Sunday, December 7, 2008

More tenderness

The first weekend of Nutcracker performances has just ended, and we're all a bit frayed at the edges around here. But today something beautiful happened (many beautiful things, but this is one I don't want to pass without comment). When I and my two ballerinas arrived home this evening, there were two young women sitting at my dining room table. They are students from the university, both in CLU. They had come over earlier in the day for a brunch that my husband organized, and they were still there, studying and hanging out at 5pm. Stephen was in his office working, and they were simply there, right at home in my house.

Why was this so beautiful and moving for me? It is a sign of belonging. They belong in my home, and so I can belong to them. A true convivenza.

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."