Arquivo da categoria: Metapost

About the right to be naïve

Every family has some kind of drama to tell. Some dark weird story about how things ended up the way they were the moment you tried to understand the dynamics you`re in. My family has a plot like that. It`s somewhat like opening the Wikipedia page of us and reading the definition section.

My grandfather was in World War II and met my grandmother after running away from Yugoslavia. They married and came to Brazil, then went to Uruguay, Paraguay and back to Brazil. My mother was born along the way, in Uruguay.

Countless times I`ve heard about how hard it was for my grandfather to run from the Nazis. While I was a kid, this was my favorite story and my grandfather was something like my personal WWII hero. My grandmother, in the other hand was a part of the Italian aristocracy and wanted to remain that way, even living in a small village near a beach in Brazil.

How hard was that? Besides the heroic history of fleeing Europe, how much of themselves they lost on the way? While I grew, I saw countless fights, sadness, and bitterness arise in their eyes. As an adolescent, I tried to keep in touch with them, but the fact that they were stuck in a cycle that would never end made me move away from them. The toll of being in a war and moving to a country with such a different culture was just too high. Slowly I saw my grandparents drawn in time while becoming ghosts of themselves. I just could not stand being around them anymore.

For long years, silence was all we traded and this month I finally felt it was not enough. I took a plane and went for a weekend with them, on an attempt to jumpstart a mostly dead relationship. Upon getting there I saw what I`ve already seen thousand times. A sad old couple stuck on an emotional limbo, punishing one another for the loss of everything they once were. I asked my grandfather to take me to the beach so I could take some pictures (and some air). He drove me to a far place on the beach were he said he did some exercises occasionally. “I just come here and hang in this tree for a while, to warm up for my walk”. I turned, camera in hands (I was shooting the sea) and I saw my grandfather, hanging on a tree branch looking at me and smiling.

And I shot and I cried inside.

I mean, WHAT WAS THAT? The bitterness, gone. His face had a genuine smile and I glimpsed happiness. My old grandfather was still alive inside that shell. The whole thing lasted a minute, maybe, but it made my trip worth every second.

In the end, all the sadness I carried, for being so far and for the impossibility to take them out of the path they`re stuck in, diminished a little. No one can change the past, and no one should fight another person`s fight in its place. One can, however, and should fight, fiercely, for the right of someone`s soul to remain naïve and alive, even after 90 years and a war.

When she looks back

Sometime ago I could not understand people`s relationship with dogs or other animals. It all sounded a bit stupid to me. When I met my wife, about five years ago, she was mourning the loss of her dog, Brida. I saw her cry countless times and while I`d always stand on her side, I could not help but think it was a bit of an over-reaction to a dogs death. I mean, come on, it`s an animal, like a cow I`ve just eaten for lunch.

About a year and a half later we were about to marry (not that I knew it at the time) and she told me I`d have to choose between having a child and having a dog. I did not intend to have any of them. The last living thing that depended on me was a Bonsai tree, and it almost died before I gave it to an old man that lived in my building. Then he died. The idea of having a child terrified me (did I just use the past tense? I`m sorry for that, the correct tense is terrifies me to the bones). I could write so many lines about the reasons why having a child sounded like a bad idea that I`m afraid it would become an anti-bible of parenthood.

We decided for a dog, and she bought it while I was travelling, about 6.000 miles away. Tell me about smooth moves. When I got back the puppy already knew where to pee, not to cry at night and not to bark. At the time, I liked the puppy but yet lacked the slowly developing love that came with time. Day by day, I have gotten to know the puppy better. It`s stubbornness and anxiety resembled a lot my own. One day it woke up sick and I saw myself rushing to the veterinary. No f*cks were given to traffic lights that day… When, already one year old, our dog went to castration I could not work. The idea of losing it was unbearable. I only felt some peace of mind when I saw it.

One day I looked at its eyes and it became a she. I could not deny anymore that inside that little furball lived a being. She is not as sentient as we are. She lives in the present and her notion of causality is very limited. Papers were written with graphs explaining how dogs developed and adapted to human companionship. They began to express feelings and emotions. I`ve, contrariwise, decided to leave the techynerd talk and stick to the world I gazed through my eyes.

That world, for a few moments a day, limits itself into seeing, feeling and loving this little creature that seems to live exclusively for me. During that moments, I just make sure that while I look to those big brown eyes, I`m living exclusively for her.

“Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.”

Edward Lorenz

“Chaos: When th…

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