The Nun, None The Wiser

I have watched six episodes of Netflix’s series Warrior Nun since the beginning of last week. That’s five hours of my life I have invested in this story. It is already past the halfway point of the Season One (I assume there will be a next), yet Alba Baptista, the girl who stars as the nun is still not yet a nun in the story and she is still none the wiser about her abilities as a warrior. I should have abandoned this story after the first 90 seconds of episode one, but my curiosity was aroused by the titles of the episodes, taken from verses of the Bible. I assumed they would be indicative of the plot in each episode. I was not wrong but I needed to check with Google to know the hidden meaning behind each one. So far, it has been mostly about the experience of a young virgin girl enthusiastically tasting the joyous and exciting temptations of a rebirth. It took a priest in a Spanish village to come up with the first meaningful sentence in the story so far. That was towards the end of episode 6. “Searching for oneself is a journey for a lifetime. Life is what happens in between.” Later, I dwelled on this and disrupted my sleep. Live, and may we then discover ourselves. Let us not focus too much in discovering who we are – it is more important not to miss out on living it and seizing the opportunities that come our way. The quest to answer who we are is best left till we have lived fully. Already into my sixties, I am none the wiser to know who I really am. I think I am a good guy but maybe my bad looks deceive The Mrs. She is still none the wiser too about who the real me is. Anyway, the final episode of the first season of Warrior Nun is titled Revelation 2:10. If you know the verse, then you’re already wised up to how it will end for the nun. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”

Similarly, I was not enthused after watching the first episode of The Wire. First Son told me many of his friends reckon it is one of the best crime drama TV series ever made. It was based on the lives of real gangsters, so let us give it a chance to develop. Aren’t we curious about how the others live? I am prepared to risk or invest another chunk of my life just in case they are right. In one crime scene investigation, two detectives were figuring out how the victim died. I kid you not, the scriptwriter must have been on holidays the night before filming it. Maybe he was involved in a domestic quarrel and the only word in his mind was that four-letter word. That whole scene was just too easy for the two actors, all they had to remember in their conversation was that one word. F..k! Indeed! F..k, f..k, f..k f..k, f..k, f..k f..k f..k f..k, f..k f..k, f..k, f..k and so on. I was worried that if I kept following this series, my vocabulary would be drastically influenced by the scriptwriter or by the real gangsters. Both bad. I am still invested in this story after five episodes. When do we decide enough is enough? How do we become wise enough to quit before we lose even more? This time it may be precious time, but what about next time? Is anything more precious than time?

Investments. I am none the wiser also about how to make money make money. What about the waterfront land I bought for my retirement? When do we give up on duds? The Mrs often cried about my investment flops. For crying out loud, why have I not grown wiser? It needed her to threaten me with divorce if I did not divorce myself from the sharemarket. With global-warming, waterfront land will be the first to go underwater. Will this investment of mine, like so many others, also go under? The same goes for those so-called blue-chip shares. Time has chipped away their value so much that surely now is the time to let them go? Some of those shares still buried in my metal cabinet are of historical value only, as the once-respectable companies have gone bust a very long time ago. That was after the top executives got their big payouts and bonuses, of course. The paper certificates are worth less than toilet paper, for they are too coarse and hard on my body. Will somebody just tell me to bin them? I am none the wiser as to how to destroy this historical evidence of my ineptness in making money make money.

The nun, none the wiser

Give the story a chance to develop. It is rated 5-stars. It must be good, right? If we abandon it too soon, we might miss out on a good thing. Just continue for a little while longer. It will only get better. The best is yet to come! The same sentiments can be applied to friendships and relationships. Should we even begin a relationship? Is anyone ever worth it? There are so many books written about the incompatibility between men and women – we are planets apart. I mean, geesh. These days we are not even supposed to call our wife “wife”. The women think that is misogynistic. When the woman marries, she is upset she is suddenly someone’s wife. “You belong to him. He owns you!” As God said in Genesis 3:16, “I will make your pain in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” “Wife” has a weak-sounding “f” that does not do it for the modern woman. They do not intend to be mere chattels! They feel it is their time to rule and not be ruled. “Phuieeettt, do not call me your wife! I AM YOUR PARTNER.” When do we decide enough is enough? How long do we hold on to someone hoping that their incompatibility will disappear or the sparks, long gone, will come back? When should we quit a marriage? For decades, my habitual quirks must have annoyed The Mrs to such an extent that you would think she would have left ages ago. The loud noises I make in the toilet when I wake up, clearing my throat is what I mean. When I spit out the wastes after brushing my teeth, there is that loud growl accompanied by a necessary sound effect that I feel obliged to produce. “Kaurrghh…… Phuieeett!!” I am none the wiser why everything about me annoys everyone. Urghhling.

