Archive for the Tribute Category

November Mist

Posted in rock the cage, Tribute with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2009 by Silvia

It was a freezing, gloomy morning, a true November sunrise. The mist was almost impenetrable, thick and heavy. In the roads, could be heard the tired, still forced, steps of who was going to work. Sometimes, a light showed up in the mist, trying to get through. It was the Militia’s car, patrolling the roads, assuring that no-one caused any problem.
 
Behind the grey buildings, with no colour or joy, all alike, in the closed corner where the back gate of an “Alimentara” (food shop), we could see a queue that seemed to have no end; a long queue of women and children, and very few men. Three people could stand side by side. Some were standing, but the most of them were sitting close to each other because of the freezing, cruel cold of the dawn. It was still dark and the mist felt like an ash cloud; there wasn’t a single light shining in the streets, not even in the windows. This was the system. Saving energy was the rule. Only the common citizen had to save, though; the direction of the Party and their relatives lived a different life, without the lack of essentials to the daily survival that was normal to everybody else.
 
In the second row of this queue, there was an old lady sitting. She had white hair, a tired face from all the suffering she had endured all her life, but her eyes were an angel’s, staring at the little boy who was still sleeping, holding her arm.
A few metres ahead, the gate moved, the heavy locks opened slightly. The crowd agitated a little, in the queue, but no-one abandoned the position where they were.
 
Above the gate, a weak light flamed and a strong, cold voice of a woman yelled. That voice had no feelings; it was like the voice of an officer in the Army, yelling at his privates.
“Attention!”
Silence.
“Today, maybe I decide to open the door and to distribute the oil and the sugar!”
The expectation raised, still everybody kept silent.
“I still don’t know if it’s enough for everybody!” she continued yelling. “I just know that, if I hear a loud voice, someone yelling, a complaint or a pushing, I close immediately and I don’t open any more this week! You can be sure that I’m not playing around! Yesterday I didn’t open because I was still nervous from the day before, when that pregnant woman bothered me.”
She waited.
“You shouldn’t have children if you can’t wait for your turn. But you want more children, to receive more ration! Here, that woman won’t come any more, because if she does I will give her nothing!”
Indifferent to the desperate people looking at her, she still said:
“That’s it! Is that understood?…”
Nobody answered.
“Now you must wait, because I’m going to drink my coffee, so that I can be in a good mood. Any questions?… Uh?”
A man’s voice sounded, from behind, hidden by the morning mist.
“With respect…”
“Say!” she yelled. “Quickly; I don’t have time!”
“The ration for each person… Is it the same?”
“Now, that” she said, exasperated. “Of course it is the same! As to me, I think it is already too much!”
The ration per person is a half litre of oil, and one kilogram of sugar per month.
“Sorry!” the man replied. “Thank you!”
The man sat down. His leg was amputated below the knee.
 
The child, who was sleeping before in his grandmother’s arms, was already awake, listening to the conversation. He was five, maybe six years old, an age at which children, nowadays, still don’t understand much, but at that time children were forced to grow up and become more mature with the problems of life and the need for survival.
 
The little boy was thinking that his granny was already there for two days. He had gone to his neighbour’s house to eat and sleep, but the old lady had stayed there all the time, to avoid losing her turn.
His granny was already old, around seventy, tired and hardened by the storms of life, but she had a heart full of love and sensibility.
The boy was also thinking “Could it be that all the world lives this way?”
He knew nothing of the world outside the walls; nor knew anybody. People just weren’t informed. Who had a T.V. or a radio could only listen to the local news.
 
The iron gate was closed and the light was turned off. In the cold of the morning, people sat down once more, hoping that finally, in that day, they would receive the monthly ration.
The child didn’t how long it elapsed. He saw the grandmother fall asleep. He stood there, awake, waiting for the moment when he would hear the iron gates opening.
The gate opened once more and the light cut through the mist.
The aggressive woman’s voice sounded again, stridently.
 
“Come on! Everybody stand up!”
“A queue of two! Not a word!… Move!”
The child stood up and pulled his grandmother.
“Let’s go, granny! It opened!”
The old lady didn’t answer and didn’t move.
“Come on, granny! You can sleep at home, afterwards!”
Nothing.
 
The little boy bended his knees to hold her, trying to wake her up. But, suddenly, he stopped. The tears filled his eyes and he screamed, with a voice that refused to come out.
 
