Monday, May 21, 2007

Journal of a Soul

Today is this blog's first anniversary. Yes, you read that right: Ecce Ego, Quia Vocasti Me is officially 525,600 minutes long, and it has been a weird and wonderful journey so far. If you read my archives, you will probably notice that I didn't update this place in a very long time. The reasons are many and varied, but the most important of which is that I entered college last year. i wish I could say I was a diligent student; but sadly, I was not. I had occasional near misses and even more setbacks; I hated the fact that there was too much free time when I wanted to do some study and I adored it as well. You will perhaps have noticed as well how much the tone of this blog has changed-- from apologetic to imperialistic to eccentric to just plain weird. In the span of a year, I went from Crusader to monk, championing papal magisterial supremacy and defending a weak and broken Church.

The title of this post was arrogated without even batting an eyelash from Pope John XXIII's autobiography. Like Paul VI, he has been praised to high heavens by the more liberal camps of Catholicism and criticized by much of the conservative factions. Here was a pope who had one of the most complete papal coronations in hundreds of years, who forbade woman entry into the sanctuary, who extolled Latin as the supreme language of the Church, and on the completely different side, championed a reconciliatory direction for this same Church. I will admit to you now, reader, that I do not know of any concrete reasons on why I chose to name this post as such apart from the fact that, well, this blog does serve to chronicle my thoughts.

History, it is said, is written by winners; I don't necessarily believe this quote en toto, but I think it is a valid point as well. It's ironic that the "winning side" of this blog is the defeatist, scarred and broken-boned side that is afraid and weary of arguing, the side that more resembles an unruly mob than the Graeco-Roman vehicle of supra-perfection that is the pride of many. If there is anything I've learned in a year's time, it is this: I am a Roman Catholic by blood, and that in itself is the ultimate apologetic. I am lucky enough to have been reared on pious legends that straddle the border between faith and superstition, and I have seen how the mob works, and for that, I am thankful. My nine year old niece said something to me some months ago when I asked her who her patron saint was. She said, 'All of them! Because they are like the paparazzi who always photograph God, and He can't refuse them because He loves all of His fans!" It's a crude way of understanding the Divine Nature, but hey, if it works for a child, why not?

I really don't know in the end what I am trying to say here. At best, it will probably confuse the lot of you, or even better, inspire you to kill the Buddha (props to anyone who understands this joke). What I do know, though, is that I am extremely thankful for all the people who have visited this place, commented on it, linked to it, bashed it, praised it, and even to those who ignored it. Such is life, after all: the more you try to make sense of it, the more chaos will descend upon you. Someone once told me that the greatest mystery there is to life is knowing how to live; I have forgotten how to do this, and this blog has helped push me back on track, if however slight. Here are some more things I learned within the span of a whole year:

- Differential Calculus is the Devil's plaything, and he will use it to lash at you until your flesh slides from your bones, and he will eat it with pickles and a bottle of Pinot Noir, poured on hollowed human skull, which he will then show you and say to you: 'Math is hard'.

- Jesuit priests give very thoughtful and intellectually sublime homilies, but are dumbest when it comes to doctrine

- The best way to talk to a girl you like is to have her for your seat mate in a boring class that no one ever attends and talk to her about milk teeth, gold teeth, wicker furniture, and cosplay. Make sure to brush your teeth, too.

- Dogs, especially puppies, are best to have nearby when studying for a 500 item quiz the following morning

As I am typing all of this, my neighbor is playing 'Nessun dorma' at full blast, and it is beautiful. Exquisite does not to it justice; revelation reveals nothing. It is glorious, melodramatic and highly emotional-- the stuff that life is made of. Puccini obviously knew how to pour his heart out on whatever work he comes up with. Perhaps it is best that I leave you with an English translation of the aria.

Let no one sleep!... Let no one sleep! Even you, o Princess, in your cold room, watch the stars, that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me, my name no one shall know... No!...No!... On your mouth I will tell it when the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!...

No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.

Vanish, o night! Set, stars! At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.


Andrew said...

Happy anniversary, O Buddha.
But rest assured, no one will kill you, through they will be inspired by your writings =)

Nessun Dorma is one of my favourites. I heard Pavarotti sing it and was immediately hooked!

Pope John is another interesting figure, besides Pope Paul VI. But I guess Pope John's fault, if you can call it that, was that he was too optimistic (in those years, it looks like they all were) about the future and about what man can accomplish. Veterum sapientia was truly magisterial. But now, with the Latin gone, it's going to be hard trying to hold another General Council.

Imagine the mistranslations! The horror!

Archistrategos said...

^ Haha, in my Latin class before, one of my buddies told me to greet our substitute teacher with the phrase 'Podex perfectus es' (it means 'you are a complete a--hole'). I probably shouldn't have done that, but he looked a bit senile and sleepy. When I finally greeted him, his eyes flashed with rage, and he looked like some gargoyle come to life. And yes, I was scared. And sent to the office.

The lesson? Never underestimate Latin! It makes the mind reeeeallllly sharp.

Pseudo-Iamblichus said...

It's a pleasure to read your blog. Ad multos annos!

Archistrategos said...

As is yours, Arturo! Thank you.
(BTW, I love this post. )