a wandering woman writes

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I translated the lines below from a text published on the back of a glossy photo of the Virgen de la Peña de Francia. I picked up the photo on a visit to the Peña's monastery, which sits with only a telecommunications tower for company at the summit of one of the highest peaks in the Sierra de Francia. I can't stop wondering who wrote it. The Dominican monk I'm told lives alone in the monastery in winter, facing all the Peña's contrasts in solitude?

Here's a lovely bit of poetic prose printed on the back of a kitschy photo of a black Virgin sheltered on the top of an enchanted mountain:

note: ignore the periods between the columns. They were necessary to create two columns in this - ahem - marvelous blogging software I use.


The universe and human life are a jumble of contrasts:

Light and darkness, ....................Youth and old age,

night and day, ............................. pain and joy,

mountain and plain,.....................war and peace,

winter and summer.....................life and death.

From the harmony of contradictory worlds and elements spring forth the beauty of things and actions, feelings of compassion, even peace. On the other hand, in the confrontation of different elements chaos is born, and ugliness. Wars. Destruction.

The Peña de Francia is a small universe, a stony and lovely mountain born of the river banks of a dusty and extended plain. Its world is full of contrasts. Here, in a moment, the breeze transforms into a hurricane, the rain into a fierce hailstorm, tranquility into thunder and lightning, summer into winter. In the Peña's sanctuary, pain becomes consolation, solitude becomes companionship, and joy, thanksgiving and blessing.



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