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The eyes of Josephine: a tattoo on our soul

If I consider myself a human person, then, before the gaze of Josephine, can I still continue sleeping in my bed, feed myself, enjoy friendly relations and plan my holidays? Does it not demolish every armour of self-defence? Does it not reveal who we truly are? People who dare define themselves as such? We should let ourselves be conquered by everything we want to remove: the shame that strives to emerge, if we only allowed it to

(Foto: AFP/SIR)

Summer, time for holidays, for relax, for SPAs… for a well-deserved rest to those who work and need a break to recover their strength and rediscover themselves.

How can we rediscover ourselves when our inner self has been disfigured? Mislaid, one hopes, and not lost.

Name it as you wish: self-centredness, selfhood, tangible reality remains the same and identical: all that matters is one’s own self and everything must be self-centred, incorporated in the self, engulfing everything that lies on its path.

Josephine’s eyes wide open to the horror of impotence and abandonment, should be absorbed by us to the point of becoming a tattoo impressed on our souls. An indelible tattoo that is impossible to remove even with the most powerful laser beam.

We retrace our wording: from philosophy to social networks, unfortunately also lending from theology, in search of God or of a god, namely, searching for an answer to our existence and to our self-definition as human persons.

Is pseudo-intellectual or even spiritual discourse sufficient?

It is far too easy to blame the political realm. Whose politics? Of which State?

It’s a pointless accusation that only serves to fuel controversies.

The question must be sharp, it must cut through the fat fold that clouds our minds and our intellect. I don’t intend to limit myself to the Christian understanding that embraces the All-Merciful who revealed Himself and offered His love, I welcome whoever finds the Presence through self-reflection.

If I consider myself a human person, then, before the gaze of Josephine, can I still continue sleeping in my bed, feed myself, enjoy friendly relations and plan my holidays? Does it not demolish every armour of self-defence? Does it not reveal who we truly are? People who dare define themselves as such? We should let ourselves be conquered by everything we want to remove: the shame that strives to emerge, if we only allowed it to.

I almost can see inside myself the beast that operated in the concentration camp and played Bach in the evening, spent time with his children on the margin of the barbed wire fences and enjoyed his dinner with selected friends. Served at the dinner table by those deported to concentration camps.

This dangerous form of schizophrenia poisons human existence, and it can only be healed if it comes out in the open.

Where was I when Josephine was at the mercy of the sea for forty-eight hours? How could I leave her hanging on to a piece of wood? Where was my helping hand?

The feeling of distress is painful and I want to avoid it.

Has my responsibility, the responsibility entrusted to each one of us, humans, if so we may define ourselves, collapsed? Shouldn’t it be rebuilt?

Not in the protests of those who take to the streets that ultimately end with pointless words and the destruction of everything near them.

It’s Another Place.

A new gaze.

It will take over only we let ourselves we penetrated by that gaze that leaves us without words. Then the Word could work inside us, we would rediscover ourselves.

Great suffering, great loss – will Josephine still have faith in us? – could thus become a healing balm.

An indelible tattoo, which becomes the thrust for action, for change, to rebuild what was lost and that may still preserve a seed of humanity to be passed on to our offspring, to our youths, not in terms of money or career, but as a gaze that knows how to face and embrace overflowing abandonment, making it its own.

Allowing it to fall into oblivion, in the habits of our society, where an image is rapidly replaced by another, preferably one that is more attractive and more reassuring, is an ever-present temptation. Psychology teaches us that whatever we remove returns in a different guise, whose causes are hard to identify.

We accept the defeat of our humanity, we let ourselves by guided not by emotions but by the force that teaches us to live.

May the tattoo impressed by that gaze attract the gaze of Lord upon us, and may it operate a change in our deepest self.

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