Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Belly

White tiles. Every time when I enter a small place with white tiles and dimmed light I'm in the belly of fort Douaumont again. For me it's a fact ... I've no idea how associations are formed.
A couple of years ago I went to Verdun, France. To smell and feel this place where so many French and German soldiers died in World War I.

Patton (1885-1945) calls this place in his book 'War As I Knew It' the "folly of defensive warfare". A place where a couple of 100,000 brave men died to maintain something,  "they could have saved much more easily by attacking".

Aerial view of fort Douaumont before and after the battle of Verdun in 1916:
It was strange to stand on the top of the fort and realize that between 1914 and 1918 it was impossible to enjoy the sun and views like I did. It was a killing zone.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Like Sparrows

Look at the sleeping cat. Look at the tiger chasing a gazelle. Look at sparrows fighting about a piece of bread. Look at Sofia who cheats her boyfriend Júlio with Afonso for jewellery, expensive clothes, traveling and luxury dinners. Look at Júlio who wants to kill Afonso at his 60th birthday ... but in the end kills himself and not Afonso.
What distinguishes 'homo sapiens' from the other species on planet Earth? Suicide! Only human beings are able to commit suicide. No other animal ever will.

Last weekend I read Dulce Maria Cardoso's book 'O Chão dos Pardais' (2009). Translated in English its title is 'The Floor of Sparrows'. (Mark that this book can only be read in Portuguese. It's not translated in any other language, yet.) Lovely book. Full of wisdom. Dulce doesn't condemn or judge. She is registering. She records how people's lives evolve. Can evolve. Usually evolve. And could have evolved completely differently by a breeze. An almost-breeze.

This is one of those books you should read yourselves and not some book review. If not, you would not grasp the opening poem and more than 10 "philosophical" quotes which serve as chapter titles.

This book is not about Afonso who cheats his wife Alice with a girlfriend. This time her name is Sofia. It's not about his wife Alice who has many more reasons than Júlio to kill Afonso. But never found a good alibi to actually do it. It's not about their children Manuel and Clara. Nor about migrant, maid Elizaveta who falls in love with lesbian Clara. Nor about Manuel who after many months finally meets his online chat-lover Lilly.

This book is about the cruel art of desert (read: Mother Nature). The cruel art of human beings - the only species that is able to commit suicide - that fight like sparrows on the ground (read: planet Earth) for ...? Money? Beauty? Privileges? Intelligence? Bread? Or ...?

P.S. The blog above presents my interpretation of Dulce's message in her book. It's not my message ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gleich Nach der Liebe

Daddy. Employee. Manager. Lover. Historian. Excel expert. Business intelligence expert. Reader of books. Listener of music. Just a random pick of the things that define me. I'm not any one of those attributes. I'm all of them! All!

Just like you. Just like every 'homo sapien' on planet Earth.

If the above is true, why is it so hard for people to accept that singers want to be a writer too? Or a writer an actor too? Or an actor, a singer? Or a singer, a diplomat, writer, poet, painter, priest, or ... whatever?

Two weeks ago I heard on the radio a discussion about the Dutch actress Carice van Houten. The same discussion was in my newspaper. She recorded a music album 'See You On The Ice'. Her first one. In a way "people" did not accept her as a singer, she was an actress.

How strange! I bought her album and played it a couple of times in my car. I love her music. Listen to 'Broken Shells' and 'Still I Dream of It'. You will like it.

Something that puzzled me for some weeks. 'Was gleich nach der Liebe komt'? It's German for 'That what comes right after Love'? What do you think: what comes right after love?

P.S. I was so happy to read that Carice loves Brazilian singer Marisa Monte. It's the first time that I have heard her name in my country.