Nail cutting

Everyday is woken up with the mission of seeing something being accomplished. Something that is never fulfilled if not exceeded.

Photo by Bernardo Fortuna Rebelo e Silva

All of the dreams of our inner child become a far too serious matter, that one wants to see realized instead of wanting it to be only dreamt. And the strategy outlined by this adult child that we are, even more naive than an infant, is to see the hours perform the morose work of a reality that lives too far, that it will always live: that of happiness. We ask ourselves, in our adult years, to excel in deeds and make those deeds visible to all who can see us.

We promise that tomorrow we will study everything, that we will become experts; that for hobbies we will only have useful things that concern the construction of our fantastic character; we promise that we will learn various instruments and read all the classics, that we will be present in all the workshops, lectures, and we will only err on laziness.

Photo by Bernardo Fortuna Rebelo e Silva

We promise the impossibilities that the exterior asks of us, so that we know how to display ourselves and stand out as something higher. But this thing is always low, vile, unkempt of sense beyond the constant quest for approval from our peers.

The reality of existence, however, differs from the projected reality of existing for others. That is why we have failed to reproduce these goals. So we procrastinate and avoid looking at the deeds of others, because they remind us of the failure we draw from ourselves.

And what’s left is just a constant, indelible, restlessness. Every moment of what is not to produce us becomes wrong, insufficient and shameful. And now we either live buried in work that tells us we’re worth something, or we live in the depressed pit of not accepting ourselves as something of value as we try to divert the attention of ourselves.

Here, in northern Bali, where work is scarce because food is always waiting to be harvested, because children self-manage and everything is done well enough, there is only, yet again, restlessness.

Because there is not enough internet, or books that can be read, I have no choice but to lie down with it and learn to sleep without orders for the morning.

Photo by Bernardo Fortuna Rebelo e Silva

I have gained no other enjoyment than the genuine attention to the passing life; the concentration in the light that slowly flees, the insects that go by, and the distant music that is heard behind the mountains.

I have no other purpose than to exist now as I am and could only be. And cutting my nails or cleaning my skin is the honest job I have left because its purposes lies in itself.

Livelihood becomes, therefore, a careful work of art that can not be shared and is extinguished and renewed every second.


Bernardo Fortuna Rebelo e Silva

Bernardo is the winner of the second edition of the Nova SBE Gap Year Scholarship. He will be travelling for the next seven months to Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and India, hoping to settle inner and outer disputes to then start his Masters’ degree in Economics at Nova SBE. During his Bachelor’s program, Bernardo never settled and tried to expand his own vision of Economics and the world while sharing that same need with society through the Economics Without Borders’ Club (Coletivo Economia Sem Muros). Not having borders himself, he made his Erasmus program in Rome, making sure that he would not starve and that he would create a strong academic relationship with his Professors. Whilst finishing his Bachelors, he worked hard with a RE/MAX agency in his hometown — Covilhã — to know the vicissitudes of real estate Economics.

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