THE FLYING CYPRIAN PART 2

Who seeks truth doesn't seek the answers but look for the right question to ask...

...if you ask the right question, the answer will be there as well,
...if you ask the right question, the answer will be there as well,
but you will will not seek for answers anymore as you will find in your question the answer you have been looking for. (The oldest monk talking to Cyprian)
but you will will not seek for answers anymore as you will find in your question the answer you have been looking for. (The oldest monk talking to Cyprian)
So how do you cope with catastrophe, plague and tempest, storm and war...
So how do you cope with catastrophe, plague and tempest, storm and war...
...events that kill and maim and ruin the lives of survivors?
...events that kill and maim and ruin the lives of survivors?
Teofilo Ruiz in his book: ' The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilizations' argues that throughout history humanity has responded in four basic ways:
Teofilo Ruiz in his book: ' The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilizations' argues that throughout history humanity has responded in four basic ways:
People have prayed...
People have prayed...
People have wallowed in hedonism...
People have wallowed in hedonism...
People have cultivated detachment from what is happening around them...
People have cultivated detachment from what is happening around them...
And minority have coped....
And minority have coped....
I always looked in the past for examples of our eternal desire to 'duck' despair...
I always looked in the past for examples of our eternal desire to 'duck' despair...
Cyprian's story is one of many in which I have found how people dealt with unimaginable in the past...
Cyprian's story is one of many in which I have found how people dealt with unimaginable in the past...
One can only ask, is this response relevant today?
One can only ask, is this response relevant today?
Why the world is worth less, one can ask...
Why the world is worth less, one can ask...
People commit evil in the name of religion but it is also undoubtedly true that people do acts of extraordinary common good inspired by religion.
People commit evil in the name of religion but it is also undoubtedly true that people do acts of extraordinary common good inspired by religion.
A world without religion?  Maybe.
A world without religion? Maybe.
A world without religious faith? Impossible for some.
A world without religious faith? Impossible for some.
A world without faith? Impossible for all.
A world without faith? Impossible for all.
A world without faith would be spiritually, morally and emotionally diminished.
A world without faith would be spiritually, morally and emotionally diminished.
Harm that is done in the name of religion is intrinsically grounded in the scripture of religion.
Harm that is done in the name of religion is intrinsically grounded in the scripture of religion.
Religious sacred texts can lend themselves to inspiring and supporting violence...
Religious sacred texts can lend themselves to inspiring and supporting violence...
..but it depends on the individual interpretations of these texts.
..but it depends on the individual interpretations of these texts.
" The sense that there is something beyond the material - or if not beyond it - is a very important matter...
" The sense that there is something beyond the material - or if not beyond it - is a very important matter...
...this is what would you call the numinous or the transcendent, or at its best, the ecstatic:
...this is what would you call the numinous or the transcendent, or at its best, the ecstatic:
music, landscape and certain kinds of artistic and creative work' elicit this response in Marcus J. Berg, an Anglican priest and the Christian scholar.
music, landscape and certain kinds of artistic and creative work' elicit this response in Marcus J. Berg, an Anglican priest and the Christian scholar.
And I can only agree.
And I can only agree.
The question for him is how to distinguish these natural human finer feelings from superstition and the supernatural...
The question for him is how to distinguish these natural human finer feelings from superstition and the supernatural...
...which are designed to make us fearful and afraid and servile.
...which are designed to make us fearful and afraid and servile.
Several influential religious thinkers are interpreting the present crisis in religion as the precursor to a radical transformation of religion...
Several influential religious thinkers are interpreting the present crisis in religion as the precursor to a radical transformation of religion...
...and the end of religion as we know it...
...and the end of religion as we know it...
...and the beginning of something radically new.
...and the beginning of something radically new.
Religious historian Karen Amstrong argues we are in a second Axial Age...
Religious historian Karen Amstrong argues we are in a second Axial Age...
...akin to the first when the great world religions were founded in the period 800 BC to 200 BC.
...akin to the first when the great world religions were founded in the period 800 BC to 200 BC.
Theologian Raimon Panikkar adds that we are in a revolutionary period for belief, marked by the demise of religion...
Theologian Raimon Panikkar adds that we are in a revolutionary period for belief, marked by the demise of religion...
...and a move towards religiousness in which individuals search out a more personal spiritual expression.
...and a move towards religiousness in which individuals search out a more personal spiritual expression.
Many theologians and philosophers such as Marcus J. Berg are using the 'Historical-Metaphorical approach'...
Many theologians and philosophers such as Marcus J. Berg are using the 'Historical-Metaphorical approach'...
They look at the meaning of words in their original context that re-interpreting them for the modern world ...
They look at the meaning of words in their original context that re-interpreting them for the modern world ...
...to produce a convincing account of Christianity in tune with contemporary Western Culture. But is this enough?
...to produce a convincing account of Christianity in tune with contemporary Western Culture. But is this enough?
They look at the 'heaven-and-hell' Christianity with its emphasis on salvation in an afterlife...
They look at the 'heaven-and-hell' Christianity with its emphasis on salvation in an afterlife...
...at the expense of transformation of life here and now. But is this enough?
...at the expense of transformation of life here and now. But is this enough?
But how to deal with any disaster that seems endless and insurmountable if we loose our faith?
But how to deal with any disaster that seems endless and insurmountable if we loose our faith?
My interpretation of 'The Flying Cyprian' doesn't give you any answers, maybe just more questions   to ask...
My interpretation of 'The Flying Cyprian' doesn't give you any answers, maybe just more questions to ask...
He emerges as a magnificent figure of human dignity with all its falls and rises...
He emerges as a magnificent figure of human dignity with all its falls and rises...
...with so many strange currents and eddies dreamlike but completely believable...
...with so many strange currents and eddies dreamlike but completely believable...
I can not get Cyprian out of my mind...
I can not get Cyprian out of my mind...
One of those legend, that approaches the universal truths of the human heart...
One of those legend, that approaches the universal truths of the human heart...
but does so through a distinctively Slavic sensibility...good reading everyone...part 3 is there to follow...
but does so through a distinctively Slavic sensibility...good reading everyone...part 3 is there to follow...

