Tuesday, October 04, 2011

On suffering

My social work internship this year is in a psych hospital. Today I heard a patient explain her view on suffering.

"My angels think suffering is something holy, but I don't think so. Like Christians hang a cross with a dead Jesus on it over their beds. That's sacred to them, but I think it's creepy. I don't think Jesus had to die at thirty-two. I think he should have stayed alive and raised his daughter. Did you know he had a daughter? It was on the History Channel."

She echoed almost perfectly the words of Spanish poet Antonio Machado:

¡Cantar de la tierra mía,
que echa flores
al Jesús de la agonía,
y es la fe de mis mayores!
¡Oh, no eres tú mi cantar!
¡No puedo cantar, ni quiero,
a ese Jesús del madero,
sino al que anduvo en el mar!

Song of my homeland,
that throws flowers
to the agonized Jesus
and is the faith of my ancestors!
Oh, you are not my song!
I cannot sing, don't want to
to this Jesus on the cross,
but to him who walked on the sea!

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