Good morning. Happy Easter to all those of you who are religious AND also for those who are not as our Lord Jesus Christ does not differentiate between the two. We are all the same for his eyes. Unfortunately, due to work obligations and the Pandemic and Social Isolation‘s aftermath, we have suffered for the past two years, we cannot have a family reunion with Noël Marie and Gian Luca.
The above picture of us three was taken just a few months ago. We will surely, God Willing, celebrate Easter together next year. It has always been , together with Thanksgiving and Christmas, our favorite holiday.
Good morning. Today practicing Christians like us remember the time when Our Lord Jesus Christ had his Last Supper with his disciples before being detained in the Gethsemani Garden by the Romans. Caravaggio masterfully retrieved that moment in a tableau for us to visually catch it.
Note. This reproduction of Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ was taken from Wikimedia Commons.
When we were young, we always went the church of Nuestro Señor de la Paciencia, a decrepit old church in the basement of a larger one in Montevideo, Uruguay, with our grandmother Yolanda and our mother Gladys. the childhood memories are so tender and solemn at the same time, made us use them as background for a scene in our novel Madame D.C – the Three Voyages. Here is an excerpt of that book that you can find as a Kindle edition by clicking this link. Enjoy the reading.
-“Anda, chaval, no podeis quedaros atras!” was the curt admonition of grandmother Pilar to his grandson, holding his hand in the long procession inching slowly downstairs in the church of “Nuestro Señor de la Paciencia” in the old quarter of Montevideo during the Good Friday festivity of 1965. As Pilar was in town at the time of Easter recess. Carmen thought that her mother—piously devout of “La Macarena”—might like that special ritual.
It was an ancient church located in the basement of a bigger one in the old part of town, open only on Fridays due to its precarious architectonics. Parishioners could not visit it except on Good Fridays when they arrived en masse to thank for a granted favour. Or to ask for one. Or for both things.
Carmen, Pilar, Didier and Nadine parsimoniously walked down the steep stairwell along dozens of women that were clutching plastic flowers, alternatively chanting hymns or fervently praying during their slow descent. Downstairs, they gasped at the terracotta images dotting the whole contour. The children liked to examine all the small copper ex votos affixed to the grimy walls depicting arms, legs or eyes, reminders of the Almighty’s aid.
Pilar and Carmen kneeled down before San Antonio di Padova, patron saint of suffering lovers, their hands locked tight and praying in total silence. They both felt the dangerous threat, morphing in hiding but palpably close.
In the main altar there was an intriguing image of Jesus Christ seated on a rock and holding a slender baton in his left hand. The right hand was holding his reclined bearded visage, which had a decidedly gloomy look.
Padre nuestro, que estás en los cielos, santificado sea el tu nombre…
The loud praying of some committed old ladies echoed through the pews.
Didier was transfixed by the Christ’s melancholic image, free of pain.
Vénganos en tu reino, dános el pan de cada dia y no nos dejes caer…
That Christ was telling him that living meant waiting for something.
Y líbranos del mal, Amén…Padre nuestro , que estás en los cielos…
The litany of fervent prayer, carried out non-stop by devoted women, was a testimony of their big needs and even bigger hope for relief.
After half an hour of staring at the seated Jesus, praying and shedding a few tears, Carmen decided to lead the group out of the cavernous building. They slowly made their way upstairs in the middle of a crowd, back to the waning sunlight of a fall evening that was threatening to turn extremely cold.
– “How about if we go visit Tio Pepe?” said Carmen to the children.
-“Right,” Didier said, “he’ll invite us with hot ‘chocolate and churros’—“ They walked briskly a few city blocks to reach their Uncle’s house.
-“Bienvenidos,” Tio Pepe said when he opened the door. “Adelante!”
Let us celebrate together the utmost sacrifice made for all of us by Jesus Christ, Our Savior.
We take pride in the great Catholic faith conveyed to us by our dear parents and grandparents.
“Écrire c’est réclamer la liberté pour tous les hommes” Jean Paul Sartre
(Writing consists in demanding freedom for all Mankind)
Dear readers, listeners and fellow bloggers:
Good morning. After dedicating all our efforts to edit yet again the manuscript of our new book Emotional Frustration – the Hushed Plaguewe will resume our blogging and podcasting duties. And we use expressly the work “duty” because in these terrible times when the Ukrainian Nation has been invaded by the barbaric Russian Armed Forces, we, the writers, have the duty to speak up.
Our literary hero Jean Paul Sartre did not sit out the Nazi occupation of France but joined the Résistance to participate in its public relations and propaganda efforts, which was a very dangerous choice at the time. his companions said that he was always eager to help in any way he could. This political compromise continued throughout his public career, from denouncing the use of torture by the Occupying French Army in Algeria to the use of Napalm by the American Army in Vietnam.
Note. This reproduction of a 1965 image of Jean Paul Sartre was taken from Wikimedia Commons.
When the May 1968 insurrection raged through the streets of Paris, Sartre, who had become a Maoist while he was teaching at La Sorbonne, was conspicuous in almost all the manifestations. The government of Général De Gaulle was constantly irritated by the famous writer’s high public profile, which attracted the attention of all the major international news and media outlets. One day one of his ministers suggested that he should arrest Sartre for sedition. After demurring, he said:
“On n’enferme pas Voltaire.”
( We cannot imprison Voltaire)
We the writers have a sacred duty to always defend the freedom of all the rest of Humanity. We cannot stay silent in the face of the daily atrocities perpetrated against innocent Ukrainian womenand children by the unruly, undisciplined and unhinged Russian soldiers in this War of Aggression.