THE FLYING CYPRIAN part 2 (Ancient Slav Legend) retold by Mariana Cengel Solcanska


A man with a face of an angel,

and eyes full of murderous deeds,

Cyprian was his name,

too weak to move

he stared at them

with open suspicion

and hate

scarring off the boy

who hid under the bed,

there he found a sack

and a book in it

written by Leonardo , son of Piero from Vinci,

the artist and scientist

who died 200 years ago.

The writing confused him,

then he found a drawing

of a man with flying wings.

He couldn't believe his luck,

that was the man he saw in his dreams.


Before the oldest monk or the patient

could notice him,

he disappeared from the kitchen,

to his hiding place

in an abandoned gothic tower

to read, to learn, to build and once to fly...


Back in the kitchen,

that was their bedroom and their study

the oldest monk lit up the fireplace

checking the small parcels of dry leaves

that hang above it

filling the room

with a sweet fragrant smell.

His warm wrinkled hand

touched the patient's forehead,

and his slow and melancholic song

echoed around the stony walls;

' ...because I was sad,

I began to tell stories,

when I lost my voice,

I began to write them down,

when I lost my sight,

I began to play my harp,

when the music died in me,

I still had my body to feel

and hands to touch,

I began to heal...'


Who are you?” the patient asked.

Everyone and no one,” was the reply.

Are you healer?”

Maybe, and also cook and barber,

cleaner and candle maker...but the magic power of herbs

intrigues me...here drink this.”

The oldest monk brought a hot tea to his lips.

That is camomile,” the patient breathed in the earthy smell.

Looks like we are two of the same kind.” The monk couldn't hide his smile.


