Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Talking with Papouli
To the town, he is the local 'crazyman' who wonders about, at times engaged in conversation with himself. An elderly man with olive complexion, he is seen by some as a hopeless reject. Tonight I sat with him who I refer to as 'Papouli'. We chatted about religion, politics, and his past in the Vietnam War. What a beautiful man, but with such a broken spirit. The psychiatrists and others have said here is a man beyond reason, a schizo with no hope. Yet, I approached him with compassion, and found our conversation most relevant and of interest. Here is a man who has seen the pain of the world and felt it too! We had a wonderful exchange and as he parted he thanked me and said thanks for being there and for a good conversation. Would many even dare speak to him? Would any dare to be his acquiantance, much less his friend? I do not see a crazy man but a man who knows suffering, a man who knows loneliness, a man who knows what man inflicts upon his fellow man. But in him, I see hope. In our conversation, he gives me the vision of what we must change to truly be human and to love again.