I've been here. In fact, we've always found it funny that people know it's there and they make the sign of the cross when passing by. In these three years, I've seen many people passing and doing it. From time to time, a few curious people stop and look inside through one of the windows (I've done it myself). But he's the only one I've seen praying at the door.
The first time I saw him was before summer. He looked like a regular person, except for the fact that he was holding the bar on the window so hard his knuckle was white, he put his hand in his pocket, took an icon and started reciting a string of incomprehensible words while stroking the icon tenderly.
I think he's Croatian or something like that. For what I've heard him say the few times I've happened to pass by at the time he was there, he seems to be from some eastern European country. And for what I've learned, they're very catholic there.
Well, I don't know what may have happened, but today he seems very pissed at God. It looks like he's telling him off. His knuckles are whiter that ever and he's shouting, he's yelling at the top of his lungs. But there's something sweet in all this. It looks more like a fight between a dad and a son, or between two good friends, that one between a man and a statue. There he is, at 9 in the morning, screaming so loud the whole block can hear him, causing stares and laughs from the few people that pass by here at this time, and he seems totally oblivious to what's going on around him.
I don't remember having ever believed in God, or even found any logic in the idea. It's obvious that is very convenient; it's easy to have someone to hold to account for, or to blame when we do something wrong, but I don't think that's... acceptable. Right now, what that man is doing makes me feel a mixture of curiosity and sadness. And I say sadness because it seems that something very bad has happened to him, but at the same time there are thing we just can't help, there are others that we can channel or correct, or whatever you wanna call it.
In this moments I wonder what am I gonna do the day I have to go into a church to get my niece baptized. I truly don't understand very well how come a person that has never taken part in church, or even agrees to what it does or says, can go and baptize a baby, but oh, well! At first I thought I would refuse to do it. After all, it goes against everything I believe in, and I don't condone her parents doing this. But then I thought I have a responsibility with my niece. Given she's gonna be surrounded by believers all her life, I think is my responsability to bring some perspective to this whole matter. I don't want my niece to grow up blinded on one eye. I'm not saying I'm going to tell her what to think or what to do, but it's clear I'm gonna tell her things she would never know otherwise till she had a mind of her own.
How obvious and needy can we be sometimes!

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