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Nicaragua

Fodor István fényképeOne can attain enlightenment anywhere. In my opinion Nicaragua is there as nature intended , in the mountains , where trees are in abundance  the air is clean. Under no circumstances am I thinking of a hidden village in Tyrol , with colour television and sauna.

No, there is here an abandoned mine in Kismuncsel  28 kilometers  from Déva. Four hundred miners worked in this tin and copper mine on top of the mountains. The mine was closed down two years ago and those who could , left the barracks covered with thatch (reed) and tarred paper.There are many collapsed ,empty barracks but there are approximately thirty to forty people still living there . On the one hand the very beautiful nature on the other hand the torn ground , the failed families, people.  There it can all become clear to you , there you can find Nicaragua !
I would abandon any pretense  , I would dress very simply and with a sleeping bag and a couple of loaves of bread I would go out there, where time came to a standstill . With the little retarded children ,we would go to pick raspberries, to gather mushrooms . I would learn how to weave a basket , tie together a broom  from auntie Mariska , who is white just like we are , except she has no one and she would have to  survive on a pension  of 160000 lei. But this is impossible so consciously she is preparing for a death by starvation. I would have a talk with her neighbour, whose nose was completely ravaged by cancer. She does nothing , I feel she is getting used to death . You can meet Annamarie , who has no father or mother , who was brought up by her sibling and at the age of fifteen years she gave birth to her first child, fathered by a drunken miner , with whom she lived in such a shack where at night they also let the animals in. Now there are many empty lodgings and they live elsewhere  but her husband beats her with the whip the same way as he beats the animals. You can have a chat about how her mother-in-law went insane and was running stark naked in the fields until she died . But you can also talk with her about the four year old little boy whether was he killed by the bear in the woods or perhaps by dogs ? She is not twenty years old yet but with her two children she went through more than others would have done in a hundred year.Similarly there are four retarded children living here in an incredibly  filthy house. They are handicapped but they can tell you about the secrets of life since they watched for a long time as their grandfather was driven  mad by the pain and died as a result of it. Initially there was only a sore on his leg but it became gangrenous and as the weeks passed the man’s leg became black from below the knee and very smelly. He was lying dangling his leg and he was screaming but by then there was no life emanating  from his eyes. Next day he died as a result of a scratch that could have been fixed by an antiseptic and a bandaid. But you can also speak to the mother of thirteen children who just lost her eldest son, the only one, who entered the work force and was working. Her husband has the key to the mine , they keep it now in the sideboard in the sugar bowl. You can ask for it and you can go to the mineshaft . Everything is there ,  the mine cars with the ore in them ,the helmets as if the miners would have just interrupted the rush at work. Only the experienced eyes can see that everything has died here.
At first it will hit you hard all that you can see and hear. Perhaps you’ll be crying and  cursing this world , where well presented characters pay 300 DEM for a dog but refuse to take in a miserable child ,even if the state also  pays for them. You cannot understand how come that these people were taken by the community  into the mountains to build the communism and now they do not even receive enough money that  would cover the cost of half  a loaf of the daily bread , not to mention meat, bus    ticket , the electricity bill , medications.  These people were swept away by a deranged ideology to the top of the mountain and like a dying wave put them down, left them there . You discover that the condemned of the old regime of the forced accommodation still exist, but they are no longer prisoners of armed guards but of unmeasurable poverty, squalor the prodigy of which , the shortcomings and people’s indifference keep them captive. 
You will have very strange ideas. Before going to bed you will think about  a band of robbers should reorganise these people . You yourself will be surprised as well , how you will be filled by hatred and you will discover the anarchist within yourself.You will say aloud that this society does not deserve a life where a dog eats more meat in one go, than a child in a whole month . Everything should be blown up and kicked over. Frightful forces will be set free within yourself.
Do not hurry , do not judge try to be very open. Next day take a long walk in nature , look at the trees, the clouds, the birds. In the meantime you can curse, you can pray. What is important that the walls around you fall down. Go to pieces . Let into your life all that surrounds you. Be not the one who enters among them . Do not do anything . Do not organise, do not form this world . In Nicaragua we do not mould however we are moulded, we do not teach , however we learn. We do not give , however we receive . You have to be enlightened first so that you yourself can emit the light.