“Granny!”
His grandmother didn’t answer… She died.
 
Another child, around the same age, two rows backwards, held tightly his grandmother’s arm, feeling his throat tied and his eyes flooding with tears. He looked at his granny, feeling the fear, in his heart, that one day, it might happen to her.
 
This second child was my husband.
  
In memory of all those who lived and died in dictatorship, around the world.
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Happy Birthday America!

Posted in Life, Tribute with tags , , , , , on July 4, 2009 by Silvia
United States Declaration of Independence
Image via Wikipedia

  

The New Colossus

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

(Emma Lazarus)

 

      I know that you probably saw these images and words a thousand times. I know that is nothing new. But I can imagine the amazement and the enchantment in the spirit of the poor immigrant who arrived to the harbour for the first time, after a long and  troublesome journey through the Atlantic, and saw this solemn Lady there, in the horizon, lighting the way to Freedom. What a feeling…

      I was always fascinated by its extraordinary symbology, ever since I read, when I was a teenager, the books of the series Patricia, by Julie Campbell (why do the editions have different names from country to country?!), and here is what I learned:

      The Lady Liberty holds a torch in her right hand. I like to think that it lights the way to Freedom, but it goes a little further than that – it represents the knowledge, the forward-thinking. Go as far as you can, reach as high as you can. The rays of its crown are the symbols of the world, seven continents and seven seas. The number seven is magic in itself and has a powerful influence throughout the History.  The crown has twenty five windows – the twenty five gemstones we can find on Earth. 

      As I couldn’t find the list of these gemstones, I asked my son , who is an “expert” in Mineralogy, and he said : “Diamond, Ruby, Saphire, Rubelite, Verdelite, Jade, Emmerald, Agatha, Amethist, Opal, Aquamarine, Pirope, Lazurite, Zircon, Turquoise, Spinnel, Topaz, Iolite, Tanzanite, Charoite, Labradorite, Morganite, Bixbite, Andalusite, Rhodochrosite. The organic gemstones are Pearl and Amber.

      In her left hand, she holds the “tablet of the supreme architect”, which represents the Law and the Declaration of Independence. We can read in this tablet the inscription, in roman numbers, of the date July, 4, 1776. But what I really love about the statue of Liberty are the broken chains in her feet – the liberation from oppression, the end of slavery?…

      As I was looking for meanings, I read in the www.archives.gov a sentence which brings a lot of goodness to me: “The people of the United States are joined together, not by religion, race or genealogy, but by a shared  set of beliefs about Freedom.”

 

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A tribute to the anonymous Worker

Posted in rock the cage, Tribute with tags , , , , on July 3, 2009 by Silvia
A young mill worker, unknown city in the Unite...
Image via Wikipedia

Before I tell you this story, before I pay my tribute to the anonymous Worker, I must make clear that I’m not a Communist. I have no political affiliation whatsoever and I suppose I’ll never have, until there comes a political genius, with the ability to solve all the issues in “It’s so difficult to rule the world”. No. I want only to praise all those beautiful, extraordinary people that, anonymously, make this world go round, day by day, with their effort and, many times, sacrifice. All those, to whom every word could count (and does) and… I wish I could help each and every Charlie of this life!
I must say also that this is not my story. My story has much in common with this one, but also many differences.

(…)
Charlie was a good boy. Raised with love, he was gentle and cared about the people around him. He liked to study, but he had to leave school at age sixteen, because his parents couldn’t afford to keep him studying any longer. He found a job in a production line – a huge factory that supplied materials to several stores. At the beginning, Charlie felt enthusiasm and happiness, because he was working and supporting his family, who lived with so many difficulties. Years went by…
Charlie met a girl. They married and had their babies. Years went by…

And Charlie stood there, faithful to his workplace, loyal to his employers. He was good, dedicated and always tried his best. He worked more hours than he was contracted to, just to get his work finished. He always smiled, and was thrilled to help everybody else. He did everything, he knew where everything was, he was the first to come and the last to go. No-one ever noticed Charlie. No-one ever smiled to him, no-one ever said thank you (coming from the heart), no-one ever said “Good morning!” or “See you tomorrow, Charlie!” Many people didn’t even know his name.
Years went by…

