Rafael Arnáiz Barón (Spanish & English)

“¡Qué necio y pueril es el mundo! ¡Cómo nos alegra un trapo y nos entristece una nube!”

Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938), Monje trapense español, uno de los grandes místicos del siglo XX. Canonizado en el 2009. Cita de “Dios y mi alma,” su diario.


My translation:

“How ignorant and puerile is the world! A piece of cloth brings us joy, while a cloud brings us sadness!”

Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938), Spanish Trappist Monk considered one of the great mystics of the 20th century. He was canonized in 2009.

Nowruz

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Nowruz when Spring gently knocks at the door baring the gift of light, illuminating the house and encouraging me to clean it meticulously.

I listen to the swallows’ early morning songs and the quiet opening of the hyacinth.

I set up the haft seen, the seven items of the altar. This year it is lavender, eggs, garlic, an apple, a silver plate, a candle and the poetry of Omar Khayyam and Hafez, showering us with their blessings.

You are cordially invited to our house to sit under the blooming jacaranda and listen to the gentle conversation of the violet, the pansy and the tulip. Believe me, they always have a lot of interesting things to say if you listen carefully.

Please come and come early, so that together we may dance amidst particles of light and smile at Khayyam and Hafez’s witty and eternal poetry.

Spring morning

Several flocks of ducks flew over the house this morning, going north to their summer dwellings.

I thought of counting them. There must have been more than 200 birds in each flock.

And then I came to my senses.

Why this need to count? To appropriate something by putting it into a category or a number? Why compare or count?

Let the birds fly north! Enjoy them as they are!

And most importantly, take in the beauty of their ways in silence just as they leave no traces in the sky.

Kenza.

Inspirations: Spring, morning sky and birds. 

We are free

We are free.

We are free to do harm or not.
We are free to lie or tell the truth, to say hurtful words or remain silent.
We are free to steal or not, to kill or not, to respect or not.

This freedom has nothing to do with books or constitutions or laws, nor with place or culture or religion. It has nothing to do with individual rights either, nor anything established.

We were born free to chose our behavior.
Every day, every time we make a decision on what to do or say, we are free to chose harm or love.

We are free.
It is an immense privilege.

Kenza.

God

“Mama, what is God?

– Put your hand here. Do you feel your heart beating?

– Yes, I do.

– Are you plugged into something?

– No.

– Well, God is what makes your heart beat.”

Inspiration: a conversation with my ten year old son. 

Mid morning

Mid morning —
The bird wobbles across the garden.
He picks a twig, lets it go.
He goes towards a fallen bougainvillea flower, turns away.
He flies onto a branch, sings a few notes.

Mankind —
We seem to always have a place to go,
a goal to reach,
a purpose to fulfill.
Couldn’t we just be aimless?

There may be some wisdom in this somewhere.

Kenza.

—-

Inspiration: reading Chuang Tzu on a Spring morning in a garden.