You cannot see the pattern of a Persian rug from beneath. Ascend look at the whole picture. Pay attention there are lots of sounds, voices, rustling, thuds in the forest.Look at the sunrise . See how the dawn is breaking and slowly it lights up the world. Take note that darkness is not something, you cannot beat, cut or break it. Darkness is simply the lack of light. You do not have to fight against darkness , it cannot be broken by force and shoveled it out.Gaze at the Sun in wonderment , that when it appears everything gets a shape and life. All this is so simple but you have to experience it. Around midday eat your dry bread. Slowly, take your time biting into it, make sure that not one crumb falls onto the ground. In fact you are eating the child of the sunshine and mud, you are eating bread. Be amazed how good just the bread can be. You are being nourished by light and warmth. Do not hurry look for a stream , do it in style , get down on your knees, bring your lips to the water as if you would be kissing and drink. Feel how the crystal clear water of the mountain stream permeates you. You become one with the earth, life penetrates you.Admire the black soil, that  brings bread and water from itself.Look at the stream, take a look at the mud on the bottom of the stream, look , touch it with your hand . Close your eyes and feel the light , the warmth that brings forth bread and water The same as you burst into a song , or into tears, the muddy soil bursts to bread and water. Go on. Perhaps you understand that this is all you are as well, a handful of dust. If from somewhere up above an infinitely pure and holy light falls upon you, you also will be capable to accept a few grains ,and give bread , become a stream. All this is infinitely pure and simple: See, believe and love.
Earth, light , life : this is you , a miracle. Perhaps if  sitting in the same place you wait for the sunset , you can understand this secret  even more. You see  the light vanishing and the shadow, the twilight, darkness appear. Everything looses its color , then slowly its form , shape and finally in the starless night it simply disappears.
What do you feel? Try to take all this in ! The time is unimportant, do not regret the days spent. Like for a festive meal the cook puts many .many ingredients into a large pot, you also take everything in, in Nicaragua. Carry your own and other’s pain, the secrets , that surround you , the wasp, the butterfly that flies on you then moves on. Gaze in wonderment at the fleecy clouds. It is so spectacular , but it becomes heavy and returns back the ground.The water swells in the belly of the Earth just to be reborn in streams , wells , the flower petals ,on the foreheads of men climbing mountains and again  to be swept away to the heavens by the rays of the sun. At every step of your thoughts a newer miracle awaits you: only that water droplet can fly, ascend to the sky, see everything clearly, that bathes in the light , that is  carried away by the sunshine. And the water vanishing into thin air leaves all the squalor behind.
Do not excise your thoughts from yourself. The awakening slowly , but surely , in the endless stillness will happen continuously. Your surrounding can disturb it, but cannot interrupt all this . Slowly you will regain your composure, you will calm down.Your thoughts, desires will become clearer, you fill be filled by an immense peace.You will be enlightened !Everything will become very simple, transparent.  You feel that everything, that surrounds you is akin to your innermost self.
You will begin to see the light God’s infinitely calm personal touch on this world. Like a storm blown over tamed into a cloud , you will see everything much clearer from up there. Springs will arise in you.You will feel the force within yourself that now will no longer be for you : for them, for the world. You no longer want to fight , but to create. You do not hate anybody or anything , you do not want destruction, but you want to help, to create, to give life , to let the light streaming into yourself pass on , to diffuse. You do not comprehend , you only live the miracle,  the way from you, a handful of dust ,the life-giving grain of bread, the spring surges. You bathe in an infinite pure light the only reflection of which is the Sun. And you feel that it is extremely good like this. You believe that you are not only part of the world but a partner of the Almighty who out of love unceasingly continues the creation of the universe . A partner of the Lord for whom everything is much more important than for you. He died for this world Gently you nestle in the hand of the Lord, you cower at the feet of the Good Shepherd . You feel it, you believe it if He calls you, you will have the strength to lead the flock , according to the will of your Creator to guide the ones entrusted to you. You are the vine on the branches , you admire the branch carrying , giving life to you , that humbly passes on the glory , the joy of carrying the bunches. The nectar is born through you, but without the branch there is no life in you.
Everything is put in its place and nothing is disturbing you anymore. You are  not flustered any longer , you allow it to be dressed, to be kitted out. You feel the mountain moving forces within yourself , you know that people will be born, stand up , be healed by your word. But even this is unimportant. Nothing is important only the attachment, which like the Sun slowly rises and illuminates your world. You are alive but it is not you but God lives through you. Carry this sacrament, this blessing because this Sacrament and this Blessing is carrying you. You are a companion of God, you had a glance at the Holy Trinity . And you start singing the hymn of Saint Francis ,The Canticle of the Sun !
Böjte Csaba OFM
translated by dr kalotay eszter