He opened his eyes

into a cold misty morning

in the monastery

and left his bed

making small uneasy steps

he followed long dark stony wall

into a small courtyard

covered with tens of graves

wooden crosses on heaps of dirt.

The old monk with long grey beard

saw him loosing his strength:

Everyone is looking for their own destiny,”

he murmured leading him back to his bed.

The little boy cautiously peeped in

and touched his oily hair

but Cyprian growled at him and that chased him away.

Be kind to everyone,” the oldest monk chastised him for that:

You never know, maybe there is more than name you share with them.”


In few days time he wandered around

seeing rows of low identical cells,

a square in the middle

with a well and stony walls around.

He went out through the main gate

and circled it all around

looking but not seeing

the well kept grave

without cross

coming back from other side.

He found a church

dark and bare

except

a gold Jesus

on its main altar

diamonds pressed to his body

to be his cuts and bruises,

Cyprian looked on his own,

then he touched the precious stones,

unaware of the presence of Superior

kneeling in the corner,

wondering how long

this uninvited guest

would stay in his holy place.


He waited until midnight

and went back to church,

sneaking in as a thief

with a sharpen knife.

He cut out the jewels of Jesus Christ,

when he turned around,

the cross fell down,

burying his leg

underneath,

and there he was,

injured, lost and scarred,

shaking as a leaf

finally his leg was free.

He left diamonds behind

scattered around

all except one

and the bleeding trail

sign of shame and defeat

that Monks followed

to his bed

and stood there

with silent accusation

praying for his restless soul.

He lied there, ashamed,

covering his eyes,

squeezing the sharp edge of the knife,

ready to slash out.

The monks sighed in disbelief

finding the precious jewel ,

they quietly put it in the sack

under his bed,

and departed one by one,

leaving him alone with his murderous mind.


He woke up thirsty,

his leg hurt badly,

with a difficulty

he reached

the ancient well,

a distant hammer's banging

led him to an old chapel,

where the oldest monk

was repairing the fallen cross.

The wood of the thousand year's old tree they used for this cross,

that for three hundreds thirty three years survived flooding, fires

and time until you came to us...”

Why did you leave me unpunished?”He asked.

The monk looked at him

but Cyprian could not meet

his wise wrinkled eyes,

in his hand

a walking stick,

he made for him.

That was his reply.

Honesty and goodness scare you, I see,”

the monk whispered watching him to leave

using the stick

with obvious unease.


Apple wine and honey beer,

raspberry cordial and river crabs,

smoked salmon and goat cheese,

lentils soup and mushroom soup,

fresh baked bread, fried onion and speck...

he ate and drink, drink and ate,

watching the slow paced, simple and starving life

of hardworking monks

reappearing from their empty cells,

praying and keeping silence,

moving in accordance with ringing

of their ever present bells.

No one came here and no one left

except those,

nearly dead,

who had nowhere else to go..


Everything has its order and its reason. Life is a task, nothing more and nothing else.”

He was told by one white haired monk

who talked to his herbs and flowers

in his vegetable garden in front of his cell.

Everything was spotless clean,

even their worn out grey robes,

even their bare feet,

walking miles on dirt every day.


Then he burnt himself,

first on him palm,

then on his hands,

the oldest monk treated him the first time,

but then let him be,

crying out in anger and hitting him on his palms:

You need more and it would never be enough as physical pain will never be strong enough to silence your inner shame.”

They hold each other in their arms

silenced by utter exhaustion.

You never questioned me, who am I, what have I done...”

The oldest monk finally stood up

and treated his burns one more time.

You have to accept you inner pain, it has reason on its own.”

But why?”

Who seeks truth doesn't seek answers but looks for the right questions to ask. If you ask

the right question, the answer will be there as well and there will be no need for asking more.”

How do you know?”

It was said by Saint Cyprian, other one with the same , lucky you.”


The next day he started to repair

the Christ on the Cross

with his bare hands

he polished and set diamonds

back into their painful holes,

all except one,

he couldn't find.