The other need many of us have is the need to win. My footy club must win every match they play. I wake up during the most unearthly time of the night to barrack for a team of players who may or may not have the interest to play at their best on the night. Yet, there I would be, in my pyjamas, shivering from the cold only the middle of a winter night can deliver. Cheering for my team, Manchester United. Inconsequential to my life really, whether they win or lose. Yet, the need to win or break records is in my psyche. I just went for a pee and strangely, I felt pleased the phone rang, yet again. The record of my phone ringing every time I am inside the toilet remains intact. Since I began working from home in February, my phone rings every time I am in the toilet. I am none the wiser why maintaining that streak pleases me.

The phenomenon of the tiger parent also stems from the need to win. A long time ago, I was with my family on the backstage of the Opera House. We were still celebrating Second Son’s big win in a national music competition when the lights were being turned off. The security guards knew how to disperse a party without uttering a single word. We all knew it was time to leave. But, I noticed one old Asian man sprawled his hunched sad torso on the stairs outside the green rooms. Totally dejected, the man was being comforted by a friend. Later, I found out he was the tiger father of one of the competitors. I reckoned he took the loss much more badly than his prodigious son. Many years later, his son quit as a lawyer and pursued his passion for music instead. I know of another who changed her profession as a hospital doctor in New York and realised her dream to be a stage actor instead. I am none the wiser why these tiger parents would damage their children’s dreams or passions by imposing their own unrealised goals on them. Why live a dream through their child’s life? It is right to expose our children to as many extracurricular activities as they like but the idea of letting them try a wide and diverse range of disciplines and interests should be to stoke their curiosity. Surely we are not to expect them to excel in everything, especially when they show absolutely no desire to want to continue. As with investing time on the Warrior Nun, sometimes we just do not know when to tell ourselves enough is enough. We ought to quit something or keep away from someone we don’t feel right about before we discover that we have invested too much that it hurts to quit. But, don’t ask me. Like the nun, I am none the wiser. When is the right time and which is the right one.

I have to add it is the same thing about weeding. Weeding the vegetable patch, I can understand. we don’t want those friggin’ weeds to be nourished with the detritus from our compost bin. It takes a season to prepare a good batch of compost; it would be foolish of us not to pull out the weeds! But, weeding the lawn? Why, right? Green grass is all we want to remind ourselves of the wealthy lords and barons of old England. Is it our sub-conscious aspiring to keep up with the Joneses of old, in actual fact, God’s soldiers – The Crusaders. The moment we pull out one little weed from our lawn is the moment we dedicate a lifetime to pulling the damn weeds. It’s just like pissing in the rain. The futility of aiming in the right direction to avoid my trousers getting wet has not escaped me. I am also none the wiser why The Mrs continues to pull out the weeds from our front yard. Even ma, at 97, is known to be highly addicted to the task of pulling little green seedlings out from her lawn. To me, green is green. It’s the colour we want.

In episode 9, the penultimate, I was flabbergasted the angel rescued by the nun justified the use of fear to gain power over the weak.

“Faith is based upon that which cannot be proven.”

“For without faith, there is no manipulation. Without manipulation there is no fear.”

“And without fear, there is no power.”

Blasphemous, I thought. I am none the wiser why the angel would voice these ideas to the nun. Maybe the final episode will reveal all. I can’t wait to know the truth! Revelation 2:10 can’t screen quick enough!

A teaser from episode 10.

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