Posted by: thecommuterexpress | August 8, 2007

Nun of the above

Kulamnista ni Mankokolum

SAMYO ng insenso ang nasasagap ng may matalas na pang-amoy mula sa munting kumbento na nakatindig sa gilid ng kalye General Luna, Ciudad Real sa San Jose del Monte—isang lungsod sa Bulacan.

Kung matalim ang pandinig, mauulinig paminsan-minsan ang ilang tinig. Umuusal ng litanya. Tiyak na bahagi na ng kanilang araw-araw na daloy ng pamumuhay ang panalangin.

Who would care for a life like that sniffed in whiffs of incense, woven out as tapestry days of orisons and chants?

Baka naman mas malalim ang nahukay nilang katuturan sa mga ganoong gawi.  Para salinan ng kabuluhan, para lapatan ng mas matimbang na halaga ang buhay.

Hindi naman siguro sila lumalayo sa payong Aristotle: An unexamined life is not worth living. Kung hindi lang sinusuri ang sariling buhay, hindi na kailangang mabuhay.

Pero wala namang nagbigay ng karapatan sa sinumang usisero na suriin ang buhay ng iba. Iba ang pamantayan na ilalapat sa sariling pamumuhay. Mas tiyak na walang matino’t matayog na pamantayan na inilalapat sa sariling pamumuhay—kaya uungkatin na lang ang pamumuhay ng mga kakaiba’t natatangi ang pinaiiral sa kanilang buhay.

Baka naman sa pagitan ng mga oras na inilaan sa panalangin at pag-untag sa Maykapal, iba namang gawain sa maliming pananaliksik at paghalungkat sa katuturan ng buhay ang tinutupad nila.

That convent for all I care could be a front for a research facility for a thorough examination of life, say, viruses. Minute worlds of ‘em can be grown in Petri dishes no bigger than a saucer to hold a coffee cup. They must have sneaked into their modest abode a powerful electron microscope, hooked it up to a computer to get a console-size voyeur’s peek into the life of viruses—with a view to gleaning lessons and best practices that can be plied and applied into their seemingly inhuman lives.

Any sharp microbe hunter would confess that in all its shapes and sizes, the virus is the quintessence of stunning simplicity of life—a few strands of genetic material girded by protein molecules and nucleic acid is all a virus is.

Those wee critters are a hundred times smaller than bacteria. They’re a pathetic lot with no possessions to show—no central nervous system, no brain, a faintest resemblance to proof of life as an organism. They’re alien, not of this world.

But their powers are nothing short of a god’s. And who would dare argue they are not of divine origin?

For eons they’ve been at play, toying with the basic blueprint of life encoded in the so-called double helix configuration of the deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA.

They’re able somehow to reconfigure DNA…

And they’re better at such a job than the best genetic engineers available. Their grasp of biotechnology is out of this Third World na “Wowowee!” at “Eat Bulaga!” lang kayang isalpak sa utak, pwe-he-he-he!

Those brainless bits, they’re able to cut and paste the DNA strands of every living thing on the planet!

Ah, such unassuming ways can deceive. For all we care, they could have been tasked to work on evolution of the entire living species, all the life throbbing and thriving in this order of existence.

And those cloistered nuns could be doing stewardship on viruses, that’s what our snoopy noses might be hinting at whenever a whiff of incense wafts off from that convent.

They ponder on the intrinsic meaning of life and what exemplar could there be to diddle over but the life of viruses?

And did Aristotle not offer a counsel, “The unexamined life is not worth living?”



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