The wise monk,

who spend most of the time,

rewriting the bible,

taught him to read and write.

He listened in growing horror

at the atrocities of the Lord God,

burning alive the men, women and children

of Sodom and Gomorah,

the prompting of Hebrews to kill everyone

in Canaan,

until finally,

he subverts the divine plan

for renewal of the human race through Noah

and his sons

by means of mutiny aboard the ark

and throwing whole family into the floods.

They suffered more than us, but why?”

Instead of the answer

his inspired teacher

gives him five books of Moses,

to read and think freely

what he finds there.


The day of his promise came:

Me, Cyprian, runaway peasant, outlaw and murderer from the past, your common man,

stumbling back and forth around this Slavic land in growing horror at the atrocities done

in your name, coming to you God to serve you the rest of my life. I promise to live in poverty, cleanliness and order every day until my death. I will follow your voice to do everything what is asked of me by my religious brothers. I promise to give you...”

He looked at the oldest monk-healer, who pointed at his throat.

“..my voice, I promise to stay silent, to be mute for the rest of my life to beg forgiveness for my trespasses.”


It was dawn when they saw

the young Cyprian

flying down from the unused tower

and crashing down in dirt

with his handmade wings broken down.

He was fourteen years old now

and monks could see

that he was not ready for God,

not yet..

Pious asked him to leave...to follow his own stars.

Everyone was there, wishing him well,

giving him something for the road,

the new monk

found his old sack

and handed it to the boy.

The young Cyprian put his hand inside

and found the precious stone,

the one missing from the cross.

He opened

gently

the new monk's palm

and he could feel its warmth.

Then he climbed up to his tower

for one more time

to take off

his long grey robe,

and ran back to the new monk

with the flying book in his hands.

This is yours, I should not take it long time ago,

but I thought I learn to fly...but here I am...”

The new monk pushed the book back

and touched the shortened old trousers

the boy had on:

I know this is also yours, but you will never need them again so...”

Then the new monk touched the bright blue scarf,

he knew so well,

wrapped tightly around the boy's neck:

This is mine, only thing I own, it belonged to my mum.”

The new monk opened his mouth

and all the monks standing by

murmured in a horror,

but then,

he closed his mouth,

picked up the pieces of broken wings

and returned back to their kitchen,

never seeing the boy again.


It was dawn when the oldest monk-healer died.

The new monk watched his eyes turning glassy

and his face full of fearful expectation

of unknown turned to him with the last question:

“How is it, what is there?”

He waited for the answer but it was too late,

there is no answer beyond death.

Three days they prayed and sang:

Requeim aeterman dona eis, Domine et lux perpetua leceat eis...

libera animas omnium fidelium defonctum...”

Then they put his casket

he was sleeping in whole life

into the shallow grave.

Then they left

in the early evening drizzle

just the new monk

stayed there

shaking in the cold air

of approaching winter.


The next day he was back in the kitchen

continuing in the healing work of the oldest monk.

In Anno Domini 1737

the young monk read all the medicine books

and learnt all that was there to know

about plants, materials and metals,

diseases and their prevention...

He was left alone,

along them,

but not with the monks,

all except one,

the wise monk, who taught him read and write.

Sometimes they looked at each other

and smiled knowingly

as old friends do.


One night there was an urgent banging

on his kitchen door,

when he opened

a mortally wounded soldier

collapsed on the floor,

supported by monks from both side.

He helped him to the bed

the oldest monk used for him

and he saw

the gun wounds straight away,

but there was something very familiar

about his face.


The young monk-healer operated

on his enemy

and he survived.

When the Husita opened his eyes,

there also was a recognition of the man

from the past.

But then he closed them again.

The revenge and hate was gone from their lives,

chased away by years, blood and acknowledgment of end.

When he opened them one more time,

there was only calmness in and something else...

When he was strong enough to leave,

the Husita gave him the well preserved roll of human skin:

I thought off painting of my hunting lodge on it, but I never came to it and now I am glad,

what is the better way to pay you for my life.”


