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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

“Drops in the ocean of bile”/“Kapi u oceanu žuči” Don Branko Sbutega

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

Although I remember very clearly that my first meeting with Don Branko took place on October 31st, 1991, the other meetings did not remain so clearly engraved for me and I have problems recalling not the events, but their connection with the time scale. The reason for my writing about Don Branko is, among other things, the deep need to preserve the memories of that extraordinary man who left an indelible mark on me, but also to share those memories with my readers.

I compiled a book in which I collected some of his texts in 1992. I was 25 then and today I stand behind my words written in the prologue of the book I called “Drops in the Ocean of Bile,” after one of Don Branko’s stories. Here is a paragraph of what I wrote then with Don Branko's quotes inserted into my writing in quotation marks:


Reading articles (reflections, sermons ?!), by the popular priest Don Branko Sbutega, published in Croatian weekly and daily newspapers, I decided to collect them and introduce them in a book. I am not ashamed, I don't hide my enthusiasm, my emotional excitement, the deep impression aroused in me because I was, and still am, "just eager, hungry to death for sun-drenched people, radiant humanity."

I read the first texts at a time when our reality was "maybe not the ninth, but the seventh circle of hell - for sure - it is;" when all public media were focused on killings, massacres, deaths and hatred. Man as an individual has lost all meaning, and our lives seem to have lost all value.

Don Branko Sbutega wrote humanly honestly; "perhaps this is what has put all of us as individuals in a position where we don’t have to and almost can’t lie," priestly treasure; "I hate no one and as long as I live I will defend myself with my love," suffering painfully; "I speak from a wounded heart," rightly directing; " let your righteous anger never be clouded by the pleasure of another's torment," poetically warm; "You wonderful stars of my darkness… while you are in the sky, my living space will be…" And that's exactly how it should have been.

KL

At our first meeting, I told Don Branko that I was a child from a mixed marriage of a Serbian mother and a Croatian father, and to my surprise he said, "So am I." When asked about it in an interview, he said:

"I was lucky that it was precisely because of my conditioning that I acquired something that I would not give up - especially today, in this situation. And when I should be born again, I would pray to God to incarnate me in mixing. I say this of course as a personal experience, by no means as a recipe. Serbian nationalism began to burn in 1990, but Croatian nationalism also began to burn, and there is certainly much more nationalism in Croatia at this time than I would ever like. But I know that I can't dream what I like, but I can endure and see what it is and as an individual I can oppose it in my own, effective way.” Don Branko Sbutega August 29, 1994.


I will end this article on Don Branko with his quote on human freedom:

“Freedom is eminently a matter for every human being. Man is irreducible to geography, except naturally when he himself agrees to it. But then that consent negates his freedom. Like when he agrees to be reduced to race, gender, nation, and even religion, why not?

The man is reducible though because otherwise where do so many pimps come from. When a pimp leads then the leader is a pimp. Whoever is looking for an easy woman or an easy life will always find them. I wouldn’t give a damn for the unbearable ease of living. I am voting for an unbearable difficulty that does not seek relief in the illusions of joy but awaits it from where our soul has sprung up.” Don Branko Sbutega


Love,

Kristina

Sunday, October 31st, 2021


“Kapi u oceanu žuči”


Premda se vrlo jasno sjećam da se prvi susret sa Don Brankom dogodio 31. listopada 1991. ostali susreti mi nisu ostali toliko jasno uklesani i imam problema da vratim u sjećanje ne događaje, već njihovu poveznicu sa vremenskom skalom. Razlog mog pisanja o Don Branku je, između ostalog, duboka potreba da sačuvam sjećanja na tog izvanserijskog čovjeka koji je u meni ostavio neizbrisiv trag, ali i da ta sjećanja podijelim sa svojim čitaocima.

Knjigu u kojoj sam sakupila neke njegove tekstove sastavila sam 1992. gdine. Tada sam imala 25 godina i danas stojim iza svojih riječi napisanih u predgovoru knjige koju sam nazvala “Kapi u oceanu žuči,” po jednoj od Don Brankovih priča. Evo jednog paragrafa onog sto sam tada pisala koji bih i danas potpisala. U svoje sam rečenice ubacivala Don Brankove riječi i te su njegove riječi u navodncima:


Čitajući članke (razmišljanja, propovjedi?!), popularnog svećenika don Branka Sbutege, objevljene u hrvatskim tjednim i dnevnim novinama, odlučila sam sakupiti ih i uvesti u knjigu. Ne stidim se, ne krijem oduševljenje, emotivnu razdraganost, duboki dojam pobuđen u meni jer bila sam, a to sam i sada “samo željan(a), do smrti gladan(a) osunčanih ljudi, zračećg čovještva.”

Prve tekstove pročitala sam u vrijeme kad je naša stvarnost nalikovala “možda ne devetom, ali sedmom krugu pakla – sasvim sigurno – jeste;” kad su svi javni mediji bili usredotočeni na ubijanja, masakriranja, smrti i mržnje. Čovjek kao jedinka izgubio je svaki smisao, a naši životi, činilo se, svaku vrijednost.

Don Branko Sbutega je pisao ljudski iskreno “možda je upravo to dovelo sve nas kao pojedince u poziciju da se ne moramo pa skoro i ne možemo lagati;” svećenićki blago “ ja nikog ne mrzim i dok god sam živ branit ću se svojom ljubavlju;” patnički bolno “govorim iz ranjenog srca”; pravedno usmjeravajući “neka tvoju pravednu srdžbu nikad ne pomuti naslada tuđom mukom;” pjesnički toplo “ Vi divne zvijezde moga mraka…dok je vas na nebu mog životnog prostranstva bit će…” I baš tako je trebalo.

KL


Kod našeg prvog susreta rekla sam don Branku da sam dijete iz miješanog braka Srpkinje i Hrvata, i na moje iznenađenje rekao je “I ja sam.” Kad su ga u jednom interviju pitali o tome rekao je:

“ Imao sam sreću da sam upravo uvjetovanošću svog porijekla stekao nešto čega se – pogotovo danas, u ovoj situaciji – ne bih odrekao. I kada bih se ponovo trebao roditi molio bih Boga da me inkarnira u miješanju. To naravno govorim kao osobno iskustvo, nikako kao recept. Srpski nacionalizam počeo je paliti 1990. godine, ali počeo je paliti i hrvatski nacionalizam i sigurno da u Hrvatskoj u ovome trenutku ima mnogo više nacionalizma nego bih ja ikada poželio. Ali znam da ne mogu snivati ono što mi je milo, nego podnositi i gledati to što jest i kao pojedinac tome se suprostaviti na svoj, efikasan način.” Don Branko Sbutega 29. kolovoza 1994.


Ovaj članak o Don Branku završit ću njegovim citatom o slobodi čovjeka:

“Sloboda je eminentno stvar svakoga čovjeka. Čovjek je nesvodljiv na geografiju, osim naravski kad sam na to pristane. Ali onda mu taj pristanak dokida slobodu. Kao i kad pristane da bude sveden na rasu, spol, naciju, pa i religiju, zašto ne?

Čovjek je svodljiv ipak jer inače odakle toliko svodnika. Kad svodnik predvodi onda je predvodnik svodnik. Ko traži laku žensku ili laki život uvijek će ih naći. Nebih dao ni paru za nepodnošljivu lakoću življenja. Glasam za nepodnošljivu teškoću koja ne traži olakšanja u prividima radosti, već je isčekuje od tamo gdje je izvrela i naša duša.” Don Branko Sbutega


S ljubavlju,

Kristina

Nedelja, 31. listopada 2021.





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