(…)
Charlie’s trousers are torn. The soles of his shoes are broken – there is no money to buy new ones. His jacket is old, worn out for so many times being washed: unstitched in the edges. The gloves, that he uses to protect his hands, are ragged. Charlie’s hands, frozen; their skin, dry and cracked, from so many times passing from the heat to the cold and from the cold to the heat. The fingertips bleed, with broken, colourless nails. His face ages, little by little. The eyes deepen, dark rings around them, of tiredness. He can no longer see very well – the green becomes blue. “Keep working! You still have five to do!” Five, in hundred, how much is that?… His feet burn; three thousand and four hundred steps a day. They get water blisters and fungus, in those combat shoes. “Why do you walk so slowly?” “I’m going to make a race with you…” “You might as well race me. You don’t do this all day, all week, all month, all year, all life…” The hunger contracts his stomach, his hands and legs start shaking. “Four hours are gone… I need a break!” “What are you talking about? You can go only when everybody else comes back!” But… “It’s my right!” “No! You can’t!” When the break finally comes, bread and butter – with the Minimum Wage and a family to support, can’t be much more than that.

(…)
Charlie makes his parts, barehanded. Hundreds, thousands of times… Twist and turn. The wrist hurts – effort trauma. It hurts so much that he almost can’t move his hand. Charlie goes to the GP. The doctor gives him painkillers – no treatment. “Oh, don’t worry! It will disappear…” Shall it? “Why were you absent from work?” I hurt my wrist… My child is ill… My father died… “You cannot be absent from work!” Disciplinary meeting. “If you are absent from work once more, you’ll be sacked!” His son breaks his head. He has a fever. And there Charlie is, with his heart in his hands, crying and working, crying and working. “Be happy that you have a job!”
Silence. The machines stopped. How strange, how spooky is this silence.

One day, Charlie asks for retirement – he needs to give medical evidence to get it! And he leaves the factory for the last time, with the knapsack on his back, a sad look in his eyes. No-one even bothers to tell him goodbye…

Wise Old Man
Image by TeeJe via Flickr
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A prayer to the grannies

Posted in Life, Tribute, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by Silvia

Little one

Mother of God

Mother of God

“You are tiny and you laugh… The brief mouth
Is a small rose idyll…
Stem of fragile and mimosa iris!
Safe of kisses done dream and snow!

Candy chimera that our soul owns
To the Sky that thus makes you so gracious!
How in this bitter and tormenting life
it made you be born as a light perfume!

Seeing your look makes people well…
Smells and knows, our mouth, the flowers
When it says your name, softly…

Tiny the Mother of God dreamed you,
May she move away from you those grieves
That made of me this, who I am!”

Florbela Espanca

An Angel in our lives

An Angel in our lives

To those who walked before us in this path of rocks and flowers, who cried our tears,
who laughed our joy, who gave us the most precious knowledge and prepared the way to our happiness.
Thank you for your blessings.
Wish you were here

Wish you were here

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Michael Jackson died.

Posted in Tribute with tags , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2009 by Silvia

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson via last.fm

Michael Jackson Dies In Los Angeles At Age 50

Shared via AddThis

Michael Jackson died.

I cannot help feeling a touch of sorrow in my heart. I wasn’t properly his fan – he had some musics I liked and some I didn’t, but one thing is absolutely uncontestable: he made a mark in the History of Music.

He was a fascinating young boy, who created a unique style of dancing, and a man whom the world could not take its eyes of. Controversial, intense, unsatisfied, a mixture of the image of a brave and within, a child that couldn’t help fearing the invisible enemy.
I think that very few people knew who the real Michael, behind the mask, was. But I could see in his eyes that, even with all that wealth and high quality of life, he wasn’t happy.
I know that he leaves millions and millions of fans, who will carry in their hearts his voice, for the rest of their lives.

He was a “king”, side by side with Elvis and the Beatles, the only ones who sold more records than him. He achieved 750 millions of albums sold.

A prayer to him, a soul who lived in a mist. I hope he finds his Peace and his perfect world now.

 

“Heal the World
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire Human Race
There are people dying
If you care enough
For the living
Make a better place
For you and for me

 

And the Dream we were
Conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face
And the World we
Once believed in
Will shine again in grace
Then why do we keep
Strangling Life
Wound this Earth
Crucify its soul
Though it’s plain to see
This World is heavenly
Be God’s glow ”

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