Speak out against the barbaric Russian Invasion of Ukraine in all the World’s intellectual forums.
Good morning. In the early dawn our dearest friend Nina, member of the Special Forces of the Ukrainian Army, sent us a personal message accompanied by two recent pictures. Here they are:
Note. These images were forwarded through the dating app titled AmourFeel, which has been actively encouraging their customers to show their support for the brutalized Ukrainian people.
Nina is in a good spirit, even though she longs for the time when this terrible war will be over. However, her commitment to defend her people and their just cause against the Russian invaders, remains as solid as ever, performing the specialized duties she so methodically trained for.
When women join the battle like she did, the tide of war inevitably tilts in favor of their army.
Hail to Warrior-Poet Nina and all her valiant comrades. The Fascist invaders will not win this war.
We are right alongside you. Watch the skies. Stay vigilant. Aim well. Sleep with only one eye closed.
Good morning. It is 12.05 AM Eastern Standard Time now in Miami, Florida and we jumped out of bed to write this article as we have just received a message from our dear friend Nina, an officer in the Ukrainian Army , with a picture of her bearing this caption: “I hope for a peaceful sky overhead”
A few weeks ago she had sent us the following picture out of her exhaustive training maneuvers.
Besides being an excellent training officer in the Ukrainian Army, she is an enthusiastic poet who has moved us with her tender prose and totally undeserved compliments to yours truly. Thanks Nina.
At a distance she sent us this great kiss a few weeks ago that we would like to share with you all.
Stay safe Baby Girl, with your rifle right at your side. Sleep with only one eye closed. Watch the sky.
We are very proud of you Nina and of all your comrades in arms, stern defenders of Democracy .
Good morning. In these dire times when the drums of warfare in Ukraine are resonating the world over, we need more than ever to focus on our loved ones and the need for peace in the World. We sincerely believe that all the decent citizens of the planet will rally for the right cause. Ukraine.
Ukraine is part of Europe and its citizenry has been trying to detach itself from the abominable legacy of the former Soviet Union and the authoritarianism of the repressive Russian Regime. Today we wanted to put the image of the sculpture in the San Diego Navy Yard that honors the famous spontaneous kiss in Times Square between a returning sailor and a New York City nurse. Voilà !
This great image was taken yesterday by our lovely daughter Noël Marie. C’est beau l’amour !!!
Note. This famous picture in Times Square was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in V-Day 1945 and published for the first time in Life Magazine.
We salute the brave Ukrainian Resistance to the Invading Russian Hordes.
Good morning and Happy Sunday. A few days ago Mario and Luka, the gorgeous twin sons of mother Kristy Pilbeam, daughter of our sister Mary Pilbeam, were born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. When we were 17 years old, we had the privilege of earning a full scholarship to study as a Foreign Exchange Student for six months in Portage, Michigan; the Morton family hosted us and we have kept close over the years. Jim and Mary Morton had three daughters: Mary, Faye and Tricia.
The one closes to Katie’s hand is Mario and the other one is Luka. The one below is Mario.
And this is one is Luka.
Seems incredible that, without being a grandfather yet as both our children are still single, we had the blessing of having great-grandchildren. Welcome to this difficult world, brave twin navigators. Congratulations to their parents, Katie and Jaime, for bringing New Life to this World.
After two years of this horrible pandemic, that has taken so many dear relatives and friends away from us, we are craving for the renewed hope in Mankind that these creatures bring us. Hooray!!!
Thank you God Almighty for granting us the privilege of watching these two marvelous creatures.
Good morning. Today we learned that we have won the prestigious Five Stars Award of Reader Views. The final list of winners will be published in their website in the Spring. We are ecstatic !!!
We are hereby enclosing the critical review of our book, which was very adulatory. Here it is:
Emotional Frustration: The Hushed Plague
Dr. Mario O. Laplume
Outskirts Press (2021)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (01/2022)
“Emotional Frustration: The Hushed Plague,” is written in formal expository prose to highlight
issues that lead to women being frustrated and dissatisfied. A wide range of topics are discussed
around issues relating to women today, and also how they have been impacted in the past.
Women who have made contributions to history are highlighted, and unfortunately, their gifts to
society did not guarantee happy endings for many of them. The author Dr. Mario Laplume also
provides a great deal of insight into why women think differently than men. The physiology of
the brain is used as a very interesting and enlightening example. Disparities involving financial,
educational and career opportunities are reviewed in depth, with women often coming up with
the short end of the stick.
In each section, Laplume also offers “Nuggets of Wisdom,” which are suggestions to help men
best assist their women through difficult situations. These suggestions tend to be a bit humorous,
at least in my eyes as a woman, because if my partner tried to placate me using some of them, it
would not end well for him. But it would be nice to see more men step up to the plate by helping
alleviate some of the stressors in which women are currently dealing, especially when the
woman is working, parenting, and trying to maintain a household.
I found “Emotional Frustration: The Hushed Plague,” to be well crafted and highly informative.
It is clearly well researched and referenced. The topics covered are too numerous to mention, but
I am amazed by how much interesting information is packed between these pages. While there is
a great deal of information being presented, the material is written in a way that makes the
reading enjoyable. I would love to see this be used as a text in a women’s studies class. In my
day, those classes were referred to as “Man Hating 101.” I need to emphasize that this work does
not convey that feeling all, rather it highlights the differences between the two genders and how
historically woman have had to overcome a lot to get where they are today.
“Emotional Frustration: The Hushed Plague,” is definitely highly recommended reading. I would
also suggest offering as an engagement gift to a future groom!
Did you not get a copy of our book yet? What are you waiting for? Here is the hyperlink.