He saw how lost, and curious I looked, and so he walked in my direction. I had gotten into that atrium for I was famished, but I ended up finding nourishments that were not on the menu. One could listen to the dignified silence in that random cubicle on the threshing floor of a Nepalese restaurant in Vienna. It was a chilly day, but those men ignored the feeling of having cold extremities, for they were exceedingly devoted to warming the world with philosophies of love.
While the other monks, in some trance, were drawing sand mandalas on a large board, I found myself flying beyond the colors and I must hardly have hidden in my gaze what I was experiencing inside. He spoke in a calm voice, nearly whispering. …
In Budapest, you can feel the pressure of a dictatorial, nationalist regime, who tries to alter the past to its own benefit.
But there are activists who don’t give up on keeping alive the respect for the victims of the history of a country who seems to have forgotten its legacy.
We stayed at a friends’ place, a couple who has been working in the city for a year. They are both Portuguese, working at a multinational firm with some compatriots, and have a sponsored trip home once a month.
The place where they live seems straight out of a classic Italian movie set. As we go through a worn-out wooden gate, a huge terrace circled by imponent balconies with plants on the eaves, give it a sublime touch that, from the outside, make it look like the entrance to an old house. …
The Miljacka river, crossing the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, runs independently of what it witnesses. The low, blurred water, where hundreds of crows bathe, has seen the history of humanity take many turns on its shores.
We woke up in Sarajevo. The basement turned improvised accommodation is located in the old part of town. We woke up with the Muslim calling for the morning prayer. There are mosques all over the city — more than one hundred, we would come to know.
We woke up in Sarajevo and the biggest question on my mind was how to start writing about this place. …
28th September 2067
I am writing you because it’s already late, I don’t know what is awaiting me, or what I have left, and I feel there are things I would like you to know, things I don’t want you to repeat with the inconsequent recklessness of the young age of an imprudent kid who thinks he has all the time left.
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the elder.
I would lose myself in the wisdom that time had carved on their skin, in the years that their fixed eyes saw pass in front of them each time they told a story. …
Back in 2012, I remember being in Galicia, with water up to my knees, speaking with someone to whom I wished very well. We were agitating the water with our feet — the waters of the Galician sea are clear and let us see our bodies’ reflection. We argued about the theories of the end of the world that so many people preached.
It’s curious how, every once in a while, the human being has a huge need to announce an end.
On a book from one of the loves of my life, “Death with Interruptions” by José Saramago, he raises the huge question of what is, after all, the essence of life made of, if not of the existence of death. …
Of all that is past, you were the only fragment of time that deleted me from history.
Deleting a message I didn’t like doesn’t mean I forgot I read it, and it doesn’t make me believe it hurts less, either. But I respect it, like I try to respect everything I don’t understand.
I grew up with an immense heat inside me. It starts in the chest and I feel it spread through each vein, emerging in each pore. It’s a heat that isn’t always comfortable — it burns at times, suffocates. I always want to live everything as if I can’t stop to breathe, or to absorb all the particles of fresh air that each new experience brings. …
Today I met a 60-something lady who never fell in love. She’s married, has kids, and is one of those people full of light, that hug you just by looking at you.
When she was a teenager, her parents arranged her marriage, no one ever cared about her opinion, as expected in arranged marriages.
I had never crossed paths with anyone whose emotional freedom had been taken, let alone as a child. I was paralyzed.
Of course, we are all aware that there were (and there still are, in many parts of the world), girls that are forced to get married with men they didn’t choose. …
I’ve always had a lot of headaches, since I was a kid. Later came the migraines with everything else that comes with it. At the age of 17, during national exams season of my 2ndyear of high school, the characteristics of my pain changed to the point I couldn’t sleep. I even had an episode during which I couldn’t see for a few seconds, things that I later understood were caused by panic attacks. It was more than clear that I should go to the doctor.
Appointment scheduled in the S. João Hospital, my mom and I went together by train from Resende to Porto, cool and calm — I remember that I didn’t even bring my wallet with me. The plan was to go the hospital, then have a walk downtown where I would, as usual, buy the ticket to Paredes de Coura Festival, and there we would happily back to Resende. …