I went to the Shrine of Santa Rosa de Lima in Pelequen for my church visit today. If you have downloaded Google Earth onto your computer, you can view the pictorial of the parish by clicking here.
Since I mostly rested and ate with the Opazo family all day, I thought I would clear my head of a few thoughts that have been clogging up the flow of energy up there
Let me enter the conversation by talking about Quaker. Not the cereal brand… the dance.
Quaker is traditional folklórico dance found in Chile. It is a country dance, in which a man and a woman dance around an imaginary central point, across a floor, to a set pattern. A few nights ago, I learned this dance, and though I did not master it, I was able to pick up the pattern. Quaker is a highly symmetrical dance in which the man and the women move in the same direction, at the same time, in opposite patterns, with their own unique footwork.
I found it strikingly different from real life… in which men and women move in the same direction… at the same time… in opposite patterns… with their own unique… footwork.
I don’t know why we as human beings insist on being so literal about everything. We tend to flatten the mysteries of life into stale treatises of mechanics. If it can’t be understood, the way I understand it, it can be, so therefore it isn’t, even though it is.
Mysteries are never fully understood. That much is true, but mysteries should envelope human capacity through our continued appreciation for mystery. They should not be dismissed as senseless jargon.
One of the deepest mysteries, so common that we often forget about it, is the mystery of gender. How can creation be composed of male and female?
More specifically, how can they both be human?
A man is a human being. This is true. We acknowledge it to be so. We understand it. It does not disturb any of us to say that a man is a human being. We can even say that he is fully a human being. No problem.
At the same time, we know that the term “human being” is more adequately described when it includes a description of both men and women.
A woman is a human being. This is true. We acknowledge it to be so. We understand it. It does not disturb any of us to say that a woman is a human being, and if it does, there are plenty of women in America who will slap you upside the head for expressing your beliefs. Just ask them.
A woman lacks nothing in terms of her humanity and at the same time, we know that the term “human being” is more adequately described when it includes a description of both men and women
A woman is not partially a human being because she is a woman, and a man is not partially a human being because he is a man. Both are complete in and of themselves, even though they are some how more complete when together.
It’s a mystery. But the mystery has a remarkable way of articulating the truth.
Speaking in gross generalizations, it is easy to see why men and women get frustrated with each other. Generally speaking, a man doesn’t notice the changes in his body from day to day. The feelings he posses, starting from a biological level, are as similar today as they were the day before, and will be tomorrow. It is no surprise, therefore, that men have a propensity for truths that are unchanging, stable, and constant. (A propensity does not mean an absolutely certainty… men also have a propensity for selfishness.)
A woman can experience great change within her body from day to day, certainly within a month. Her entire life she has had to accommodate change at a biological level. It is no surprise, therefore, women have a propensity for truths that can be one way one day, and another way on a different day. Things change. It isn’t a problem for women. They’re used to it.
So what is a person to believe? Do things change or do they stay the same?
It’s a wonderfully dynamic mystery. Something we know is true, though we can’t entirely explain.
So who is really a human being? A man or a woman?
It is a wonderfully dynamic mystery. Something we know is true though we can’t entirely explain.
We can be the same, and do things entirely different at the same time, and really, it isn’t any more complicated than Quaker. You can practice Quaker by yourself but you can’t dance Quaker by yourself. If you want to dance, you have to accept that there is going to be someone quite different than you, doing the exact opposite, in a similar way, across the imaginary center of the dance floor.
If you want to dance Quaker, you’ll have to flirt a little bit with mystery.