In my book, Celibacy is in discussion, of course, as it is in our days. I married a priest, a Franciscan monk. He left the convent on December 3 in 1965, and our marriage took place on July 14 in 1967. In the time between thoose two dates a lot has happened. Nico was wild and sad when Rome decided that celibacy would not come up for discussion during the Council. For this decision, the pope was rewarded with a warm applause of the many cardinals and bishops present, the mitred elite of the Roman Catholic Churc. In a dead keen poem, Nico addressed them all as ´mitres´. I put his poem down here, and those who want to know more about it can read in my book the chapter ´Drifting on, together´
His poem is as follows, the preview included. I put it in my book, as my son Dirk and his wife Ellen definitely asked me to do so. I am glad with it.
October 13, 1965
On behalf of all the bishops, Cardinal Tisserant has sent
a thanksgiving to the pope
in connection with his running of celibacy.
After the applause and that thank letter, the Church wrote us off.
The eyes closed, the mouths shut, the clothes around the body,
hands off the women, controlling your thoughts.
Save your seed, salt it away or even drag it out.
Eat alone quickly, sleep alone cold.
Warm yourself with wine and brandy,
your blood pressure too low, your heart an infarct.
Thank you, Holy Father,
Thank you, applauding mitres,
That you have explained yourself
How you prefer to sleep and to live
And which ideal of priest life
Hovers on your eyes.
So, your parchment snouts
Really appear to reveal
How you, as celibate dead bodies,
Manage to calm down your sexual urge.
Therefore, nobody in the world may know
How you make it with your conscience
And how your sexuality as a man
Can hold out in a single bed.
Therefore, Mister Bo-peep is unwanted.
The facts shall force you, though
To sing a lower tune.
That will not be a shame for you,
For ‘lower’ does not mean ‘come down a peg or two’.
‘Lower’ is more real, more human, more holy.
May God bless you all, fathers,
I would not treat you wrongly.
You do not know better, so sorry.
However, may God bless in particular
All the priests who yearn for the truth,
The truth of a woman, a lap,
A child and peace with themselves.
In the Olsthoorn-Chronicle of January 2010, I read with great pleasure the next article, written by a subscriber of the Chronicle. He is a distant member of the Olsthoorn Family, named Gijs Olsthoorn. I cite:
I like to go into the article about Miek Olsthoorn-van Rest in the last Olsthoorn-Chronicle. She wrote a book: “My Heaven on Earth”. One example of the English version goes to the Oxford University, for a study about the how and why of people, being raised very religiously, change into disbelievers. This subject is fascinating me. More and more people realize that a belief as “the truth” does not exist. Neveretheless, in these days people need love, respect and a meaningful life. People need sociability, warmth and humanity. Gods Kingdom on earth isn’t a stand-by, but an evolution. Believing is personal, but a human tear is universal. I suppose that the spiritual feed out of Miek Olsthoorn’s book can contribute to a more mature world.
In the same chronicle the editor writes:
I would like to refer to Miek’s website, in which she explains in a splendid and sensitive way what reasons she had to write her book. It is available via any bookshop and via her site. The address is: www.olsthoorn-vanrest.nl
Hello, Aunt Miek,
I want to let you know how very clever I think you are, by having translated this book into English as well now; I can’t match it. Within a few weeks we take the books with us to our nephews in Australia and we do it with great pleasure. They too will look forward to reading your book as soon as possible,we suppose.
Greetings Arie en José
After the coming out of the English version of my book I have been very busy to look for the addresses of the three women who have meant so very much to me after me having read their books. I like to mention their names: Rosemary Radford Ruether (Sexism and God-Talk), Mary Daly (Beyond God the Father) and Elisabeth Schüssler Foirenza (In Memory of Her).Thanks to the help of very nice Dutch women it was possible for me to send most of them a copy of my book. On October 10, in our newspaper was a very good article of my book written by Joost Reijnders, journalist. He mentioned the fact that I have sent a copy of ‘My Heaven on Earth’ to the Oxford University. An Experimental Psychologist is going to study the phenomenon of people having been raised as real believers, like me, change into disbelievers, like me. I am curious to hear something about it.
Last Sunday, the five of us, Nico and me, Hester, Dirk and Ellen, celebrated the coming out of my book in a good restaurant. They gave me flowers, and a nice picture with the title page of my book on it. My plate they decorated with the words, ‘Congratulated on your book!’ And the desert was served with firewerk in the middle of my ice cup. It was wonderful. They were so sweet to me. And proud as well. It emotioned me a lot.
On October 4, 2009, the English edition of my book ‘Mijn hemel op aarde’ is a fact. The Dutch edition was published five years ago on October 4, 2004. I’m very happy that ‘My Heaven on Earth’ is available soon. It took me five years to make this possible. With many thanks to Dirk, Nick and Patrick.
Today, Dirk is helping me to find my way in the beautiful site he has made for me. I have to get used to many things and I’ll have to learn a lot. But I am sure that I will succeed in the end. What would I be and where would I be without him?