The young monk sat at his table

and unrolled the human skin

among his herbs and potions,

feeling its coolness underneath his fingers

he thought about his eldest brother,

whose part was now with him.

Few days passed and monks saw him sitting there

with the precious roll in his lap

until the wise monk stopped by

and picked it up cautiously

stroking his arm.


He brought back a handmade book

covered in this unusual gift

and the young monk started to write.

More by this Author


Comments 22 comments

writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Your story is a compelling read. up/awesome


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Very happy you took your time to read it, it is pretty long but at least if was rewarding I hope:)


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

wow how a man can have such a great change of heart, in learning and growing and experiencing a hard life he can also find peace and God. and his long lost son. and make ammends for the wrongs he's done.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Yes, I believe it is the only way for us to go...otherwise we never find peace of mind, I am not religious in a traditional way...but it is very important to have your own personal belief...


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

A very poignant story. Thank you for translating it for us.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you for stopping by and reading it...every story comes alive only with appreciative audience...thank you for giving 'The Flying Cyprian' your time and your attention...I am very grateful to you for that:)


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

Another interesting section to the story.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Very interesting and profound. The pictures are breathtaking.

'Who seeks truth doesn't seek the answers but look for the right questions to ask."

Voted up and awesome.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

I believe it is true, so now I have to ask one of those profound questions: "What is your favourite story from the past?"....thank you again my dear Sue for your kind and genuine comment, what else any writer can ask for...


BongSantos profile image

BongSantos 5 years ago from Philippines

I'm on edge. I need the next installment. The details are engrossing, the blow by blow gripping and the style masterly. Superb


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Just an old tale from the long forgotten past from the long forgotten part of the world...but very happy that it still manages to stir someone's heart:)...thank you....


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 5 years ago from India

super photographs, you are a brilliant photographer who also happens to be a gifted and incisive writer. thanks for sharing.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you so much 'dinkan' for stopping by visiting my part of world and happy your visit for worthwhile...come back again....


Derdriu 5 years ago

Beata Stasak: Thank you for such vivid imagery and such poetic photographs. It is so beautiful the way that you coordinate the deep truths in an ancient text with the eternal beauty of the Slavic architecture and countryside. Voted up, and everything else.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you dear Derdriu, it was little selfish of me to, but we all like to 'brag' little bit about our heritage...the places we come from and formed us who we really are...we don't always realise it but our personalities, drives and desires as well as our belief system is closely linked to the place of our beginning...doesn't matter how far or for how long we travel the world....thank you again my dear hubber for your lovely reply:)


susan54 profile image

susan54 5 years ago

you have such talent very good I love your pictures and the writings.


icciev profile image

icciev 5 years ago from Kuwait

its always hard to tell history within your Poem and keep the reader interested to read more, but you have just did it perfectly. voted up, heading to the next part.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my dear hubbers, I am happy you liked it and will follow the historical thread to the last part....a lot of reading, I know so I am very grateful for your time:)


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home

Bststk,

Interesting, hub takes me back to the days of yore back when me and the crew used to ride the greek countryside searching for monsters, witches and whores... not necessisarily in that order aahhh the good ole days of a bereft of responsibility save the horses and the constant search for th above mentioned entities....

I'm sure you understand

TH


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

...yep good old days...but I am afraid 'the good monster' like you and 'the free minded witch' like me would be the first hunted down...don't you think so?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 5 years ago from Arizona

This story resounds within me. It brings sorrow for all the evil done in the name of religion and joy for all the healing found in God. Looking forward to having time for part 3...


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Yes, my dear April, so much evil was done in the name of religion, but we shouldn't blame religion or God for it...because it is us...

some people have tendency to interpret the ancient wisdom and use it for their own selfish purposes...

other ones interpret the ancient wisdom and use it for the common good...

Hope you will like the ending...enjoy your reading:)

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