I recently read two articles published one day apart that made me want to write about them.
The first one is a book review in ABC Cultural by Manuel Lucena Giraldo of Padre Ladrón de Guevara, a Jesuit who critiqued over 2.115 writers! Apparently they were all horrible, regardless of nationality: Pio Baroja, Rubén Darío, Victor Hugo, Flaubert… all “lead to the desolation and disconsolation of the soul”…
The second is a brief interview of Spanish author Luisgé Martín, this time from El Cultural de El Mundo who believes the world is going to hell in a handbasket, which of course is not a new concept. The idea goes back to the lacrimarum valle (valley of tears) of the early Christians.
What struck me about these two articles was the pessimism, the negativity. Now, I might not always be a ray of sunshine, but there must be some hope and/or reason for us to be here.
Aren’t you amazed at the energy in us? around us? everywhere? Coincidence? maybe, but it sure feels good to believe in something bigger, otherwise what is the point of the beauty around us? This takes me to the Ladrón de Guevara article: novelists, poets, artists all help us to see that energy, that beauty. While I confess that I have not read either author, and I do think that a contrarian view helps to add contrast to the picture, I do believe we cannot only think in black and white.
What I am driving at here is what Richard Rohr calls the “oneness”, that is you cannot have light without dark, life without death (something the Americans insist they can have!) dry without wet, ying without yang, and so on.
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”